These Are The Reasons For Delay In Periods

By: Archana Mukherji

Delay in periods is quite often assumed to be a symptom of pregnancy. While it is true that a missed period could be a sign of pregnancy, it is vital to know that there could be other reasons too for a missed period.

There are two times in a woman's life when it is completely normal for her periods to be irregular. The first instance would be the start of her periods and the second would be the menopause stage.

reasons for delay in periods

As the body of a woman goes through this transition, the normal cycle tends to become irregular. Most women, who have not reached their menopause usually tend to get their periods every 28 days.

However, a healthy menstrual cycle can range from every 21 to 35 days. If your periods do not fall between these ranges, then your menstrual cycle is considered to be irregular and something is wrong with you.

This article intends to discuss a few major reasons that can cause a delay in periods.

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1. Stress:

When you are under physical or mental stress, your body produces stress hormones. Elevated levels of these hormones can affect the reproductive system and in extreme cases can also temporarily stop the activities of the reproductive system. In such a case, your periods also get delayed.

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2. Medication:

One of the most common medications that cause menstrual changes and delay in periods are the birth control pills. Hormonal contraceptives stop the body from ovulating. When there is no ovulation, there is no period. Emergency contraception can also cause late or skipped periods.

Other medications that can cause a delayed or missed period are antidepressants, some antipsychotics, corticosteroids and chemotherapy drugs.

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3. Thyroid Disorder:

The thyroid gland which is located in your neck regulates the body metabolism. It interacts with many other systems in our body to keep things running smoothly. Any kind of thyroid imbalance, be it hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can have implications on your periods.

An overactive thyroid, also called hyperthyroidism can cause periods to be lighter and less frequent, whereas, an underactive thyroid, also called hypothyroidism can cause periods to be less frequent but heavier.

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4. Breast Feeding:

If you are breast feeding, you may not see your periods for some time. Prolactin, which is the hormone responsible for breast milk production suppresses ovulation. Many new moms do not get periods for months, when they are breast feeding.
If you are breast feeding, you may not see your periods for some time. Prolactin, which is the hormone responsible for breast milk production suppresses ovulation. Many new moms do not get periods for months, when they are breast feeding.

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5. Illness:

If you get sick during your ovulation, be it a simple cold, cough or fever, it causes a stress on your body and your ovulation can get delayed or even missed. This would in turn mean, a delayed period or a missed period.

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6. Chronic Diseases:

Chronic diseases like diabetes or celiac disease can also affect your menstrual cycle. Changes in blood sugar cause hormonal changes, so even though it is rare, poorly controlled diabetes can cause irregular periods.

Celiac disease causes inflammation that can damage the small intestine, thereby preventing the body from absorbing key nutrients. This causes late or missed periods as well.

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7. Obesity:

Obesity can cause hormonal changes, thereby delaying your periods. In such cases, it is advisable to follow your doctor's recommendation of diet and exercise plan.

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8. Low Body Weight:

Women with eating disorders usually have a low body weight and may experience delayed or missed periods. If you weigh even 10% less than the normal range considered for your height, it can change the way your body functions and it stops ovulation.

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9. Change In Schedule:

Changes in schedule like working in night shifts or travelling abroad can disturb the regulation of hormones, causing a missed or delayed period. However, when your body gets used to the change or your schedule goes back to normal, your menstrual cycle also becomes normal.

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10. Perimenopause:

The average age of menopause among women is 51 years. Anywhere between two to eight years of menopause, every woman experiences what is called as perimenopause. During this time, the body actually produces less oestrogen and moves towards menopause.

It is very common to see menstrual changes during this period. Your flow can be light sometimes and heavy at other times. Periods can occur more or less frequently and can be longer or shorter.

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11. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also referred to as PCOS quite often, is a condition wherein your body produces more of the male hormone androgen. The levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone eventually get altered. There is a formation of cysts on the ovaries as a result of this hormonal imbalance. This can either stop ovulation or delay the same.

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12. Excessive Exercise:

Yes, it is true that working out is good. However, when you overdo something, it is definitely not good for you. Too much of strenuous exercise refrains your body from producing enough oestrogen. This in turn affects your menstrual cycle.

Read more about: periods, stress, thyroid
Story first published: Monday, July 10, 2017, 13:30 [IST]
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