What Would Cause My Period To Be Late?

Late period, or Delayed menstruation

A late period, or delayed menstruation, can be caused by various factors, both physiological and non-physiological. Some common reasons for a late period include:

  • Stress: Emotional or physical stress can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Stress can affect the functioning of the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates the menstrual cycle.
  • Changes in weight: Significant changes in body weight, whether gain or loss, can impact hormone levels and menstrual regularity. Excessive exercise or restrictive eating habits can also disrupt the menstrual cycle.
  • Hormonal contraception: Hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, patch, or intrauterine device (IUD), can sometimes cause irregularities in menstrual bleeding patterns, including late periods or missed periods, especially during the first few months of use.
  • Perimenopause: In the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), menstrual cycles may become irregular, with periods occurring less frequently or becoming unpredictable.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterized by irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and elevated androgen levels. Women with PCOS may experience late or missed periods due to irregular ovulation.
  • Thyroid disorders: Thyroid imbalances, such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), can affect menstrual regularity and lead to late or missed periods.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or uterine fibroids, can affect the menstrual cycle and cause late periods.
  • Medications: Some medications, including certain antidepressants, antipsychotics, chemotherapy drugs, and corticosteroids, can interfere with hormonal balance and menstrual regularity.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy is a common cause of a late period. If you’re sexually active and your period is late, pregnancy should be ruled out with a pregnancy test.

It’s essential to consider the context of your own health and lifestyle when trying to determine the cause of a late period. If you’re experiencing persistent irregularities in your menstrual cycle or have concerns about your menstrual health, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for evaluation and guidance.

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