Have your periods gone MIA, but you’re not pregnant? Here are 7 possible reasons why

If a late period has got you all worried for a possible pregnancy, fret not. Here are other reasons for a missed period.
reasons for a missed period
Missing your period doesn't always mean you're pregnant. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.
Ainee Nizami Updated: 13 Oct 2023, 13:30 pm IST
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Late periods raise an alarm for pregnancy, right? Wrong! There are multiple reasons why your periods get on an erratic cycle and being pregnant is just one of the many reasons.

From stress to PCOS and sudden weight gain, here are all the reasons why your period is late:

1. Stress
A common cause of missed periods is often stress. A healthy menstrual cycle ranges from every 21 to 35 days, however, stress can surely throw off your hormones.

Excessive stress affects the hypothalamus – the part of your brain that is responsible for triggering your pituitary gland to make hormones, which lead to your periods.

Practise daily relaxation techniques to offset the stress and also include a good exercise regime in your routine to ensure that you have a healthy outlet for your stress.

2. Eating disorders
Women who suffer from eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia are prone to experiencing an erratic period cycle. If you weigh below what is considered the normal range for you, your body functions change and you may at times stop ovulating.

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Seek help for an eating disorder and sign up with a nutritionist to gain weight in a healthy way.

3. Obesity
Obesity or excessive weight gain can also cause hormonal changes in your body, which can lead to your period cycle going for a toss. When you put on weight your body produces an excess amount of oestrogen, one of the hormones that regulate the reproductive system.

Excess oestrogen can lead to irregular periods or sometimes even cause them to stop altogether.

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Consult a nutritionist and stick to a diet that will help bring your cycle back on track.

4. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
One in every five women in India suffers from PCOS. This is a condition that causes your body to produce more of the male hormone, androgen, which leads to hormonal imbalance.

Cysts often form on your ovaries as a result and it directly affects your ovulation cycle. Your body insulin can also get out of balance, which leads to irregular periods.

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5. Birth control pills
Each time you go on or off birth control pills, your body experiences a change. Birth control pills contain oestrogen and progestin, which prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. If you stop the pill, it can take up to six months for your body to get back on its natural cycle.

6. Chronic Diseases
Even though it’s rare, diabetes and other chronic diseases can also affect your cycle. A change in your blood sugar can directly affect your hormones.

Celiac disease can also cause irregularity. It causes inflammation in your body that can damage organs in your body thus causing a late period cycle.

7. Thyroid
An overactive or underactive thyroid gland can also lead to irregular periods. The thyroid regulates your body’s metabolism, which in turn affects your hormone levels. Once treated, your periods are likely to return to a normal cycle.

This shoulderstand yoga routine will keep your thyroid gland in check. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Apart from pregnancy, these are some of the most common causes for late periods, However, it is advisable to visit your neighbourhood gynaecologist at the earliest to recognise the issue and start treatment as soon as you can.

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About the Author

Ainee has 10 years of experience in finding and writing stories about lifestyle, health, and fitness. When she is not surfing the internet for stories that'll connect with women, you’ll find her reading a book and sipping chai. ...Read More

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