Missed Period? Don’t Panic, Here’s What to Do Next

by Lynn
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When a period is “late,” it means that it does not come within the expected timeframe. For example, if a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 days and her period does not come by day 29, she is termed late. A late period might be concerning since it can signal a possible pregnancy or an underlying medical ailment.

Possible Causes of a Late Period

Pregnancy: The most frequent cause of missing menstruation is pregnancy. When a woman becomes pregnant, her hormone levels alter, which might cause her menstrual cycle to stop. The first step in determining the cause of a late period is to take a pregnancy test as soon as your period is late. It is critical to remember that a pregnancy test should be performed following a missed period for reliable results.

Stress; Stress can interrupt your menstrual cycle by affecting hormone levels in the body. When a person is stressed, the body creates more cortisol, which can interfere with the synthesis of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which control the menstrual cycle. It is critical to engage in stress-relieving activities such as exercise, meditation, yoga, and therapy. These exercises can aid in stress reduction and general well-being.

Weight Gain or Loss: Weight fluctuations can disrupt the menstrual cycle. Women who are underweight or overweight may have irregular menstrual cycles. Maintaining a healthy weight via nutrition and exercise can aid in menstrual cycle regulation.

Hormonal Imbalances: A late period can be caused by hormonal imbalances. A delicate hormonal balance governs the menstrual period. When these hormones are out of balance, the time and duration of a period might be affected. Irregular periods can also be caused by medical problems such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a common ovary disorder that can cause hormonal abnormalities.

Medications: Some drugs can disrupt the menstrual cycle. Birth control drugs and hormone replacement treatment can affect hormone levels in the body, resulting in irregular periods. If you have a late period and are taking medication, speak with your healthcare practitioner about how the drug may be influencing your menstrual cycle.

What to do When Your Period is Late

Wait and see; Periods can be delayed for a variety of causes, including stress, weight changes, or hormone abnormalities.  You should be patient and wait a few days to see if your period arrives. If your period doesn’t arrive within a week or two of the usual date, you should take action.

Track your menstrual cycle: A period tracker app or calendar might assist you in identifying patterns and predicting when your next period will arrive. This can aid in determining the cause of a late period.  

Consult a healthcare provider: If you’ve missed numerous periods or your cycle is persistently irregular, you should consult a doctor. To rule out any underlying medical disorders that might be causing the irregularity, a healthcare professional can undertake a physical examination and perhaps prescribe laboratory testing.
If you are suffering any additional symptoms, such as excessive bleeding, severe cramps, or extended menstrual periods, you should see a doctor.

Additional tips:

  • It is critical to participate in healthy lifestyle choices like as eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and frequent exercise to control period-related symptoms such as cramps, bloating, and mood changes.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen can also assist with cramping.
  • Drinking enough water and staying away from coffee and alcohol can also help to alleviate bloating and other symptoms.
  • Take care of yourself during menstruation by obtaining adequate rest, engaging in stress-relieving activities, and avoiding overexertion.

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