Birth control, as the name suggests, is the way of preventing unwanted pregnancy. Today, there are actually a number of methods, which one can choose according to one's requirement and convenience. Some of the most common ones include condoms, pills, diaphragm, spermicide, etc. All these methods can help in preventing conception, when used in the right way.
However, there are women who do not have their period, even when they are on birth control. This can be a matter of concern, because it is often associated with pregnancy. Nevertheless, it need not indicate pregnancy alone, rather, there are several reasons that can cause this condition. Some of these reasons for a late period on birth control are enlisted below.
Female Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation
Firstly, it is extremely important to know how exactly the female reproductive system works. Though normally, a woman's menstrual cycle extends for 28 days, this need not be same for everyone. Rather, there are women who follow a 21 or a 35 days menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases, which include the follicular phase and the luteal phase. The follicular phase can be described as the time when the period begins and lasts till the day of ovulation.
On the other hand, the luteal phase is when ovulation occurs and lasts till the time of the next cycle. If the egg released is fertilized by the sperm, conception occurs. However, if this does not happen, the egg disintegrates, and after two weeks, the thick uterus lining sheds and the woman has her menses. Using birth control helps in controlling the sperm by preventing it from reaching the egg. Due to this, fertilization does not occur and the woman has her date regularly. Nevertheless, there have been cases when the woman has missed her date, even when she was using one of the options. Let us take a look at the reasons that can cause this problem.
One of the common causes is miscalculation of dates. As I said earlier, not all women follow the 28 days menstrual cycle. In such circumstances, ovulation may not occur exactly 14 days after the first day of the cycle. Rather, it is said that the follicular phase during which the egg is prepared to be released, does not have a set time. So, if you have a 35 days menstrual cycle, your ovulation date may not be the same as for those who have a 28 days menstrual cycle, and this can cause the delay.
Lack of Ovulation
Another reason is lack of ovulation. There can be months when ovulation does not occur and when this happens, the hormones, which are triggered during the luteal phase are not released, due to which the delay occurs. Some of the reasons that can cause ovulation to delay include emotional stress, too much physical activity, medications, sudden changes in weight, etc.
Apart from the above given reasons, it has also been observed that women who have been taking birth control pills for a long time can experience this problem once in a while. Also, women who have stopped taking them as well as those who have switched into some other type of pills, may also experience the problem. Other than this, women who are near their perimenopause or menopause stage can also experience this condition.
Though the above given reasons can cause this condition, one thing that women should remember is that no birth control method is 100% effective. Hence, there is still a tiny chance of getting pregnant, even while one is on this method. So, when you have missed your period while on contraception, it would be a good idea to get a pregnancy test done at home. If you are not able to find the reason, then consult your gynecologist who can find the root cause of the problem.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.