Many people are unaware that pregnancy is not the only cause for a woman to miss her periods. Rather, there are several other reasons apart from this obvious cause. Moreover, when a woman is sexually inactive, the question of her being pregnant is totally ruled out. However, if a woman is sexually active but the pregnancy test shows a negative result, then the reasons for irregular or late periods need to be diagnosed. They are often different and diverse depending on several lifestyle factors. Hence, let us take a look at some causes of this problem.
Possible Causes For A Missed Period
The phenomenon of missing periods is called amenorrhea which are of two types.
- Primary Amenorrhea: Occurs when a girl does not have menarche i.e. she does not have her first periods even at the age of 15. This is quite a rare condition and occurs if there are abnormalities in the reproductive organs including the uterus, cervix, and vagina. Therefore, late onset of puberty can also be one of the causes for this problem.
- Secondary Amenorrhea: Occurs when a woman misses her period consecutively for three months. There are a number of reasons why this occurs. Given below are some of the reasons that can cause secondary amenorrhea.
#1 Drugs and Medications
If a woman is taking certain strong medications to treat some kind of disease; this can be the reason for her skipped periods. This is said to be one of the side effects of taking medications like antidepressants, chemotherapy drugs, etc. Apart from this, sometimes the intake of contraceptives can cause a woman to miss her periods too. If you are taking any contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancy, consult your gynecologist to check if they are interfering with the regularity of your menstrual cycle.
#2 Weight Issues
Weight can also be one of the causes for missed or delayed period. Women who are overweight are often seen to have issues when it comes to their menstrual cycle and fertility. Being overweight can cause hormonal imbalance, which can affect the menstruation cycle. On the other hand, women who are underweight may also suffer from this problem. A woman needs to maintain a minimum body fat content to have normal periods. Low body fat content disrupts the flow of hormones, which results in irregular periods. Women trying to lose weight through crash dieting and vigorous exercises are also likely to have irregular periods.
#3 Stress and Hectic Lifestyle
Stress is a common problem in today's times. When a woman stresses too much regardless of the source, her body releases a hormone called GnRH which directly interferes with the regular process of menstruation causing it to cease temporarily. Reducing stress levels or finding effective ways to cope with stress can help your system to revert to regularity.
#4 Peri-Menopause and Menopause
Peri-menopause is a transitional stage in a woman's life where she moves from her reproductive stage to non-reproductive stage. During this time, the menstrual cycle is hugely irregular, characterized by heavy bleeding during certain times and skipped periods for months at other times. This occurs mainly due to an imbalance of progesterone, a hormone that regulates the amount and length of bleeding during the menstrual cycle. This hormonal imbalance upsets the menstrual cycle causing it to be irregular.
#5 Chronic Diseases
If you are suffering from some chronic disease and have been under medications for a long time, this can also be the cause of this problem. This is often seen when a woman has thyroid problems. It can also be one of the symptoms of thyroid problem. Therefore, if you are experiencing skipped periods along with other thyroid symptoms like extreme fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, etc., get yourself checked for thyroid. Missed period is also considered to be one of the main symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Indulging in rigorous physical training for a prolonged period of time can also cause your periods to go haywire. This type of amenorrhea is pretty common in female athletes who have to perform strenuous routines.
Consult a medical practitioner to find the exact cause of irregular periods. Once you know the cause, alter your lifestyle accordingly and take an appropriate treatment to restore regularity in your menstrual cycle.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.