Delayed periods : what are the causes?

From adolescence to menopause, periods are a regular feature of a woman's life. They are often accompanied by pain, fatigue and mood swings. But when they're absent, it's time to worry. Are you wondering why periods  is late? Elia Lingerie answers all your questions.


What is delayed periods ?

Before discussing the periods delay itself, it's important to understand the menstrual cycle. It begins on the first day of periods and ends at the start of the next menstrual period. The average periods lasts 28 days. However, it varies from woman to woman, depending on age and lifestyle. A menstrual cycle can last from 21 to 45 days, with no cause for concern. To find out if you're suffering from a periods delay, you need to take into account the normal length of your cycle, then ask yourself questions after 3 to 5 days of delay. When cycles are irregular (i.e. they don't always last the same length of time), we refer to periods as late one week after the estimated arrival date.

What causes a delay in periods ?

There are many reasons for hormonal imbalance:

A physiological and biological change

In the event of delayed menstruation, a hormonal cause is the first thing to consider. The disorder may be caused by pre-menopause or menopause. The latter occurs on average between the ages of 45 and 55. However, some women experience an early menopause. A change or omission of contraception can also explain a delay or even cessation of periods. If you've just switched to a progesterone-only contraceptive, it's quite possible to experience a delay in periods on the pill. The same applies to intrauterine systems and injections. sWhen the delay turns into an absence of periods (amenorrhea), the cause may be an overactive thyroid, diabetes or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Stress or post-traumatic shock

Stress influences every sphere of our lives, so it's only natural that it should cause periods to be 2 or 5 days late. Professional pressure, the death of a loved one, family problems or financial difficulties are all emotional shocks that can disrupt your cycles. How many days can stress delay periods ? Well, that depends on the situation, but also on your ability to return to a serene daily routine.

To prevent the damaging effects of stress on your cycle, learn to take time for yourself. Regular meditation sessions or a sporting activity will help to relieve the pressure. Don't hesitate to share your worries with friends and family to relieve some of your torment or find comfort.

A change in lifestyle

If you've just gained weight, your body may start producing estrogen in large quantities, thus disrupting your menstrual cycle. Similarly, sudden weight loss can cause your body to reduce or even stop the production of hormones involved in ovulation. When the pace of your sports training increases to become more intense, your periods may also be disrupted. Finally, breastfeeding also has an influence on the menstrual cycle. It can cause a delay in periods, or even an absence of periods.

Early pregnancy

It's impossible to discuss the causes of delayed periods without mentioning pregnancy. For women with regular sexual activity, this is the first possibility to consider. A pregnancy test will enable you to rule out this possibility. Symptoms of early pregnancy may include ..:

  • Sensitive breasts;
  • Fatigue;
  • Morning sickness;
  • Frequent urination.

Does a delay in periods mean you're pregnant?

In the collective imagination, a delay in periods is always caused by pregnancy. But that's not the only reason. In fact, it's quite possible that your interpretation of a delay is simply the consequence of a natural variation in your cycle. For example, a delay in periods of 5 days or less is likely to be a common physiological development.

How do I manage an irregular menstrual cycle?

We speak of irregular cycles, but not of periods delay, when their duration varies perpetually without explanation. These variations are frequent. Even so, they can be a cause for concern. To better manage irregular cycles, get into the habit of noting the duration of each one. After a few months, you'll have a better idea of the average length of your cycle, so you can plan your activities accordingly. You'll then be able to relax when your periods is delayed. If the irregularity of your cycles bothers you, talk to your gynecologist. He'll help you understand the delay. He or she will then be able to determine the cause and prescribe a progestin-only pill to help you return to regular menstruation.

What to do if you are late periods

Have you noticed a delay in your periods ? Here's how to proceed, depending on the situation:

Delayed periods by 1 to 2 days

There's nothing to be alarmed about if your cycle varies between 24 and 48 hours. Even if you've had unprotected intercourse or defective protection, this doesn't necessarily mean you're pregnant. It's also possible to have a late periods on the pill because you've forgotten to take it.

Delayed periods from 3 to 5 days

It can still s'be a slightly delayed ovulation. To find out if you're pregnant, it's advisable to wait until periods is 5 days late before taking a test. Only a blood test can give you a definitive answer.

Delay of 1 week periods

Make an appointment with your doctor to obtain a prescription for a blood test to check whether you are pregnant. If you haven't been sexually active recently, ask yourself about any changes that may have affected your cycle.

periods more than 1 week late

At this stage, you've already had to decide whether or not to become pregnant. If nothing has changed in your life, but you still have concerns, make an appointment to see your doctor or gynecologist. Although a delay of periods is usually harmless, after one month of amenorrhea, you should still consult a professional.

The FAQ of the periods

Why are my periods delayed?

Several factors can explain a delay in periods on the pill or without contraception: pregnancy, stress, thyroid disorders or polycystic ovary syndrome. There are many possible causes, so it's best to consult a doctor for a full medical check-up.

Is it possible to miss periods without being pregnant?

It's quite possible to miss periods without being pregnant. To be sure, wait until periods is 5 days late before taking a pregnancy test. If things don't work out despite a negative test, ask your doctor for a prescription for a blood test. This will ensure a reliable result.

Is it normal not to have periods for a month?

Apart from pregnancy, the only normal reasons for not having your periods for a month are breastfeeding or approaching menopause. If you experience amenorrhea for such a long time, you should consult your doctor, as it may be a sign of severe stress, an eating disorder or a thyroid disorder.

What medications should be taken to trigger periods ?

There are several types of treatment for amenorrhea. In young girls with ovarian dysfunction, the treatment is hormonal. Hormone therapy is also considered for women who have undergone a hysterectomy or had their ovaries removed for reasons other than cancer before the menopause. When the absence of periods is caused by a benign infection of the pituitary gland, a drug that reduces prolactin levels will bring on periods.

How do you get periods to come faster?

There is no scientifically proven method to make periods come faster. Some believe that there are methods that can bring forward the arrival of periods such as :

  • Regular breathing exercises;
  • Sports ;
  • Foods with a reputation for improving blood circulation (parsley, ginger, orange and pineapple).

When s'inquiéter s'il n'y a pas de periods ?

If you are sexually active, take a pregnancy test as soon as periods is 5 days overdue. If the situation persists despite a negative test, make an appointment with your doctor to obtain a prescription for a blood test. If you haven't had intercourse since your last cycle, a consultation after one week will help explain the delay periods. In all cases, it's advisable to seek professional advice lafter one month's amenorrhea.

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