For the last week or so, you’ve been anxiously awaiting your period, but it still hasn’t come. That's delayed menstruation. This delayed menstruation raises tons of questions in your mind. Am I pregnant? Is something wrong with my body? Before you jump to conclusions, check out our guide.
What is Delayed Menstruation?
Assuming you have a regular menstrual cycle, your period is considered late if it doesn’t happen three to five days after its expected date. However, if your cycle is often irregular, the delay will be more difficult to track.
What causes Delayed Menstruation?
Pregnancy. When your period is late, naturally the first idea that comes to your mind is pregnancy. If you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue, nausea, food cravings, increased sensitivity to certain odors, or excessive urination, then you should definitely consider taking a pregnancy test.
Easiest is to first take a urine pregnancy test at home. Available in pharmacies, you can use it on the first day of delayed menstruation. But if you want to be completely sure, you can ask your doctor to perform a blood pregnancy test to measure the levels of HCG, which is the hormone secreted by the placenta.
What if the test comes out negative?
Once you are sure you are not pregnant, you should still keep in mind that a delay of a few days may be related to normal cycle fluctuations. Your period isn’t always like clockwork. Your cycles that vary as much as between 25 and 32 days.
Assuming your cycle is regular, here are some things to consider when you have delayed menstruation:
- Have you been stressed lately?
When you’re stressed, your hormones can block ovulation causing you to miss your period.
- Have you been having weight issues?
Gaining or losing too much weight at once will affect your estrogen levels and prevent your period.
- Have you been exercising excessively?
Extreme physical activity requires high levels of energy, so your body may cease menstruation to save additional energy.
- Have you been ill and taking medications?
Some medications disrupt the levels of hormones. Also, if you become ill at the time of ovulation this can delay your menstruation.
- Have you been travelling a lot?
Frequent travelling and being subject to sudden climate and timing changes can stress your body and delay your menstruation.
If you suspect that your delayed period may be the result of one of the above causes, don’t worry! Adopting a healthy lifestyle and giving your body the time it needs to adapt to change will put you on the right track to having a normal cycle again.
However, if you continually miss your period or your cycle does not again become regular, best to visit your doctor.