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6 Common Reasons for a Late Period

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To some, the absence of a monthly visitor means only one thing — you’re pregnant. But to the better-informed, a late period can mean a variety of things. If you’re running late but don’t suspect you’re pregnant, consider these six other common reasons for irregular, late or missed periods:

Miscalculations

If you’re a lucky lady whose period comes like clockwork every 28 days, the thought of being at 29 days without a period can be concerning. But, even for women who typically have an on-time cycle, time of ovulation can vary. Take a few days (and consider checking your calculations) to see if your period isn’t missing but it’s just running late.

Under Pressure

Stress can cause a slew of health issues, and a missed or late period is just one of them. When stressed, hormone levels can fluctuate, leading to changes in the frequency and duration of your period. Besides busy schedules, cranky co-workers and detailed responsibilities, concerns about being pregnant could also factor into your stress. If you haven’t already, take a pregnancy test to determine if you’re pregnant. Find more information about taking an early-detection pregnancy test.

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Excessive Exercise

Have you just started working out a ton? It could be the cause of your late period. Our mental state, physical activity and the functioning of our organs are all linked. When your body is forced into an unhealthy amount of physical stress, aka excessive exercise, it’s common for ovulation to be postponed or even prevented. According to MayoClinic.com, women who participate in rigorous training for sports such as ballet, gymnastics or long-distance running may find their menstrual cycle interrupted because of low body fat and are exerting too much energy.

Illness

If you’ve been sick anytime during your menstrual cycle, it can temporarily affect your period, according to WebMd.com. You might not be sick now, but remember 14 days (when you were ovulating), and that may be your answer. If it’s a once or twice occurrence, you probably do not have anything to worry about. Think about it: It makes sense that if your sickness postponed ovulation it will also postpone your period. After three missed cycles, consider seeing a doctor.

Medication

Adjusting to a new birth control or coming off an old one can affect your menstrual cycle and cause you to miss or be late for your period. According to MayoClinic.com and WebMd.com, other medications can also interrupt or stop your period, including:

  • Blood pressure drugs
  • Antipsychotics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Antidepressants

Weight Issues

Though low body weight is commonly known for causing missed or irregular periods, according to WebMd.com, obesity is also a major factor. A gradual return to a proper weight is best as excessive weight loss or gain can cause further strain on your body and continue to contribute to irregular periods.

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