menstrual cycle

What are the Top 5 Reasons for Delayed Periods or Irregular Periods?

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  • 4.9   (6 Votes)
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 11 Jul 2018 - Written by Dr. Sailaja Vuppu - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

Irregular periods are one of the major concerns of women. Some of the major reasons for delayed periods or irregular periods are stress, over-exercising, presence of PCOD problems, and birth control pills. If you are pregnant, then you will lose your periods. You need to keep a watch on period cycle.

A survey has suggested that about 84 percent of women have experienced a late period at least once in their lives. While most women think that late periods can only be if you're pregnant, that's a myth. The average menstrual cycle of women is 28 days. However, the menstrual cycle length can be anywhere around 21 to 45 days. A delay of 3-4 days in your period dates is nothing to worry about and it could be because of a variety of reasons. Here is a list of 5 reasons that could cause late periods.

1- Stress

Stress is one of the most dominant reasons for the late periods. This is how it works - When you're not doing well mentally or emotionally, you tend to get stressed. As a result, the brain produces stress hormones - adrenaline and cortisol. This compels the brain to choose which body functionality is of priority and acts accordingly. Stress affects the follicle stimulating hormone, present in the body, which is responsible for ovulation. Hence, the ovulation is delayed and as a consequence, you get irregular periods.

2- PCOS

Any kind of hormonal imbalance will most likely affect the arrival date of your menses. PCOS affects about 1 in 10 women around the world. It creates a hormonal imbalance leading to a messed up menstrual cycle. Apart from leading to irregular periods, PCOS can also cause facial hair growth, weight gain, acne and also affects fertility. 

Irregular Periods, Menstrual Cycle

3- Over-exercising

Over-exercising can also affect your menstrual cycle. When you overdo it at the gym or are losing weight at a rapid pace, it can lead to late periods. When the body is subjected to excessive exhaustion without the proper intake of calories, it fails to produce the required amount of estrogen for ovulation. As an after effect, you might experience irregular periods.

4- Birth Control Pills

The birth control you are on can impact your menstrual cycle to a great extent. Hormonal contraceptives are a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin which cause the ovulation to come to a halt. This, as a result, causes late periods.

Irregular Periods, Menstrual Cycle

Normally, your body needs at least 6 months to cope with the hormonal imbalance caused by contraception and fall back to the normal course of your menstrual cycle. 

5- Pregnancy

If you're pregnant, then our periods will most likely take a break for the next nine months. If you have had unprotected sex and are trying to conceive, late periods could actually be a good sign. Missing your period for over a week when you're trying to conceive might not just be a case of an irregular period, but probably the baby dust is your way. Take the test after a week of your missed period date, if this is the case. You can track your period dates and fertility cycle on the Ela App

Dr. Sailaja Vuppu

Written by

Infertility Specialist, Gynecologic Surgeon
Vijayawada

Dr Sailaja Vuppu is an acclaimed Gynaecologist and Infertility Specialist in Sri Ramachandra Nagar, Vijayawada. She has completed 10 years on working as a gynaecologist and infertility specialist. Dr Sailaja Vuppu is right now practising at Rainbow Super Speciality Hospital for Women and Children. Her fields of expertise are Hysterectomy (Abdominal/Vaginal), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and so on. Find her contact details on www.elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos): problems, causes, symptoms and treatment  PCOS, Elawoman - 2017
  • Irregular periods - what are the types, causes, and treatment of irregular periods?  irregular periods, Elawoman - 2017
  • Period delaying pills - best solution for how to postpone periods  late periods, Elawoman - 2017

6 Comments

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sushri sarangi

Irregular periods also causes these side effects extreme weight loss extreme weight gain emotional stress eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia So eat healthy and proper food, and most probably papaya..

Sept. 21, 2018, 4:55 p.m. 5.0

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Mc Neik

I have only 3 time in a year sometime four time I'm struggle a lot treatment also not work out

Sept. 20, 2018, 11:16 a.m. 5.0

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helpful blogs

Helpful blog.

Aug. 3, 2018, 5:56 p.m. 5.0

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Kursum

my period take 3 to 6 months without seeing it ?what could be the problem ?

July 1, 2018, 10:30 p.m. 5.0

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Shrabani Saha

Sometimes pregnancy tests are not valid even after missing due date of periods. You need to take a blood test to confirm because you can get negative urine test because of lower levels of hCG.

Oct. 31, 2017, 4:43 p.m. 5.0

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Nadia

My periods are 7 days late and I've tested twice with a big fat negative each time. I don't know why is it happening to me neither periods are showing up nor the test is positive.

May 22, 2017, 11:22 p.m. 4.5

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