June 21st, 2012 by Hasham
Having a regular menstrual cycle is usually a sign of good health. When you have a late period or missed period it could be a sign that something is up. There are many different reasons for late periods but if the problem continues for more than one menstrual cycle, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the issue.
Does a Late Menstrual Period Mean I Am Pregnant?
One of the first signs of pregnancy is a late period. But missed periods do not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. If you’re sexually active and have missed a period, then it is worthwhile to take a pregnancy test. You may still want to take a pregnancy test even if you have been using contraception. Since birth control can fail, taking a pregnancy test will allow you to rule out one of the possible causes of missed periods. Your local pregnancy center can provide a test for free.If you have a late period and a negative pregnancy test, then consider whether or not you’ve recently been sick, gained or lost a significant amount of weight, have been under excessive stress or have taken any new medications. All of these things can affect your menstrual cycle and cause you to have irregular periods. Additionally, certain types of birth control, including the birth control pill, Depo-Provera and Implanon, can cause you to have menstrual cycles disturbances.
I Have My Period…I Think
Sometimes, you may have your period but, instead of your usual menstrual flow and period length, this time around your period is shorter and lighter. In some cases, it could be a sign that you didn’t ovulate during the month. If the problem continues, you should probably make an appointment with your health care provider. A lighter, shorter period is also a common side effect of the birth control pill.
Women who are sexually active may want to take a pregnancy test if their lighter period appears to be pink or brown in color. What you’re seeing may actually be implantation bleeding and is an early sign of pregnancy. However, if this bleeding is also accompanied by a sharp pain in your lower abdominal, then make an appointment with your health care provider right away; you could be having an ectopic pregnancy.
My Period Won’t End!
Maybe a late menstrual period isn’t your problem but a heavier and longer period is. One possible explanation is uterine fibroids. Although these benign uterine tumors won’t hurt you, they do need to be investigated by a doctor. In some cases, they can grow to be extremely large and impair your fertility. However, if you’re experiencing severe cramps and are noticing a number of clots in your blood, then you may be having a miscarriage. This warrants an immediate appointment with your health care provider.
IUD users may have longer periods due to the IUD irritating the uterine wall. Longer and/or heavier periods can be side effects of the mini-pill, Depo-Provera and Implanon. If your periods have become especially heavy or long, talk with your doctor about changing your birth control.
My Period Isn’t Late It’s Early!
Sometimes during your menstrual cycle you’ll notice a little bit of blood on your panties or when you wipe. This is known as spotting and can be a sign of an infection, a cyst or a polyp in your vagina, cervix or uterus and should be investigated by a doctor. However, if you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, you may have a bit spotting because of the extra stress.
Spotting is also a very common side effect during the first few months of using the birth control pill. If you’ve been using the Pill for a while, though, then you may notice some bleeding between periods when you’ve forgotten to take your pill or you took it a bit later than usual. Women who use an IUD, though, should make an appointment with their health care provider as spotting may be a sign of inflammation or infection.
It is also normal for women who are in the early stages of pregnancy to have a bit of spotting. However, it is a good idea to let your health care provider know about the bleeding. If the bleeding becomes heavier or is accompanied by cramps, notify your midwife or doctor right away.
Missed or Irregular Periods – Topic Overview
Most women have between 11 and 13 menstrual periods each year. You may be different: You may have more or fewer. Missed or irregular periods must be looked at in terms of what is normal for you.
Menstrual periods are often irregular during the first few years after menstruation starts. It may take several years for the hormones that control menstruation to reach a balance.
Menstrual periods also may be very irregular at the other end of the menstrual years. Many women realize that they are approaching perimenopause and menopause when their otherwise regular periods become irregular. Menopause occurs when it has been 12 months since you have had a menstrual period.
Pregnancy is the most common cause of a missed period. If you might be pregnant, treat yourself as if you are pregnant until you know for sure. Use a home pregnancy test as the first step to finding out whether you are pregnant.
If you are not pregnant, other causes of missed or irregular periods include:
Excessive weight loss or gain. Although low body weight is a common cause of missed or irregular periods, obesity also can cause menstrual problems.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. For more information, see the topic Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.
Increased exercise. Missed periods are common in endurance athletes.
Medicines such as birth control methods, which may cause lighter, less frequent, more frequent, or skipped periods or no periods at all.
Hormone problems. This may cause a change in the levels of the hormones that the body needs to support menstruation.
Illegal drug use.
Problems with the pelvic organs , such as imperforate hymen, polycystic ovary syndrome, or Asherman’s syndrome.
Breast-feeding. Many women do not resume regular periods until they have completed breast-feeding.
Remember, you can still become pregnant even though you are not menstruating. Practice birth control if you do not wish to become pregnant.
Premature ovarian failure is when you stop menstruating before age 40. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis may cause premature ovarian failure.
Other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, tuberculosis, liver disease, and diabetes can cause missed or irregular periods, although this is rare. But if any of these diseases are present, you will usually have other symptoms besides menstrual irregularities.
If you’ve skipped a period, try to relax. Restoring your life to emotional and physical balance can help. Many women miss periods now and then. Unless you are pregnant, chances are your cycle will return to normal next month.
What can cause a missed period?
I have always had regular periods before. It is physically impossible for me to be pregnant as the last time I had sex was over two months ago and I have had two periods since this.
I have done a pregnancy test though as I am aware that you can have periods when pregnant.
Could you tell me what other things could cause a missed period?
It is important to be quite certain that you cannot be pregnant, and from what you say it certainly sounds as if this is not possible.
Sometimes periods are missed for no apparent reason, and this does not mean anything serious is wrong.
Sometimes it is brought on by something that has upset your hormonal balance, and this would include such things as stress or worry.
Even worrying about the possibility of pregnancy can do it. Also a major life event such as changing job or moving house can result in a missed period.
Other possible causes would be too-stringent dieting with prolonged and severe weight loss, or excessive exercise such as road running or severe athletic training.
These are just some of the possible explanations. As your period is only a couple of weeks late, I think it would be reasonable to wait until your next period is due and see if they start again on their own.
If nothing happens, or you develop any other symptoms you can’t explain, then you should go to see your doctor.
Do another pregnancy test first, just to make sure. And if any of the things I mentioned above apply to you, be sure to mention them.