Reasons for late period

Women’s menstrual period is supposed to arrive like clockwork every 28 days. However some women experience last period and others do not have it at all, even though they are not pregnant.

Let’s discuss what late period is, the main reasons for a late period and how you can prevent late periods.

what is late or missed period ?

Late period is when a lady does not see her menses at the given time.

“Your menstrual cycle is the length of time from day one of your period to day one of your next period,” Dr. Higgins says. “On average, these cycles are 24 to 38 days long.”

That means that a 28-day cycle one month and a 26-day cycle the next month is the expectant time to see your period.

So a person may be considered to have a late period if :

  • It’s been more than 38 days since your last period.
  • You’re normally really regular, and your period is more than three days late.

What are some reasons for late period?

There are a number of reasons why your periods can stop and the most common reasons are:

Reasons for late or missed period
  • stress
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Obesity
  • Birth control pills
  • doing too much exercise no
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Early peri-menopause


Stress is one of the common reasons for a late period. When you’re stressed, it makes your hormones imbalanced and also affects the hypothalamus which is responsible for oestrogen hormone

Some examples of major stress include:

  • Death of a loved one.
  • High school or college exams.
  • Job loss.
  • Major life events, such as a wedding.
  • Traveling
  • Financial problems

If you’re stressed, your menstrual cycle can become longer or shorter, your periods may even stop.

Did you know?
The absence of menstrual periods is known as Amenorrhea

Weight loss

Excessive weight loss can cause your periods to stop. This is because you’re restricting the amount of calories you eat hence limiting the production of hormones needed for ovulation.

According to Lincoln “If your body is underweight or undernourished, it isn’t going to be able to support a pregnancy, so your body goes into survival mode and scraps ovulation,”

Women with eating disorders like bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa may also experience missed period.


Being obese can also affect your menstrual cycle as your body may produce an excess amount of oestrogen which could mess with your body’s normal menstrual cycle, says Lincoln.

Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal birth control contains progestin or a combination of progestin and estrogen. These hormones stop ovulation and prevent pregnancy.

Hormonal contraceptives include:

  • Oral contraceptive
  • Birth control patch:
  • Vaginal ring:
  • Injectable contraceptive:
  • Hormonal implant:
  • Hormonal intrauterine device (IUD).

However, your periods should return when you stop using these types of contraceptives.

Doing Too much exercise

Working exercise into your schedule on a daily basis is great but when it’s intense, it can be responsible for the lower level of estrogen which can cause a missed period.

High amounts of physical activity can impact some hormones involved with the menstrual cycle. 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that interferes with the release of an egg (ovulation). If you have PCOS, you’re often not able to release an egg which means ovulation does not take place.

Many people with PCOS have irregular, late or missing periods.

Early peri-menopause

When women begin menopause around age 40 or earlier, it’s considered early perimenopause. During that time the supply of your eggs declines and can result in a missed period and eventually the end of menstruation. 

Treatment and Prevention

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Use contraception consistently, as directed by your doctor.
  • Increase exercise gradually to check your weight
  • Learn and practice relaxation exercises to reduce and cope with stress.

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