6 Reasons Your Period Could Be Late Besides Being Pregnant

Whether you get your period every 28 days like clockwork or have a flow that prefers to come and go as it pleases, having a period go MIA often feels like cause for alarm. Your mind runs wild with thoughts of pregnancy tests and ultrasounds and watching your baby graduate college - an imaginary life that you’ve created and nurtured and helped grow all because that little bit of blood you were hoping to find this morning didn’t make it’s appearance. Whether pregnancy right now is your goal or you’re holding off temporarily or forever, a fetus in utero is certainly not the only cause of a period gone rogue. Here are 6 reasons, besides being pregnant, that your period could be late.

1. Stress

If you’ve been running yourself ragged at work or dealing with other stressors, especially traumatic ones, your period could be late. This is called hypothalamic amenorrhea. “The hypothalamus is the center of the brain and controls reproduction. It produces a hormone that signals the production of other hormones needed for ovulation,” according to Shady Grove Fertility. So, if you’ve been stressed about something - big or small - do your best to find some time for relaxation. If you’ve experienced a traumatic situation, you should call your doctor and seek a professional opinion.

2. Being sick

The amazing things your body does are all intertwined on some level. When one system isn’t working as well as it should, the others are affected, too. It’s like a game of survival - which bodily process is the most important right now? If you have a common cold, the flu, or some other type of illness, your menstrual cycle is likely the first to be shut down in order to get the rest of your body back up to speed.

3. Weight fluctuations

Say hello to your hypothalamus again (the center in the brain that controls reproductive hormones, like estrogen). When you experience extreme fluctuations in your weight, the amount of estrogen released can impact whether you get your period or not. If you lose a lot of weight quickly, your body won’t produce enough estrogen. Too much weight gain and your body will have too much estrogen. Either way, this could be a reason your period is late.

4. Change in your schedule

Minor changes in your schedule aren’t going to have an impact on your menstrual cycle but intense ones, like switching to the night shift or having jet lag from traveling across the world (you jetsetter, you!), can. The good news is that it’s temporary. Once your body acclimates to your new schedule, your periods should resume as normal. If they don’t, it’s worth calling your doctor about.

5. Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones, of course, play a large role in your menstrual cycle. They determine the heaviness, the length, and even whether your period comes at all. If your hormones are out of whack, you may not menstruate. One cause could be PCOS. Another could be endometriosis. If you suspect this is the case, call your doctor. They’ll be able to put you on a path to help regulate symptoms.

6. Your birth control

Yes, even if you don’t skip the sugar pills, your birth control could be editing your menstrual cycle. Whether you have an IUD, get Depo shots, or are on the pill, the hormonal changes caused by birth control can sometimes eliminate or lessen your period. While this can sometimes be a welcome side effect, it’s good to know that it’s actually the cause of a late or nonexistent period.

If you think you’re pregnant, it’s always a good idea to take a test. Otherwise, talk to your doctor about your late period - they can provide valuable insight and ease your mind.

14 comments

Hey abisola,

I wish we could help, but I’m thinking these are questions best answered by your doctor. <3

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 04, 2019

Content I did my first period on January
18 unfortunately am pregnant while menstrating ….I did D&C on the 5th of march….up till now I haven’t see my period……can someone please help me out?

abisola April 04, 2019

Hiya Isabella,

Both of the reasons you mentioned are common culprits for late periods, but because everybody and every BODY is different, I can’t say for certain that it’s the reason why you’re late.

If you’re feeling like you don’t want to run out and take a test, it may not hurt to chat with your doctor about what you’re experiencing. They should be able to offer some valuable insight and ease your mind a bit.

Wishing you all the best. <3

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 03, 2019

My cycle is usually 28 days and my period is 2 days late. however, last week I experienced a lot of emotional stress at once and have been sick (an intense cold) for over a week now. As far as I know, nothing was wrong with the condom when I had sex on March 14th and 27th. I am still worried, since I don’t want to rush to get a pregnancy test. Do you think it’s safe to think my period is a bit late due to these circumstances?
I appreciate your reply <3

Isabella April 03, 2019

Heya Mary, andrene & Hii Manjula,

While predictable periods are AMAZING, it’s never really that simple, is it?

If you do find your period is late, try to remember that it could be due to a number of different reasons. If pregnancy is a possibility, we recommend taking a pregnancy test. If the test comes back negative and your period still hasn’t arrived, we recommend contacting your physician.

Wishing you all the best. <3

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 03, 2019

My periods are late sometimes 2months and one and half month I do pregnancy test it will get resulted in negative I worried about this wts problem for me

Hii Manjula April 02, 2019

have sex and march the 8 me and my boyfriend use a condom my period normall comes an the 16 are 18 now today am four days late .. i took a pregnancy test today it shows negative but no period yet am i suppose to worry about being pregnant ? can someone help me understand please.

andrene April 02, 2019

Period is late for 6 days now and I’m not on any medicine

Mary April 02, 2019

I often wonder when people post on the internet about the dates when they had sex or how many days their periods are late and then ask “am I pregnant?” Are these people really hoping to get a reliable answer from this without going to the doctor? Seriously, people. Make a doctor’s appointment or at least do some research and reading to understand how periods and pregnancies and ovulation, etc., work.

siiri June 04, 2018

Hi Danielle!

Medications might effect on periods. Have you discussed with your doctor about this?

-Meri

Lunette Team December 19, 2017

My last period was 28 aug17.but still not get mensus today 3 oct17..im not pregnant.i did family planning in delivery.i am worried ..

Shajila October 03, 2017

My period has become really irregular a year ago so I went on birth control to try to regulate it.However I feel like it made it worse! It became more irregular because my cycle days went from 25 to 16, 18,23,25,30, back to 16.Then it went back to 23 and jumped to 48. Now my cycle is 52 days and I am 27 days late for my period?I has sex in august the week after my period but we used a condom plus I am still taking birth control!Could I be pregnant? I took two pregnacy test one was negative and the other one was non effective.However I am currently on to other medications and one of the side effects are your period?Starting to get anxious and thinking about taking another test!

Danielle September 29, 2017

Hi Shela!

There can be many reasons for delayed periods. Pregnancy is one of them and the easiest way to find out is to take pregnancy test. If the test is negative but the periods keep absent, I’d recommend to visit the doctor.

-Meri

Lunette Team July 03, 2017

my last menstruation was may 23 now it’s been 3 days . my menstruation is getting late am i pregnant"?

shela gonzales June 26, 2017

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