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.

147 comments

Hi am mimi I had sex or d 20th of this month and on d 21st I was sick I took injection and drip now am okay am expecting my period but it has not come. I keep having cramps

Lady Mimi December 31, 2021

I saw my period on the 9th of September, den October I saw it on the 4th due to drugs I drank after sex, den this month if November I have not seen my period, thou I expected it on the 4th I did not see it, I did a house strip test but is negative, till now that is 9th of September I have not seen too still did a test too both negative, pls are my pregnant or not.

Debby December 13, 2021

Hello, I’m 17 years old. This is my first time experiencing delayed period. Last month September I had my period but this month, I’m still waiting. I don’t have a boyfriend and im not sexually active. But I always take caffeine in the morning. According to my research, caffeine affects the menstruation and I’ve been stressing a lot and it affects my academic performance. November is near and I’m not having it. What should I do?

Heather November 22, 2021

Hi Angela! If you’re concerned about a delayed period it’s best to consult a healthcare professional. As we are not medical professionals we cannot offer diagnosis.
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor October 25, 2021

My last period was on 21 Sept 2021
And my next period is supposed to be 21 of October 2021 I have not had sex for 2years now

Angela Ebrumakpone October 25, 2021

Hi Faith! Sorry to hear your period is late! If you are concern about pregnancy we recommend taking an at home pregnancy test. As we are not medical professionals we cannot provide medical diagnosis. -Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor October 12, 2021

Hi abbyyyy ! Sorry to hear about the delayed period! If you’re concerned about pregnancy we recommend taking an at home pregnancy test. As we are not medical professionals we cannot provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. – Team Lunette

Lunette Mentrual Mentor October 12, 2021

Hi Anita! Sorry to hear about the delayed period! If you’re concerned about pregnancy and cramping without a period it is best to consult a doctor. As we are not medical professionals we cannot provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. -Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor October 12, 2021

Hi Janet and light! Sorry to hear your period is late! If you are concerned about pregnancy we recommend taking an at home pregnancy test. If you are still concerned after taking a test it’s best to consult a doctor. As we are not medical professionals we cannot offer medical advice or diagnosis. -Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor October 12, 2021

My Last period is 6 ougust,I guess to see my next period on 04 September still now I don’t see,and home pregnant it show me negative ,what happen to me?is possible to be pregnant or?

Janet Nziza October 12, 2021

Hi pls I didn’t get my period last month nd I’m not pregnant although I treated an infection last month could dat be the cause of the delayed period. I get cramps a lot but still no period

Anita October 12, 2021

Hi! i had sex on august 18 then got a period on august 20 and now in September I think I will not get my period because its September 29 now. Am I pregnant?

light October 12, 2021

I had sex with my bf last month a week before I saw my period last month this month my period is last please what could be the cause

Faith October 12, 2021

hi! July 14 2021 i got my period also in august 14 but this sept. it already sept. 16 why am still not on periods? i have cramps in my stomach im wondering if im pregnant? or its just sign that my period is coming?

abbyyyy October 12, 2021

Hi Chidinma! We understand delayed periods can definitely cause stress and insecurity. Unfortunately we cannot provide diagnosis as we are not medical professionals. We recommend contacting a doctor if you are feeling concerned. :)
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor October 12, 2021

Hi!!! Am having a delay in menstruation , I saw my period last 30th July 2021 . And in the month of August Its was supposed to come out 24th , apparently it’s 27th days today . Am I pregnant or not .
Cause I have done Pt test and it shows Negative ,what is the cause.
And am not having a signs of pregnancy pls help a sister ,
Thanks Chidinma .

Chidinma Evans September 02, 2021

Hi Blessing! Being ill is a common reason for your period to get delayed. When you are ill your body is using all of its energy to fight off the illness. Having a period is a high energy task for the body and sometimes your body will prioritize that energy to other things, like making sure you get well. :)
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor August 23, 2021

Hi Ctris! If you are concerned about pregnancy we recommend taking an at home pregnancy test. :)
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor August 23, 2021

Hi Favour! Emergency contraceptives contain high amounts of hormones. Your menstrual cycle is also regulated by hormones, so using anything that messes with your hormone balance is likely to cause effects with your period. It is very common for your period to be delayed/heavier/lighter than usual after using any hormone based emergency contraceptive. If you are concerned about the delayed period it is best to consult a doctor. :)
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor August 23, 2021

I took a clearblue ovulation test last month and it was positive… then i fell very sick now my period is late…. i did a test and im not pregnant…i dont understand

Blessing August 23, 2021

Hi Dechen! If you are still concerned about pregnancy after taking a test it is best to consult a doctor. :) -Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor August 16, 2021

Hi Nkem! If you are still concerned about the delayed period after reading this post it is best to consult a doctor. As we are not medical professionals we cannot offer diagnosis.
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor August 16, 2021

I have missed my period for 15 days now and all home pregnancy test are negative…..
Am i pregnant or i should wait….

Dechen August 16, 2021

My menstruation has been delayed for 16days now, am not having any signs of pregnancy. The last day I had sex was 2days after I missed my period. What cause the delay please.

Nkem favour August 16, 2021

I had my period 4th of this month and was supposed to see it again by 25th of this same month but it hasn’t come…
I’m sick of fever tho

Osas August 16, 2021

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