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.

88 comments

Hi Lynette, I had unprotected sex on march 30 and april 5th but my bf didn’t cum in me. I’ve been very sad and stressed this whole month. My uncle passed away on the 1st, i’ve been stressing over school + boys lol. my period tracker predicted my period to come on last thursday and never came. but i have a lil cramping / stomach pain & bowel movements been very active lol. two days ago i saw a lil pink discharge but my flow never started. I don’t have money or a way to get a pregnancy test so i have been doing diy test and they would come out negative. but i’m very confused and scared. i really hope i’m not pregnant, what do you think?

cici May 01, 2020

My girlfriend saw her last period 17 march 2020 and 15th aprill i had sex with her unfurtunately my condom broke inside her pussy i released without knowing its broke..pls can she be pregnant or not during this time i took in with her?

West May 01, 2020

Hi amy cheery ,I saw my period on the 19 of March expected to see it on the 15th of April but I make out with my bf on the 11th of March but he didn’t cum on me,but my period isn’t coming wat would be the problem….

Cheery May 01, 2020

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

Lunette Menstrual Mentor May 01, 2020

Hi Praise! We are so sorry to her about everything you have been through recently. If you are concerned about pregnancy it is definitely a good idea to take another test like you had planned. :)
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 14, 2020

Hi Aida! We are so sorry you have been ill! Unfortunately we cannot offer diagnosis for the delayed period as we are not medical professionals. However, being ill often affects the menstrual cycle and your recent illness and medications can have an affect on the period. Wishing you all the best!
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 14, 2020

Hi, so I had my period on the 4th -7th of March. I made out with my boyfriend on the 20th of March. He actually didn’t penetrate me because I’m still a virgin, but he cummed on me. The problem now is I’m was expecting my period on the 2nd of April but till date no period but I still get my normal cramp that comes before period and boobs full with nipples pain and this time around I feel like throwing up. Am I pregnant?

Louisa April 14, 2020

I had evacuation on 2nd Feb and i didn’t see my period since then i fear i am pregnant again. I had sex 20th/21st of march and i immediately took levonorgestrel pills after sex. A week ago i feel cold, feverish and felt like throwing up i went to see the doctor, told me i had PID which i took injection and pills for by his prescription. And i have treated it twice between March and Early this month. But i get this urge to vomit although not strong. I complaint and he gave me a deworming pill. Which i took. Still having the vomiting urge. I took a pregnancy test which turns negative. But am getting worried. I want to take another test.

Praise April 14, 2020

Hi,
I was hospitalized from January 31, 2020 to February 5,2020 due to bacterial pneumonia. I used to take Dostinex and Duphaston but from February till now, April , I don’t have my period and so I stop my Duphaston Due to absence of bleeding . Dostinex I didn’t take also as I have to see my endocrinologist every 3 months but due to current situation , COVID -19 , I ran out of medicine. What must be the reason of absence of menstruation ?
Thanks

Aida April 14, 2020

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

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 09, 2020

Hi Antonia! Heavy flow that goes through your pad is not considered spotting. Spotting is light bleeding only. If you are concerned that this heavy bleeding is not your period you should contact a doctor as soon as possible.
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 09, 2020

I had protected sex with my boyfriend them after periods occur then next month’s also periods occur bt now it’s delays..is I m pregnant

komal April 09, 2020

Hi! My period is about a week late. But I’ve noticed I’ve been spotting with the occasional heavy flow (as in it leaked through my pad). Is this normal? Should I be concerned? I’ve had my regular symptoms that I do when I’m on my period (bloating, mood swings) but I haven’t been cramping or consistently bleeding.

Antonia T April 09, 2020

Hi Ella! If you are experiencing light bleeding that is brownish or pinkish in color, then you are experiencing spotting. Spotting is not the same as your period, and can often happen during ovulation, which is typically in the middle of your cycle. You can read about this in our post Periods vs Spotting. :) If you are feeling concerned it is best to contact your doctor.
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 01, 2020

Hi Mutiat! We are so sorry to hear you are ill! Your menstrual cycle is likely the first to be shut down in order to get the rest of your body back up to speed, so don’t worry too much about the period being missed while you’re sick. Once you’ve nursed your body back to health your cycle is likely to return. :) If you’re feeling concerned it is a good idea to reach out to your doctor as well.
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor April 01, 2020

I used to menstruate every 1st of New month for five days but last month i saw my period on the 6th I went to the hospital and I was tested negative for pregnancy but they diagnosed infection and malaria and I was given drugs but this month till now I’ve not seen my period and I’m even sick…What could be wrong with me?

Mutiat April 01, 2020

Hi. My period for January came after 35 days, February came after 21 days and now March is starting after 13days of menstrual cycle. Should I be worried

Ella April 01, 2020

Hi Cy! 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. If you are feeling concerned about the delayed period it is best to discuss this with your doctor. :)
-Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor March 01, 2020

I have flu lastweek so my period delay for 3 days it is normal?

Cy March 01, 2020

Hi Amaka!

Because everybody and every BODY is different, we recommend consulting a doctor to discuss any medical concerns.

Wishing you all the best!
Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor December 29, 2019

I had an infection which was heavy..i saw my menses October before i started treatment that same October since then i haven’t seen my period yet..novermber no period now December is about ending and still no period..please i want to know why and what to do about it..thank you

Amaka December 29, 2019

Hi Star!

If you are feeling concerned about your delayed period after reading this post we highly recommend contacting a doctor. Because everybody and every BODY is different, only your doctor will be able to ask the necessary questions and run the appropriate tests to offer you accurate insight into your concern. Because we are not medical professionals we cannot offer medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Wishing you all the best!

Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor December 15, 2019

My period is late. Last month it was from about October 30 – November 4

I don’t know if I’m sick or something, but I did try to touch myself, but no sex. I saw a little blood but it wasn’t my period. It just lasted for about 2 – 3 hours then gone. It was only a small amount.

In the month of November, my cycle didn’t come. It was supposed to come every last 3 days of ever month! Pls help me!

Star December 15, 2019

Hi Rose,

If you think you might be pregnant we recommend taking an at home pregnancy test. If you are experiencing anything of concern we recommend contacting a doctor. As we are not medical professionals we cannot provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Wishing you all the best!

Team Lunette

Lunette Menstrual Mentor December 03, 2019

My period is 5 days late.I was on contraceptives anytime I had sex.could I be pregnant?

Rose December 03, 2019

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