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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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. :)
I have flu lastweek so my period delay for 3 days it is normal?
Because everybody and every BODY is different, we recommend consulting a doctor to discuss any medical concerns.
Wishing you all the best!
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
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!
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!
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!
My period is 5 days late.I was on contraceptives anytime I had sex.could I be pregnant?
It could be that your period is late due to one of the above mentioned reasons. However, if you think you could be pregnant, it may be good to take another test or go to the doctor.
Ma’am i had sex on my last day of period but my boyfriend didn’t out his seman in my vagina but my period is not coming nd i tested but the result was negative
What should i do plz guide me
Please understand that we are no medical professionals and therefore cannot give medical advise. Regarding whether you should stop taking iron supplement, please consult a doctor.
I started taking iron supplements 3 weeks ago after a general-health blood test came back saying I had extremely low iron levels (I stopped eating red meat a year ago).
My period, which has always been like clockwork, is now 3 days late, I’m not pregnant either, but I’m supposed to try to get pregnant with this coming cycle, that is not coming.
I’m taking Spatone natural liquid iron and Garden of Life Raw Prenatal. Should I stop?
There is a lot that can affect the period and cause it to come later. If you worry a lot or think you could be pregnant it would be best to consult your doctor. Only your doctor can make the necessary examinations and determine whether you are pregnant or what could be causing your period to be late.
i’m 7 days late for my period but about 3 days before it i started putting cream up my vagina to clear out a yeast infection it was a 3 day process and i had to do it every night for 3 days does that affect my period?
Hi there. I have been sick with severe flu on and off for 5 weeks now. My expected date of ovulation was the 26th of June. On the 28th of June, things got pretty hot and heavy between a friend and I. He did not penetrate me, nor did he ejaculate. We were grinding and I was in my panties. I was supposed to get my period between the 9th and 15th of July, I still haven’t gotten it. On Wednesday, the 17th of July I took a pregnancy test, which came out negative. I took a repeat test this morning (21 July) and it also came out negative. What are my chances of getting pregnant from his pre-ejaculate fluid through my panties? If I’m not pregnant, why is my period so late. Please help me.
If you think you may be pregnant or if your period isn’t returning, it’s always a good idea to take a test. Otherwise, we recommend reaching out to your doctor. They should be able to provide you with valuable insight.
Wishing you all the best. <3
My last period was at the end of april , and ended may 1st for 5 days . I never had any sex , and im freaking out . Only sexual thing i had was recieving head from my boyfriend . Why is my period so late ? Someone please help .
My last period was during March 28 – April 3. According to the Flo calendar (I track my menstruation period.) Im supposed to get my period during the last week of April, the Flo app isnt accurate but the predicted period dates are usually close when I do get my period.
The first time I had intercourse during the month of April was on April 9, we were using condoms. We also had protected sex at April 24. Usually a week before my period my breasts become sore but before or even the last week of April I didnt feel any soreness so that’s when we became a bit worried.
We took a pregnancy test last May 6 and the result was negative. We also had sex the same day, unprotected but pull out.
Until now, i dont feel any sore breasts but I do know that sometimes I do get my period w/o that symptom but its been too long. I took another pregnancy test yesterday which was a negative and another this morning after I woke up which is also a negative.
The longest time I havent had period was 40 days but its been 50 now. Nothing hurts. Do u have any theories?