Missing your period can undoubtedly make you nervous, especially if you’re not yet planning on getting pregnant. But before you go all paranoid and buy every pregnancy test box in your local pharmacy, you might want to take into consideration the fact that there may be another factor behind the skip. Here are a few common reasons why Aunt Flo is late:

1. You’re stressed.

Any woman who has had a pregnancy scare knows that the more stressed you are about not getting your period, the more likely your period won’t come. It’s not because the Fates are cruel and your body is playing tricks on you. It’s because the production of the stress hormone cortisol inhibits the body’s main sex hormone GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), which results in delayed menstruation.


2. You’ve either gained or lost a good deal of weight.

Sudden weight shifts can affect your hypothalamus, which is the gland that controls a lot of your body’s internal processes, including your monthly period. When you lose too much weight, your hypothalamus stops releasing estrogen, while becoming overweight too quickly can cause it to produce too much. The hormonal imbalance results in irregular bleeding, or even none at all.

3. You over-exercise.

Extended periods of exercise or extreme physical activity can trigger amenorrhea, a condition wherein your body does not complete your menstrual cycle, making you skip your period for more than three months. While working out is good for you, do remember that too much of it means that you’re subjecting your body to physical stress, and missing your period is a sign that you need to take it easy.


4. You have a thyroid disorder.

Metabolism is controlled and regulated by your thyroid gland, so if you’re experiencing any issues with it, there is a chance that you get hormonal imbalance, which may cause irregularities in your mestrual cycle.

5. You have Polycystic Ovary Symptom (PCOS)

When you’re diagnosed with PCOS, that means your body produces too much of the male hormone androgen, causing cysts to form in your ovaries. Symptoms include irregular or missed periods, excessive hair grown on the face, oily skin, and weight gain. While there is no cure for PCOS, symptoms can be lessened and even eliminated. However, this condition can also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and depression.

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Remember, if you feel that stress is not behind your missed period, or if you haven’t had your menstruation in more than two months and your symptoms are increasingly becoming uncomfortable, immediately consult your OB gynecologist.

Sources: NHS.uk, Everyday Health, What to Expect, Healthline, WebMD, Berkley.edu, PCOSAA.org

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