Other reasons for a late menstrual period
Severe emotional stress can also play a role in a late period. Studies have found that stress - whether it is caused by work, school, family issues, or relationship concerns - can directly affect centres in the brain responsible for controlling hormone release.
Your brain must release certain hormones in order to trigger the process of ovulation and menstruation. But if you are very stressed or fatigued, this can affect the time at when your brain releases these hormones or it can affect the level of the hormones that are released.
This can delay a period for two weeks or even longer.
If you have missed a period for an unknown reason, it is probably a good idea to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Be sure to get enough sleep, to engage in sufficient exercise, and to take time for yourself each day. If your periods are consistently late or absent, you may need to see your health care provider.
Excessive exercise can lead to a disruption in your normal menstrual cycle. Many professional athletes experience a complete loss of their menstrual period as a result of too much exercise; this is known as exercise-associated amenorrhea.
Exercise causes your body to lose excess fat and lay down muscle throughout the body. When performed in moderation, exercise is a great way to stay in shape, reduce stress, and reduce the risks associated with obesity.
However, if you engage in too much exercise, your body will lose too much body fat. This, in turn, will cause a decline in the amount of oestrogen your body produces (because fat cells release oestrogen) and cause an interruption in your menstrual cycle.
If you are exercising heavily, it is a good idea to cut back when you are trying to conceive. Ask your health care provider about a level of exercise that is healthy for you. You may even need to eliminate strenuous exercise completely until your period returns.
Certain medications that you may be taking for other conditions can sometimes interfere with your menstrual cycle.
Medications that are known to cause period problems include:
- oral corticosteroids
- thyroid medications
- chemotherapy druges
If your period continues to come late, or not at all, consult with your health care provider regarding any medications that you may be taking.
Find more information on abnormal menstrual cycles at Menstrual Delay and Skipping.