Late menstruation: possible causes, explanations

Why Is My Period Late? Your period is 4 days, 5 days, or later, And you wonder what is happening to you. You may also have taken a pregnancy test without having your period, yet it is negative. It is quite possible to have an absence of periods but not be pregnant, and it is a common problem in gynecology. Here is Qare's medical explanation of this critical topic in a woman's life.

Delayed Menstruation

Late menstruation, what can be the causes?

Late menstruation, what can be the causes?

Of course, the first possible cause of a late period is pregnancy. But in fact, there are many other possible explanations, biological, physical, or simply related to your rhythm of life.

Is stress a cause of late periods?

Menstruation occurs 14 days after ovulation when a pregnancy has not started. But in the event of occasional or chronic stress, if you are in a state of tension or worry, the body can put ovulation to sleep to protect itself. And then the rules are delayed or disappear for a while. Don't worry, it's temporary, and it doesn't matter.

How many days can stress delay menstruation?

We cannot define a precise duration, depending on each person.
  • It will probably be a brief delay in acute stress stroke, a few days.
  • On the other hand, if you experience significant and lasting stress, your periods may simply stop for a few months.
Consult a gynecologist, doctor, or midwife without hesitation if you are worried. In any case, if your periods have disappeared for three months because of other pathologies, then stress can disrupt your menstrual cycle.

Does the Pill Stop Your Period?

The pill puts your natural cycle to sleep. The discharge of blood that appears each month is not a period since the pill blocks ovulation. These are called withdrawal bleeding, and They are generally less abundant than rules and sometimes absent.
However, a delay in menstruation on the pill should lead to a search for pregnancy: it can happen to have pregnancy on the medication (forgetting a tablet, episode of vomiting or diarrhea after taking a pill canceling its effectiveness, etc.).

Some pills can also make your period disappear entirely: progestogen pills or pills are taken continuously, and it does not mean that you are pregnant. And if you stop taking the pill, it may take a few months for your period to return, and that's completely normal.

What about IUD Birth Control?

  • Hormonal IUDs (IUS) contain a hormone that blocks ovulation. With this type of contraception, periods are less abundant or even absent depending on the hormonal dosage of the IUS.
  • On the other hand, copper IUDs (IUDs) have no hormonal action, so the periods are present, and their regularity is not modified. A late period with an IUD should lead to a search for the possibility of pregnancy.

Biological reasons: adolescence or menopause

The first cycles can be very irregular in adolescence, sometimes very short with comparable periods, sometimes with interruption times. For example, there can be 41 days without a period once, then 28 days the next time, then 36 days without a period. A woman's cycle takes one year to pick up its stride. After a year, it may still be helpful to consult a gynecologist or a midwife to take stock.
When menopause is on the horizon, periods can again become irregular. It's pre-menopause: the cycles are longer or disappear from time to time. We speak of menopause when the rules have disappeared for at least 1 year.

Other causes of late periods

Other psychological and physical causes can explain a late period or amenorrhea (the scientific name for the absence of periods):
  • A significant psychological shock: bereavement, dismissal, depression
  • A change of pace of life: if you travel to the other side of the world with jet lag, for example. Or if you work at night, in staggered hours. Nurses and flight attendants are familiar with this situation.
  • Many women have noticed a delay in their periods with the confinement situation. There is nothing abnormal about it: confinement generates stress in some people, a feeling of latent anxiety. And at the same time, it is a severe upheaval in our way of life.
  • Intensive sport: this is a phenomenon known to top-level sportswomen. Menstruation may become less frequent or disappear for several months.
  • Rapid weight gain or, more often, rapid weight loss or anorexia.
  • Certain medications, including some antidepressants.
Good to know: a late period can also signify other underlying pathologies. Do not hesitate to consult your gynecologist or your midwife if you are not sure of the reason for your amenorrhea.

How Late Can a Period Be? When to Be Concerned

We cannot quantify a late period, depending on each woman. If your period is like clockwork, you'll start wondering when your period is 3 or 4 days late. If your cycles are very irregular on the contrary, a late period of fewer than 10 days means nothing. Generally speaking, the length of the female process can vary each month slightly. So we can't talk about a late period before 7 days.
If you think you are pregnant, it is better to wait 8 days after the theoretical date of your period to take a test; so you will be sure of the result. A urine test performed too early may be falsely negative.

From when to consult the doctor?

Are you more than 1 month late in your period? Do not hesitate to speak to a doctor or a midwife. It could be pregnancy or some other problem that needs to be treated. Often a blood test will be helpful if the cause is not apparent.
Suppose it is stress that explains the delay in your period. In that case, the practice of sophrology, relaxation, or any other form of alternative medicine can help you find a regular cycle and more significant serenity.
But remember: even when a late period is not due to pregnancy, it is rarely severe. On the contrary, it is a way for the body to adapt to circumstances and its environment.
Good to know: you may be pregnant if you have an early period followed by a late period. These periods may be metrorrhagia corresponding to the implantation of the embryo.

Questions about Periods Delay

What symptoms can you experience when your period is blocked?

In general, the blockage of the periods is not accompanied by particular symptoms. In case of pain associated with a delay in menstruation, it is imperative to consult.
One can also have dark, brown discharge or periods that can signify an infection when combined with an unpleasant odor. In this case, medical consultation will diagnose and propose the appropriate treatment.
A delayed period associated with brown discharge and lateralized pain in the lower abdomen may also indicate an ectopic pregnancy and lead to urgent consultation.