Be careful! This material is completely educational. Self-treatment can be dangerous for your health! Only a health professional is able to make out an exact diagnosis, choose a correct treatment, and give advice considering your specific case.
Having your period on time indicates not only that the woman isn’t pregnant, but also that systems of organs in her body are working as they should. A stable menstrual cycle tells us there are no illnesses which can be caused by physical as well as psychological disorders in the female organism.
The most likely cause of a missed period
If you have a regular sexual partner a possible reason for a missed period is pregnancy. Is your period late for 3 days? It’s completely normal; there is no cause for panic. But if the absence of your usual period is more prolonged you should buy an express-test for pregnancy you can use at home or go to a clinic and let a doctor take your blood sample for a hCG test (human chorionic gonadotropin).
The second option is more reliable because in the early stages of pregnancy the hCG concentration in urine is minimal, but the content of this hormone in the blood is enough for an exact diagnosis. There can be situations when the home pregnancy test is negative but the blood hCG test is positive. If you suspect you’re pregnant you’d better rely on a hCG test.
Missed period but not pregnant – possible reasons
If the medics are absolutely sure a woman is not pregnant but there is still no period one can reasonably suspect some illness. The most common diseases which can cause menstrual cycle disruptions are:
- Uterine fibroids (a benign tumor that takes a shape of a tangle of smooth muscle fibers. The main symptoms of this disorder are the sensation of heaviness in your lower abdomen and spasmodic, or sometimes acute, pains in the same area);
- Salpingoophoritis (or the appendages inflammation). This disease is caused by the ingress of different pathogens into the fallopian tubes. Here are the main symptoms: common ailment (this usually includes strong pains in your lower back and abdomen), raised body temperature, sometimes aching pain in your groin, and white vaginal excreta.
- Polycystic ovaries (a hormonal disease), the main symptom of which is an irregular menstrual cycle. Your menstruation can be late for a period from 5 days to half a year. If not treated properly, the disease can cause ovarian dysfunction (absence of ovulation) that ends in infertility;
- Endometritis (uterine disease, the inflammation of its mucous membrane).
Birth control pills also affect your periods’ frequency. As a rule, the frequency of your menstrual cycle matches the intervals between the intakes of your pills. If you’ve decided to stop taking them there can be a missed period because you usually need about 6 months for the restoration of your hormonal background.
During this time a woman can notice brown excreta which shouldn’t be a cause for concern if only they are not a constant occurrence and are not accompanied by painful sensations.
Missed period but not pregnant – other illnesses
Missed period can be a symptom of some disease that doesn’t concern gynecology at all. Such diseases are:
- Endocrine system disorders (thyroid nodules);
- Serious infectious diseases (hepatitis, tuberculosis, etc.).
Besides the missed period which can be completely absent for a time span lasting from 10 days to a few years, these diseases have a number of other symptoms.
Missed period but not pregnant – additional factors that have an influence on your menstrual cycle
Sudden weight loss
When you abruptly lose weight your body is stressed and switches the reproductive function off till the more favorable conditions. Due to all this, the menstruations are not coming or there are longer intervals between your periods.
The critical weight for a woman is 99 pounds, and if your weight doesn’t reach this necessary minimum you can forget about the regular menstrual cycle and getting pregnant fast. In this case, you’ll have to eat more calories and have a healthier diet so that your menstrual cycle becomes normal again.
Excessive body weight
A missed period caused by the excess weight is a common occurrence that is easily explained by hormonal imbalance. Estrogen which causes you to menstruate regularly is accumulated in the thick fatty layers – this can be the reason for a missed period or the absence of periods at all. If you try and lose excess weight you can recover your menstrual cycle.
Missed period but not pregnant? Sometimes it’s just stress. The reason for it lies in brain activity disruptions which are caused by stressful situations. The cerebral cortex and hypothalamus are regulating the proper functioning of the uterus and the ovaries, thus, the missed period depends directly on the woman’s mental state.
Parts of the brain send signals about unpleasant conditions for giving birth to the reproductive organs – that leads to the ovulation not happening which means no period. Severe stress can trigger a menstrual cycle disruption that can continue for a few years.
If you put a strain on your body by doing too much physical exercise it can lead to a missed period as well. We are not speaking about doing sports which is beneficial for your health and necessary for keeping you in shape. The usual cause of a missed period, in this case, is an immense physical strain on a female body when a woman wears down her organism without going through proper training at first so that there are disruptions in the functioning of her reproductive system.
This condition is often noticed in women who have panic fear of pregnancy and being a mother or, to the contrary, those who are trying for a long time without any success to conceive. Besides a missed period, such women usually also experience the following symptoms: breast swelling, growing belly, and sensations similar to morning sickness.
You can experience a missed period if there has been a sudden change in climate. The organism has the acutest reaction to staying under the boiling sun for a long time. A missed period can also be caused by frequent visits to a tanning salon. This is a temporary symptom, and when your body is acclimatized or the exposure to the sun ceases your menstrual cycle will be normal again.
Harmful chemicals, cigarettes, alcohol, narcotics should be avoided as much as possible by a woman if she is planning to conceive, bear, and give birth to a baby and become a mother. All these factors have a negative impact on the functioning of the reproductive system, and due to this fact, there can be a late or missed period or a long absence of a menstruation.
Some medications affect the frequency of your menstrual cycle, among them: antidepressants, anabolics, antitubercular medications, diuretics, etc. If your missed period happened about a week after you had started taking some medication it makes sense to discuss it with a doctor and choose an alternative.
After turning 45 women usually experience irregular cycles. As a rule, it happens because of the reproductive system is declining. The main symptoms of a menopause besides a missed or irregular period are sleeping disorders, mood swings, and urination problems.
Missed period – the immediate course of action
- Pass a blood test for hCG or do an express pregnancy test.
- Analyze the events of the last couple of months before the missed period. Maybe, there has been a change in climate, stressful situations or other factors which don’t necessarily indicate health problems.
- If there is still no menstruation after a month you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. A health professional will perform all the necessary medical procedures and choose the course of treatment according to the test results.
A missed period shouldn’t pass without any attention: the timely detection of its causes and their elimination can prevent severe reproductive system disorders and, in that way, help a woman to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby.