The truth is, most women instantly presume pregnancy when faced with the reality of a late period.
It’s literally what has been programmed in us….late period = pregnancy!
A late period can be an indicator of many other things besides pregnancy – all of which are definitely worth familiarising yourself with and whilst an abnormal cycle or a missed period can be concerning, it’s not always a cause for alarm.
Below are some of the reasons your period may decide to go AWOL.
This is a big one!
We often associate stress with sleepless nights, weight gain, weight loss and hair loss, to name a few but stress can impact your overall health and bodily functions including your periods.
The science is simple.
In a nutshell, the part of the brain that regulates hormone production, does not work well under stress which can result in erratic menstrual cycles or even absent periods altogether in some cases.
There is also a theory that suggests, when a woman is massively stressed, her body responds by shutting down the hormones needed to reproduce so she doesn’t find herself pregnant in a less than ideal situation.
Call it ‘animal instinct’, our bodies are extremely intelligent after all.
Removing the stress from your lives, will surely get your cycle back on track.
Sleep is crucial to the body.
Our body restores itself while we sleep so if we suddenly find ourselves being deprived of sleep, melatonin levels can be affected thus having a knock on effect on your periods – melatonin plays a part in regulating your menstrual cycle.
Be kind to your body and aim for those 8 hours plus each night.
Certain medications (prescription and over the counter) can interrupt your natural menstrual cycle because of the effect they many have on your hormones.
Some antibiotics, antidepressants and contraceptive pills are guilty of this so it’s well worth having a word with your GP if you find you have to start new meds!
A change in weight
A significant sudden weight loss or gain can affect your period as a certain amount of body fat is required to allow the body to ovulate and on the flip side, an increase in body fat could raise oestrogen levels which could prevent the release of your egg thus missing a period.
If you find yourself losing or gaining weight suddenly and you cannot see how i.e. no exercise or no overeating, have your GP give you the once over to rule out any possible underlying problems.
Too much exercise
Similar to the reason behind why your periods may be affected should you suddenly lose a lot of weight, excess exercise can be a cause too.
The sudden reduction in body fat due to the exercise, could be the reason.
Monitoring your exercise and being sensible with how much you do, is key here.
Whilst the above are just some of the everyday things that could affect your menstrual cycles, it is important to note, other factors such as smoking and excess alcohol consumption can also have an effect as could health related issues such as thyroid problems, fibroids, endometriosis and various other conditions.
Should you notice any changes in your body that leave you feeling concerned, a quick chat with your GP should help clear things up accordingly.