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8 reasons your period is late

Worried because your period is late? Do not start saving for diapers yet, missed or late periods happen for many reasons other than pregnancy.

There are also two instances in a woman’s life when it’s totally normal for her period to be irregular: when it first begins, and when menopause starts. 

For most women, the period comes every 28 days. In others, a normal and healthy menstrual cycle can come every 21 to 35 days. 

Sometimes, periods are late and while the first suspect is usually pregnancy, there are several other reasons that can cause periods to delay.

Your periods can also be late because of at least one of the following reasons:

  1. Stress

    A little stress doesn’t hurt but chronic stress can affect your cycle. Prolonged or high levels of stress can affect the hormones that regulate the ovaries leading to delayed or missed periods. It’s good to remember that what’s considered stressful to one woman may not be stressful to another.

  2. Big change in body weight

    Have you lost or gained a lot of weight? A major loss or gain in weight can affect your monthly cycle. Health problems especially eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia have been linked to missed or delayed periods.

    Body fat impacts the amount of estrogen hormone your body produces, and too much or too little estrogen can affect both ovulation and menstruation.

  3. Contraceptives

    When you go on or off birth control, you may experience a change in your monthly cycle. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin hormones which prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. The same thing can happen when you are on IUD, implants, or shot.

  4. Intense athletic activity

    Intense athletic training can be associated with irregular periods or missed periods. Excessive and rigorous exercises lower estrogen levels, a hormone that regulates your reproductive system. Some female athletes may miss their period for six months or longer due to rigorous exercises.  

  5. Medication

    Certain medications can impact the regularity of your menstrual cycle. If you are on medication, it is possible that one of its side effects is irregular periods. This also includes certain birth control medications.  

  6. Certain diseases

    Certain illnesses can delay your period. This is especially true for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and pituitary tumor, thyroid disease, and celiac disease. Each of these can affect your menstrual cycle in different ways. For example, poorly controlled diabetes can lead to delayed period because hormonal changes are linked to changes in blood sugar.

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) causes hormonal imbalance in your body which, in turn, causes infrequent or prolonged menses. Women with PCOS may have excess levels of androgen (male hormone) which may be manifested by excess facial or body hair.

  7. Perimenopause

    If you are in your late 40s and above, you may experience delayed periods because you are menopausal. The irregularity of your periods is due to a decrease in estrogen hormone. In some cases, women below 45 years may also experience delayed or missed periods due to early menopause.

  8. Travelling

    Long-distance travel can mess with your body’s clock, which can also have an impact on the regularity of your periods. It may either cause your periods to come early, late, or miss.

Your doctor can diagnose the exact cause for your irregular or missed periods and offer treatment. It is important to keep a record of your periods to show your doctor. Visit your doctor for a more accurate diagnosis.

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Recent Comments (58)

    1. Hi, if you feel something is…

      Hi, if you feel something is off then definitely see your doctor.

    2. Can one get pregnant during…
      Can one get pregnant during menses

      1. Hi Rose, 

        The chances are…

        Hi Rose, 

        The chances are very low but not totally impossible. Note that the likelihood of getting pregnant starts to increase again with each passing day, even though you are still on your period. If your ovulation starts soon after your periods, it is possible to conceive through sperm that have survived. Remember that sperm can survive up to 5 days inside a woman’s system. If you have a 21 day period, ovulation happens around day 7 from the start of your period and this means that your most fertile days are days 5,6, and 7. If you have irregular periods as well, ovulation may happen sooner thus increasing chances of getting pregnant. In short, the chances are low but not zero. 

    3. I’m just wondering if there…
      I’m just wondering if there’s something that can be done to increase chances of hormones,

      1. Hi Mayre, 

        What do you mean…

        Hi Mayre, 

        What do you mean by increasing chances of hormones? 

  1. i slept with my man 3days to…
    i slept with my man 3days to my periods then I’m very weak

  2. Hello Anonymous, thank you…

    Hello Anonymous, thank you for reaching out to us. We are sorry you are going through a hard time. Have you considered taking a pregnancy test or visited the doctor?

  3. i was somehow worried but am…
    i was somehow worried but am now okay thanks

    1. Hi Yvonne, thank you for…

      Hi Yvonne, thank you for your feedback, we appreciate it.

  4. I started my periods on 7th…
    I started my periods on 7th last month then went to visit my boyfriend on 19th the same month and now this month haven’t seen my periods am so much worried could it be possible that am pregnant

    1. Hello Nicole, thank you for…

      Hello Nicole, thank you for coming to us with this. Avoiding pregnancy while having unprotected sex needs you to track your period. Your cycle begins on the first day of your period to the first day of your next period.

      To know how long your cycle is, you will need to track it closely for a few months. Most women’s cycle’s last between 28 and 30 days. However, yours may be longer or shorter. Day one through seven are considered to be infertile. Day eight through to day 19 are considered to be your most fertile. From day 20 to day 26 to 30 are considered to be your infertile days.

      This article should provide more information. Please remember, that using this method can prevent pregnancy but you will still be exposed to STI’s. This method is not full proof and pregnancy could still occur.

    2. ? ??????? ?? ??? ???? 6…
      ? ??????? ?? ??? ???? 6 ????????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??? ???????? ??? ? ???? ??? ?????? ???????? ?????

  5. Hi Am, 

    Did you mean that…

    Hi Am, 

    Did you mean that you had sex with your boyfriend and later tested for pregnancy and got a negative result? 

    1. my periods were supposed to…
      my periods were supposed to start on 2 last month but it did not start i had sex on 9 the same month till now i have not seen my periods what could be wrong

      1. Hi there, 

        There are many…

        Hi there, 

        There are many reasons that can cause periods to delay. In your case, it could be anything including pregnancy. I advise you to first take a pregnancy test. If the result is negative, visit the nearest hospital. 

  6. Hi,hv bn in a marriage for…
    Hi,hv bn in a marriage for five years without a child what could be the problem

    1. Hi Jne, 

      I am so sorry to…

      Hi Jne, 

      I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Fertility problems can be caused by many factors and only a doctor can establish the exact cause in your case. Have you and your spouse visited a doctor for tests? If not, it would be important to do so. In the meantime, check out this article on fertility: All about fertility and infertility and How can a man know he’s fertile?. Also read this article on how to increase your chances of getting pregnant: Tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant also

  7. Hello my last periods was…
    Hello my last periods was last month on 6th,was expectating next to be on first, but haven’t seen,i have test pregnancy results is negative, what might be the problem

    1. Hi Mosnik, 

      There are…

      Hi Mosnik, 

      There are several reasons that could delay a period. While it is often assumed that the only cause is pregnancy, there are other reasons such as stress, significant change in body weight, contraceptives etc. Read this article to learn in more detail: 8 reasons your period is late

  8. Kuna any effect ya menopause
    Kuna any effect ya menopause

    1. Hi Juster, 

      Yes, there are…

      Hi Juster, 

      Yes, there are some things that a woman may notice when leading up to menopause, or are already in menopause. These include vagina dryness, sleep disturbances, fatigue, mood swings, absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation, low libido, etc. Of course, this is different from woman to woman, some women have mild signs while others will have more severe signs. 

  9. Hello I had sex with my…
    Hello I had sex with my boyfriend and day after I finished my period
    Then after a day also o took contraceptive is there possibility of being pregnant?

    1. Hi Lydoa, 

      It depends; If…

      Hi Lydoa, 

      It depends; If you have a regular 21 days cycle, there is a small chance you could get pregnant since ovulation happens around day 7 after the first day of your period, your fertile days are 5,6 and 7. Remember that sperm can stay in a woman’s system for up to 5 days so conception could have happened on day 5 or 6.

      When you say you took contraceptives – do you mean emergency contraception? Or hormonal IUD? Implant? Combination pills? injection?. These contraceptives become effective right away if a doctor inserts them within 5-7 days of a period starting. If you had any of these, they can significantly reduce chances of getting pregnant. But, remember that none of them is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. 

  10. BT ave bn having normal…
    BT ave bn having normal cycle,why delay now?

    1. Hi there, 

      It could be due…

      Hi there, 

      It could be due to any of the reasons listed in the article, any others. If you have concerns, go to the hospital for medical advise. 

  11. I engage in sex on my…
    I engage in sex on my ovulation day but immediately took P2, now am 3days lateis it possible wm pregnant?

    1. Hi Maureen, 

      First, note…

      Hi Maureen, 

      First, note that P2 is not 100% effective thus there is a chance that you could have conceived. This is especially likely since you had sex during ovulation. Second, P2 tends to affect your period cycle thus it could be that your cycle has been disrupted. The best way to confirm is to wait for two weeks after having sex and then take a pregnancy test to confirm if you are, indeed, pregnant. 

  12. I have not seen my period,…
    I have not seen my period,,for one month,,and then I have not slept with my boy,,,wat could be the problem

    1. Hi Grace, 

      It could be…

      Hi Grace, 

      It could be because of any of the reasons listed in this article. These include stress, body weight, contraceptives, and others. In case you do not receive your period soon, visit a hospital for tests and treatment. 

  13. Am 6 days late and i have…
    Am 6 days late and i have done a pregnancy its negative then last month i received my periods two times

    1. Hi Am, 

      Do you have a…

      Hi Am, 

      Do you have a regular period? If yes, what’s your cycle? Could it be that you received your period at the beginning and end of last month because that’s possible if the cycle was regular and shorter, especially if you have a 21 days cycle. 

      Second, could you have taken any contraceptives e.g. P2? It tends to disrupt the period cycle. Also, any of the factors listed in the article could have led to the delay. If your period is late by at least 30 days, go to the hospital. 

  14. I have a question, have been…
    I have a question, have been using depo. As a family planning, and have been having my periods every 20th of the month, I had my last period in may..and as I am writing this, have not seen my period.. And have been having backpain, a lot of saliva in my mouth, frequent vaginal secretions, and dry lips. What could be the problem?

    1. Hi Judith, 

      Kindly visit a…

      Hi Judith, 

      Kindly visit a doctor for tests and treatment. The symptoms you mention could indicate a problem with your body. Well wishes!

    1. Hi Lydia, 

      That too. In…

      Hi Lydia, 

      That too. In this article, we wanted to focus on other factors other than pregnancy. 

  15. Hi
    What could be aproblem…

    What could be aproblem when alady using contraceptives after giving birth and its been 7 years now ,she need to get another one but in vain

    1. Hi Mercy, 

      There are…

      Hi Mercy, 

      There are several factors that affect fertility in both men and women. These include age, weight, timing, the timing for sex, and drugs. The best way to find out what could be affecting fertility is to visit undergo medical tests at a medical facility. In the meantime, here are tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant: Healthy tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant 

  16. hey am molly I want second…
    hey am molly I want second baby bt my period change every time sometimes it even 3month without it

    1. Hi Molly, 

      3 months is a…

      Hi Molly, 

      3 months is a long time without periods especially if you didn’t start having your periods a few years ago. Kindly visit a doctor to know why you are missing your periods. Kindly ensure that you do not ignore this because while it could be as simple as a hormonal imbalance issue, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. 

  17. I’m 5 days late. No symptoms…
    I’m 5 days late. No symptoms of anything. Just Stress. Haven’t tested for pregnancy yet.

    1. Hi ano325i, 

      The only and…

      Hi ano325i, 

      The only and best way to be sure is to take a pregnancy test. 

  18. hallo, am worried that my…
    hallo, am worried that my periods have delayed and after taking 2 pregnancy tests the results are all negative, what may be the cause of delayed periods?

    1. Hi there, 

      It could be…

      Hi there, 

      It could be because of one or several factors mentioned in this article. These may include stress, certain contraceptives, certain medications, etc. 

  19. I have missed my periods for…
    I have missed my periods for two months wat could be the problem

    1. Hi Shalyn, 

      Missed periods…

      Hi Shalyn, 

      Missed periods can be caused by various factors. Of course, the first suspect is always pregnancy but other factors such as stress, certain medications, contraceptives can also delay your periods. Perhaps, you can take a pregnancy test first to eliminate the possibility of a pregnancy. If you are not pregnant, visit the doctor so that it can be determined the exact cause of the delay. 

  20. I last received my peeiods…
    I last received my peeiods on 24th August this year and then had unprotected sex with my boyfriend on 19th Sept. Since then I have not seen my periods again but I don’t have pregnancy signs, what might be the problem please

    1. Hi Lilian,

      Take a pregnancy…

      Hi Lilian,

      Take a pregnancy test. Not all women have early pregnancy signs thus the best way to know if you’re truly pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If the pregnancy test is negative, see your doctor. 

  21. Hi
    Am worried…am not…

    Am worried…am not pregnant confirms a test twice… Last month I received my menses twice that’s by the end of September and again mid October.. This month am yet what could it be

    1. Hi Matilder, 

      There are…

      Hi Matilder, 

      There are several factors that came make your periods late. As per the article, these include stress, certain contraceptives, a significant change in body weight, etc. It is hard to predict what has caused the delay here. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor about them. You will answer a few questions and your doctor will establish what has led to the delay. 

  22. I had an abortion like five…
    I had an abortion like five weeks ago and had unprotected sex like two weeks ago I’m getting an abdominal pain and having some spotting with fatigue and I’m afraid I could be pregnant I have the fear of taking a test.The spotting had a clot could that be the implantation spotting still

    1. Hi there, 

      The best thing…

      Hi there, 

      The best thing to do is to either take a home pregnancy test and then visit the nearest health facility immediately. 

  23. Thanx i hv learnt alot but i…
    Thanx i hv learnt alot but i would like to know what safe days are?

    1. Hi Pretty, 

      Safe days are…

      Hi Pretty, 

      Safe days are days when a woman can have sex without contraception and not risk becoming pregnant, or have a very low risk of getting pregnant. 

  24. I was to receive my period…
    I was to receive my period on 15 Jan but it has delayed upto date

    1. Hi there, 

      If you haven’t…

      Hi there, 

      If you haven’t had unprotected sex meaning you aren’t pregnant, any of the factors mentioned in this article, and others could have caused the delay. It is possible that you’ve been too worried about getting your period that your stress levels may have risen this leading to delayed periods. 

  25. I learned that the white fluid in the vagina is always the normal colour. Thank you you made me know that

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