The Anxiety of Awaiting
There is a similar reason periods start early or late, the effect of those mysterious variables known as hormones. However, women who are sexually active may be more concerned considering that there is a possibility of pregnancy.
If you get anxious due to your period being late, go over this list of possible reasons and check off anything that's unlikely. You may be able to find the story your body wants to tell you.
01. Possibility of pregnancy
Many women experience changes in their menstrual cycle after intercourse even if they’re not pregnant. Stress, birth control, and intense physical movements can also affect your menstruation.
Experts recommend taking a pregnancy test if your period is late for more than five to seven days.
Pregnancy can be accurately determined after two weeks or more from the time of intercourse. See a doctor to get a blood test if you think you may be pregnant as your period continues to be late even after the negative result of the pregnancy test or if you experience other symptoms.
There could be other health conditions if you're certain that you're not pregnant. See a doctor in case of any of the following symptoms along with multiple missed or frequently late periods:
- Unusually heavy bleeding
- Severe pain
- Vomiting and nausea
- Pressure on the lower abdomen.
If you're concerned about late periods with no particularly suspicious symptoms examine the small and significant reasons that can delay your period to figure out how to respond appropriately
02. Changes in daily life
Dietary intake or exercises different from your usual routine can affect the hormones and change your menstrual cycle. If you have started a new meal plan or exercise routine, this may be the reason.
Strenuous exercise can lead to irregular periods or cessation of your period completely. Burning more calories than what you consume could also affect your menstrual cycle. If you don't have enough energy, the body cannot produce reproductive hormones for normal ovulation. Female athletes who undergo high-intensity training for a few hours every day often experience an irregular menstrual cycle.
Early, irregular, and missed periods are often associated with weight changes. Drastic weight gain or loss can alter hormone levels, leading to irregular periods. Extreme diets, stomach surgery, or eating disorders can change the menstrual cycle. When the body is in starvation mode, it reserves energy for essential life functions like breathing and stops producing reproductive hormones.
Stress is one of the common causes of early menstruation along with many chemical changes in the body. Your period could also be late. The hormones may not work properly if you have recently experienced anxiety or a traumatic event.
If there are significant changes (travel, vacation, etc.) in your normal routine, your body may change the way it controls your hormones. If your sleep patterns have significantly changed, it can affect your hormones and cause your period to come early. These changes will return to normal once your schedule becomes stable.
03. Life cycle
Menopause is a farewell to menstruation. People experience various changes before and after menopause. Hormones, especially estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), can change considerably. For some people, their periods can start early due to an increase in FSH levels. Common and natural menopause is not a health issue that requires medical treatment. However, appropriate treatment is needed if you experience early menopause or any of the following symptoms:
- Severe bleeding that soaks the menstrual pad/tampon within two hours
- New or rapidly worsening symptoms, disrupting daily life
- Pain or bleeding during or after intercourse
Women typically get their first period between the ages of 12 and 15. Hormones are imbalanced for the first few years (up to 6 years) after starting your period, and the menstrual cycle may be irregular. Puberty is a natural phase, and it generally does not need medical intervention. However, starting your first period too early or too late may give rise to the need for hormone therapy. As those who have experienced these changes and confusion, let’s be there for our sisters and daughters so that they can get through this phase together.
04. Using Contraceptives
Hormonal contraceptives directly affect ovulation and menstruation. If you are taking birth control pills, the next cycle depends on when you started taking the pills and whether or not you have taken a placebo for a week. Intrauterine devices (IUDs, also known as loop contraceptives) can lead to irregular periods for the first two to three months. There could also be breakthrough bleeding as a side effect.
Most women can experience irregular periods without having a serious health condition. But our everyday life gets easier if we can predict our period. Let’s start with small habits that can help us determine our regular cycle.
☑️ Have regular and sufficient sleep patterns
- If you work nights make sure to sleep in a dark, quiet environment during the day. This can help the biological clock work properly.
☑️ Eat healthy and balanced meals
☑️ Regularly exercise at an appropriate intensity for your body
☑️ Maintain a healthy weight for you
☑️ Regularly visit your obstetrician/gynecologist