Panic! I have missed a period. Am I pregnant? You start calculating dates and think “No I really can’t be pregnant”. You get a pregnancy test kit just to make sure that you are not pregnant. The test is negative. A sigh of relief. Phew. Another alarming thought. “Why have I missed my period?” You get into panic mode again. You decide to wait for a couple of days and when there is still a no show, the alarm bells start ringing and you start imagining all sorts of dreadful things that could be happening to you.
Pregnancy is not the only reason for a missing period. If you want to get pregnant than a missed period is the answer to your prayers. If not then a problem. You then have the pregnancy to deal with. Here I discuss five other reasons for a late period.
One of the most common reasons for a late period for the women of today who are juggling home, family and career duties. Apart from other symptoms related with stress like headache, acne, and weight gain, a missed period is also a sign that your body is under emotional and physical stress. Under stress your body produces adrenalin and cortisol, which decide which of the bodily functions are essential until the stressful time is over.
If breastfeeding, then it is normal not to get your period as the hormone responsible for milk production, prolactin, also suppresses ovulation. However that is not to say that you will not get pregnant during this period. So always use protection if you are not prepared to have a back to back baby. For lactating mothers, your menstrual cycle usually resumes to its normal routine a few weeks after you have weaned your baby.
One of the most common reasons for a missed period is an overactive or an underactive thyroid gland. An overactive thyroid, hyperthyroidism, causes late and light periods while an underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism causes late and heavier periods. Weight gain is also associated with hypothyroidism.
Most women tend to hit menopause at about 51 years of age. However a few years before menopause actually kicks in, a woman undergoes a situation known as perimenopause. The body gradually starts making less oestrogen and starts preparing for menopause. Periods are usually irregular, light or heavy, short or long during this time. Women also tend to suffer from vaginal dryness, sleepless nights and hot flushes.
Medications, like hormonal contraceptives, play a big role in hormonal imbalance in women, which stops the body from ovulating. Women on the pill get a “fake period” when they stop taking the pill after the 28th Sometimes, the medication suppresses the hormones and you tend to have a light or no period at all. Some of these pills are designed to stop your period totally.
Now you know there are more reasons for your no show other then pregnancy. In the event that you have a missed period, and your pregnancy test is negative, it just might be an idea to make an appointment with your gynaecologist.