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Missed periods stress: Can Stress Cause You to Skip a Period? – Cleveland Clinic


Can Stress Cause You to Skip a Period? – Cleveland Clinic

There’s everyday stress, and then there’s period-skipping stress. What makes them different? What kind of stress causes your body to skip a period? (Pandemics, perhaps?) And is it safe to go months without a period?

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Ob/gyn Swapna Kollikonda, MD, gives us the low-down on how stress might wage war on your menstrual cycle.

Stress impacts your menstrual cycle

The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls your period. It’s sensitive to external factors like exercise, sleep, stress or family drama. When working correctly, your hypothalamus releases chemicals that stimulate the pituitary gland, which then stimulate your ovary to release the period-inducing hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Enter cortisol, which is a hormone your body makes when you’re under stress. It can wreak havoc on the hypothalamus/pituitary/ovary interaction and result in irregular periods.

“When under stress, your body produces cortisol. Depending on how your body tolerates stress, the cortisol may lead to delayed or light periods — or no period at all (amenorrhea),” says Dr. Kollikonda. “If stress continues, you can go without a period for a long time.”

How much stress is too much?

There are many levels of stress ranging from a bad hair day to pandemics that shut you in your home for months. How stress affects your menstrual cycle is based on your unique brain and body.

“There’s a continuum. Lighter stress may have lesser impacts, and heavy stress may have more dramatic impacts that last longer,” says Dr. Kollikonda. “The higher your cortisol levels, the more likely you are to have missing or irregular periods.”

If you’re someone who goes off the rails quickly, you may be more susceptible to problematic periods.

When to see your physician if you miss your period

If you’ve ruled out pregnancy as a cause, see a physician after three missed or dramatically different periods. Estrogen and progesterone have important roles beyond menstruation. They:

  • Stabilize your mood.
  • Promote bone health.
  • Support heart health.

“Sometimes, thyroid issues might interfere with hypothalamus/pituitary/ovary interactions resulting in disturbance of the menstrual cycle. Those conditions are generally easy to fix,” says Dr. Kollikonda. “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another condition that can impact the menstrual cycle due to a hormonal imbalance. So the first step is to rule out conditions that could be causing the period changes.”

Treatments for stress-related amenorrhea

“If you continue to skip periods, your body will have a hormonal imbalance. Talk to your doctor,” says Dr. Kollikonda. “Your doctor may prescribe contraceptive hormones that include estrogen and progesterone to correct the imbalance and regulate your cycle.

But before that, your doctor will likely recommend finding ways to de-stress and bring the cortisol levels down. You can crank down the stress level with:

  • Exercise.
  • Good nutrition.
  • Laughter.
  • Meditation.
  • Quality sleep.

“For more than half of my patients who dealt with infertility, the pandemic has actually decreased the stress that was impacting their cycle and ability to get pregnant,” says Dr. Kollikonda. “Because these women aren’t traveling as much and have reduced work stress, they have more time to connect with their partner. Many of my patients are going to see a baby boom early next year.”

Stress is personal — what’s cortisol-inducing to one woman may not be to another. “Tune in to your body to figure out what your stress triggers are, then work diligently to tamp them down,” says Dr. Kollikonda.

Can Stress Delay Your Period? Yes, and It’s a Common Reason

  • It’s normal for stress to delay a period, or even cause you to skip it entirely.  
  • Stress hormones are known to affect menstruation, and research has found that those with higher levels of perceived stress are more likely to miss a period. 
  • If your period is irregular or doesn’t occur for three months, you should talk with a gynecologist. 
  • This article was medically reviewed by Jamie Lipeles, DO, OB/GYN and founder of Marina OB/GYN. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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The majority of the time, periods arrive like clockwork. But sometimes, periods are late or skipped entirely. 

There are all sorts of reasons for a missed period. Pregnancy tops the list, of course. But other factors — including taking some medications, hormonal issues, and menopause — can also delay your period.  

In fact, stress is a common reason for a period that doesn’t arrive on schedule. 

“A woman’s menstrual cycle can be a great barometer for her stress level — both acute stress and chronic stress,” says Lisa Valle, DO, OB/GYN at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. 

Yes, stress can delay a period 

Stress leads to an increase in cortisol, known as the stress hormone. As this hormone increases, it “can wreak havoc on the menstrual cycle by altering the normal hormonal patterns that allow for ovulation and menstruation to occur,” says Valle. 

Hormones play an essential role in the menstrual cycle, so it’s not surprising that an increase in the cortisol hormone has an impact. 

Here’s how your cycle typically progresses: Hormones are released by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which in turn cause a response in the ovaries. “It is a fine, delicate balance between your hormones — estrogen and progesterone — that determines your menstrual flow,” Valle says. Stress upends these hormonal patterns. 

“This can result in a missed period, delayed bleeding, breakthrough bleeding, or an early period depending on when the stress occurs during the cycle,” Valle says. 

Stress can cause amenorrhea, or a missed period

According to Cleveland Clinic, amenorrhea is the absence of a monthly period. This can occur as a result of issues with the ovaries, reproductive organs, or hormones — and stress is a known cause. 

In a study that examined the connection between menstrual problems and stress, female students who had high perceived stress were four times more likely to experience amenorrhea. Other studies have found a similar connection between stress and irregular menstruation. 

Stress can also lead to a longer cycle, a condition known as oligomenorrhea, says Briana Livingston, MD, OB/GYN at MemorialCare Medical Group. A late or skipped period can be a cause of additional stress, notes Livingston, especially if you’re not trying to get pregnant.  

From your body’s perspective, the type of stress you’re experiencing doesn’t matter. “Any type of stress can affect your period. This can be emotional, mental or physical,” says Valle. 

 If you are stressed, Livingston advises trying

, exercising regularly, and discussing problems with loved ones or a mental health professional. The good news is that once your stress passes, your period should go back to normal. 

“When major stress in your life resolves, your period will almost always resume its regular schedule without any long lasting effects on your cycle or your fertility,” says Livingston.  

Depression can also affect your period 

Like stress, depression can also have an effect on hormones. Depression is one of the factors that can lead to amenorrhea, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The two conditions are often linked — people with chronic stress in their life have a higher risk of developing depression, notes the Mayo Clinic. 

There’s another consideration when it comes to depression and your period: Some antidepressant medications — including SSRIs — can increase the levels of a hormone called prolactin, according to a March 2015 review published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. This can delay your period or skip it entirely. 

Plus, people experiencing depression often shift their eating habits and experience a loss of appetite. Not eating sufficiently, and having a low body weight, are potential causes of amenorrhea, per the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

If your period is irregular — or doesn’t occur at all — for more than three months, you should talk to your gynecologist, Livingston says.  

Can Depression Make Your Period Late?

There are many reasons a woman’s period may be late or her cycle may go off schedule. An obvious one is pregnancy. Others include poor nutrition, excessive exercise, and long-term illness. A less obvious reason for amenorrhea or missing a period, however, is ​depression.

The link between mental health and reproductive health makes sense when you consider that nature does everything it can to create favorable conditions for reproduction.

If a woman is chronically stressed, anxious, sad, or upset, she’s really not in a physical or emotional position to go through a pregnancy and then take care of and nurture a child. Under these less than ideal conditions, the female reproductive system can shut down.

Watch Now: 7 Most Common Types of Depression

How Depression Affects the Menstrual Cycle

The stress hormone cortisol is primarily responsible for changes in a woman’s cycle when she’s depressed. As cortisol levels rise in response to stress, the hypothalamus, an organ in the brain that plays an important part in regulating the reproductive system, stops sending signals to the ovaries to do their job. 

Without this signal, ovulation (the monthly release of an egg from the ovary) is either delayed or stopped altogether. The result is a late period or sometimes no period at all.

The medical term for absent periods when there’s no pregnancy is amenorrhea, which also can be caused by health issues other than stress including problems with the hypothalamus, the pituitary glands, the ovaries, the uterus, or the vagina.

Pinpointing the Cause of a Missed Period

Of course, the first thing you should do if your period is late is to take a pregnancy test, which can be accurate as early as the first day of your missed period. If it’s negative and you don’t get your period in a few days or you completely skip it that cycle, or if you’re having chronic problems with menstruation, make an appointment to see your gynecologist.

She’ll likely do a repeat pregnancy test. If it’s negative, she’ll move on to some basic evaluations such as asking you about your medical history, doing a pelvic exam, and taking blood samples to check your hormone levels.

Diagnostic Tests

Depending on what these preliminary tests reveal, plus other basic factors such as your age, she may move on to more specific diagnostic methods, which may include:

  • Chromosome evaluation to look for chromosomal variations such as Turner syndrome
  • Genetic testing to see if you have fragile X syndrome
  • A hysteroscopy to examine the inside of your uterus
  • An MRI to check for a pituitary tumor
  • An ultrasound computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to make sure your reproductive organs are normal

Is Depression the Problem?

Amenorrhea caused by chronic stress and depression is called hypothalamic amenorrhea. If you tend to eat more or less than usual when you’re depressed and have gained or lost weight, that also could play a part in your menstrual irregularities.

If your doctor has determined that depression is behind your late or missed periods, getting back on track will be a matter of finding an effective way to reduce your stress and treat your depression.

Treatment Options

There are many different ways to treat irregular or absent periods depending on your overall mental health and menstrual irregularities. This can include a wait and see approach (if it’s only happened a handful of times), stress management strategies, therapy, and/or prescription medication.

Consult with your gynecologist or mental health care professional to determine the type of treatment plan that’s best for your physical and mental health.

Lifestyle Changes

Making an effort to manage stress will reduce your risk of becoming depressed and missing your period. In addition to eating a well rounded diet and practicing good sleep hygiene, try to incorporate stress-lowering activities into your day.

While there isn’t a one size fits all option when it comes to stress relief, a few ideas to consider include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Journaling
  • Light exercise (such as walking)
  • Meditation
  • Support groups (online or in-person)
  • Yoga

Prescription Medication

An antidepressant, such as Prozac (fluoxetine) or Zoloft (sertraline), can be an effective way to relieve symptoms of depression—but it’s not right for everyone. In addition to possible side effects, some antidepressants can even cause your period to be late or delayed.

You may even be prescribed oral contraceptives to create a regular schedule of withdrawal bleeds, however, combination birth control pills have been linked to depression, so make sure to alert your doctor to your mental health history. It may take some trial and error, but it is possible to get back to feeling normal and your body back to functioning normally.

Stopped or missed periods – HSE.ie

There are many reasons why a woman may miss her period, or why periods might stop altogether.

Most women have a period every 28 days or so. It’s common to have a shorter or longer cycle than this (from 21 to 40 days).

Some women do not always have a regular menstrual cycle. Their period may be early or late. How long it lasts and how heavy it is may vary each time.

Why your periods might stop

Common causes of periods stopping include:

Periods can also stop as a result of a medical condition. These include heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, an overactive thyroid, or premature menopause.


You might be pregnant if you’re sexually active and your period is late. Pregnancy is a common reason why periods unexpectedly stop. It can sometimes happen if the contraception you’re using doesn’t work.

It might be that your period is just late. You could wait a few days to see if it arrives. You can do a pregnancy test to confirm if you’re pregnant.

You can get pregnant in the days after your period is normally due. This can happen if the release of an egg (ovulation) is delayed.


If you’re stressed, your menstrual cycle can:

  • become longer or shorter
  • stop altogether
  • become more painful

Try to avoid becoming stressed by making sure you have time to relax. Regular exercise can help you relax. Breathing exercises can also help.

If you’re finding it hard to cope with stress, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may help. CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and act.

Read more about talking therapies

Sudden weight loss

Excessive or sudden weight loss can cause your periods to stop. Severely restricting the amount of calories you eat stops the production of hormones needed for ovulation.

Your GP may refer you to a dietitian if you’re underweight. You’re underweight if you have a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5. A dietitian will tell you how to regain weight safely.

Check your BMI using the Safefood BMI calculator.

If your weight loss is caused by an eating disorder, they may refer you to an eating disorder specialist.

Being overweight

Being overweight can also affect your menstrual cycle. Your body may produce an excess amount of oestrogen. Oestrogen is one of the hormones that regulate the reproductive system in women.

Excess oestrogen can affect how often you have periods. It can also cause your periods to stop.

Your GP may refer you to a dietitian if you’re overweight and it’s affecting your periods. The dietitian can talk to you about how to lose weight safely.

Doing too much exercise

Intense physical activity can place stress on your body. This can affect the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can stop you ovulating.

You’ll be advised to reduce your level of activity if excessive exercise has caused your periods to stop.

Contraceptive pill

You might miss a period every so often if you’re taking the contraceptive pill. This is not usually a cause for concern.

Some types of contraception can cause periods to stop altogether.

These include:

Your periods should return when you stop using these types of contraception.


You may start missing periods as you approach the menopause. This is because your oestrogen levels start to decrease, and ovulation becomes less regular. After the menopause, your periods stop completely.

The menopause is a natural part of ageing in women. This usually happens between 45 and 55.

But around 1 in 100 women go through the menopause before the age of 40. This is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian failure.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles. These are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. If you have PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg. This means ovulation does not take place.

PCOS is very common, affecting about 1 in every 10 women in Ireland. The condition is responsible for as many as 1 in 3 cases of stopped periods.

When to contact your GP

Menstrual Period, Late or Missed

How long does a normal menstrual cycle last?

Menstruation helps your body get ready for the possibility of pregnancy each month. Each month, an ovary releases an egg. The egg travels through a tube called the fallopian tube into the uterus. Hormones make the lining of the uterus thicker to get ready for a baby in case the egg is fertilized by sperm. If a man’s sperm does not fertilize the egg, the uterus sheds the lining it prepared for a baby. When the uterus sheds its lining, blood flows out of your vagina. This is called menstrual flow, or your period.

A menstrual cycle is the time from the day your period starts to the time your next period starts. Your menstrual cycle may vary from 21 to 35 days long. Most periods last 3 to 5 days, but anywhere from 2 to 7 days is normal. Menstrual cycles may start around the same date every month or they may be irregular.

When is a period late or missed?

A late period means that it hasn’t started 5 or more days after the day you expected it to start. A missed period means that you have had no menstrual flow for 6 or more weeks after the start of your last period.

What is the cause?

During the first couple of years of menstruation many teens have irregular periods. During this time your body is still developing and your ovaries may not release an egg every month. As a result, your cycles may be irregular. You may have a period every 2 weeks or once every 3 months. Most girls’ menstrual cycles become regular as their hormone levels mature. A few women will continue to have irregular periods, which may be normal for them. Other causes of a late or missed period are:

  • Pregnancy. Pregnancy is the most common cause of missed periods in teens. If you are pregnant, you will not have a normal period until after the baby is born.

    If your period is late and you have had sex even once in the past several months, see your healthcare provider for a pregnancy test. Most home test kits are accurate, but may give incorrect or unclear results. It is important to find out early if you are pregnant. Starting prenatal care right away helps you have a healthy baby.

  • Stress. Stress is the second most common cause of late or missed periods in teenagers. It may be emotional stress, for example, breakup with a boyfriend or final exams. Or it may be physical stress, such as a severe illness, a sexually transmitted disease, rapid weight loss or gain, or strenuous exercise. Dieting or binging and purging may interrupt menstrual cycles. Changes in your usual routine (for example, going on vacation) may also cause your period to be late or missed.
  • Hormone imbalance. In some cases a hormone imbalance causes missed periods. For example, if you have been taking birth control pills, your periods may be irregular for a while when you stop taking the pills. If you are having sex after you stop taking birth control pills, be sure to use another reliable method of birth control if you don’t want to get pregnant.

Problems of the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or ovaries are other rare causes of irregular periods.

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you, including a pelvic exam. Tests may include:

  • A pregnancy test
  • Blood tests

You may have other tests or scans to check for other possible causes of your symptoms.

How is it treated?

The treatment depends on the cause. Examples of possible treatments are:

  • Exercising less if you have a very strenuous exercise program
  • Learning to manage stress if stress may be a cause
  • Taking birth control pills or other hormone medicine to help your body have the right balance of hormones
  • Having surgery

In some cases, you may not need treatment.

How can I take care of myself?

Follow the full course of treatment prescribed by your healthcare provider. In addition:

  • Mark on a calendar the dates when each period starts and stops. This information can help your healthcare provider make a correct diagnosis. Take the calendar to your appointment.
  • Eat healthy foods and keep your weight steady.
    • If you are overweight, a healthy diet and regular exercise will help you lose weight slowly. It’s best to lose no more than 2 pounds a week.
    • If you are underweight, a dietician can help you plan a healthy diet to gain weight.
    • Talk with your healthcare provider if you are not sure what your proper weight should be, or if others are worried about your weight.
  • If you have sex and want to prevent pregnancy, always use birth control. Talk to your healthcare provider about your choices.
  • If you have had sex, get a pregnancy test if your period is 5 or more days late.
  • Take care of your health. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you smoke, try to quit. If you want to drink alcohol, ask your healthcare provider how much is safe for you to drink. Learn ways to manage stress. Exercise according to your healthcare provider’s instructions. If you exercise hard every day, you may need to cut back until your periods come back.

Ask your provider:

  • How and when you will hear your test results
  • If there are activities you should avoid and when you can return to your normal activities
  • How to take care of yourself at home
  • What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

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Possible Causes of a Missed Period

Every woman is different — including their periods. Some happen like clockwork. Others are hit or miss and unpredictable. On average, a woman get their period every 24 to 38 days. A period usually lasts about 2 to 8 days. Is your period irregular — and if so, does it need treatment?

What’s Irregular

You may have irregular periods if:

  • The time between each period starts to change
  • You lose more or less blood during a period than usual
  • The number of days that your period lasts varies a lot


Many things can cause irregular periods. Changes in your body’s level of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can disrupt the normal pattern of your period. That’s why young girls going through puberty and women approaching menopause commonly have irregular periods.

Other common causes of irregular periods include:

A less common cause is severe scarring (adhesions) of the lining of the uterus, a condition that doctors call Asherman syndrome.


You probably don’t need treatment for irregular periods unless they bother you or if you need treatment for another condition that’s affecting your menstrual cycle.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism are two common causes of irregular periods in women. In general, the goal of treatment is to restore the balance of hormones in the body.

If you have PCOS, your doctor may recommend birth control pills or other hormones to trigger a period. If you have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), you may need to take thyroid hormones.

Other things that may help include:

Changing birth control. If you have irregular periods after 3 months of hormonal birth control, your doctor may recommend another type of birth control. Some women develop irregular periods when using Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, or an IUD.

Lifestyle changes. Some women have changes in their period because they exercise too much. You may need to make your workouts less intense, or exercise less often. If stress is the problem, learning how to manage your stress — and possibly also talking with a counselor — may be helpful.

Extreme changes in your weight can affect your periods. Weight gain can make it harder for your body to ovulate, so weight loss could help with that. But extreme, sudden weight loss can also lead to infrequent or irregular periods.

Hormone therapy (HT). An irregular menstrual cycle is often due to a lack of or imbalance in certain hormones in the body. Doctors often prescribe birth control pills (oral contraceptives) containing the hormones estrogen and progesterone to help control irregular periods. A hormone medication called progestin can also help trigger periods in women who don’t get them.

If you have irregular periods and are trying to get pregnant, your doctor may prescribe other hormone treatments.

Surgery. Sometimes, scarring or structural problems in the uterus (womb) or fallopian tubes may lead to irregular periods. Your doctor may recommend surgery to correct any structural problems or birth defects, particularly if you know you want to have children. It may also be done to remove severe scar tissue in the reproductive tract.

When to Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you have had regular, monthly periods and the pattern changes. Your doctor may give you a physical exam and other tests to rule out pregnancy or a health problem.

Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • You miss three or more periods a year.
  • You get your period more often than every 21 days.
  • You get your period less often than every 35 days.
  • You are bleeding more heavily than usual during your period.
  • You bleed for more than 7 days.
  • You have more pain than usual during a period.

Menstrual Period – Missed or Late | MedNow Clinics | Denver, CO | Aurora, CO | Lakewood, CO

Is this your symptom?

  • Late Period: 5 or more days late compared to normal cycle
  • Missed Period: No period for more than 6 weeks

Some Basics…

  • Menstrual periods stop when a woman becomes pregnant. A woman with a missed or late period should consider the chance that she is pregnant.
  • There are other causes besides pregnancy for a missed or late period.
  • The first day of menstrual bleeding is the first day of a new cycle. Cycle length can vary from woman to woman. The range is 24-35 days. The average cycle length is 28 days.
  • Menstrual bleeding normally lasts 3-7 days.
  • Ovulation often happens at about day 14 of the cycle.


  • Pregnancy is the most important cause of a missed or late period
  • Stress
  • Dieting, exercise and weight loss
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic ovarian disease
  • Birth control pills
  • Depo Provera shot
  • Pituitary and other endocrine disorders

Home Urine Pregnancy Tests

  • Home urine pregnancy tests do not cost very much. They are easy to use. Most drugstores sell these tests over-the-counter (OTC).
  • Urine pregnancy tests are very accurate. They can turn positive as early as the first week after a missed period.
  • It is best to do an at-home pregnancy test first thing in the morning.
  • When a home test is negative, but there is still a high suspicion of pregnancy, repeat the test in 3-5 days or go to a doctor’s office for testing.
  • The pregnancy test may not work right if there is blood in your urine. A small amount of blood should not cause a problem.

When to Call for Menstrual Period – Missed or Late

Call 911 Now

  • Passed out (fainted)
  • You think you have a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Stomach pain and you are pregnant
  • Stomach pain and you might be pregnant
  • You feel weak or very sick
  • You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Pregnant
  • You want a pregnancy test done in the office
  • Recent weight loss
  • More than 45 years old
  • Missed 2 or more periods in a row
  • Missed period 2 or more times in the last year
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

Care Advice for Missed or Late Menstrual Period

  1. What You Should Know:
    • Menstrual periods stop when a woman becomes pregnant. A woman with a missed or late period should consider the chance that she is pregnant.
    • There are other causes besides pregnancy for a missed or late period.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Pregnancy Test, When in Doubt:
    • If there is a chance that you might be pregnant, use a urine pregnancy test.
    • You can buy a pregnancy test at the drugstore.
    • It works best first thing in the morning.
    • Follow all package instructions.
  3. Stress:
    • There are ways to reduce your stress.
    • Try talking with a friend or family member.
    • Get more sleep.
    • Eat a healthy diet.
    • Try to avoid things that cause you to feel stressed.
    • If this does not work, talk with your doctor or a counselor.
  4. Internet Resources at womenshealth.gov:
  5. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Pregnancy test is positive
    • You have trouble with the at-home test
    • New symptoms suggest pregnancy (morning sickness, breast tenderness/swelling)
    • You need help coping with stress
    • You think you need to be seen
    • You get worse

And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 5/30/2021 1:00:31 AM
Last Updated: 3/11/2021 1:00:33 AM

Copyright 2021 Amazon.com, Inc., or its affiliates.

90,000 Can stress make you miss your period?

There is daily stress, and there is stress with missed periods. What makes them different? What stress is causing your body to skip your periods? (Pandemics perhaps?) And is it safe to go without your period?

Obstetrician-Gynecologist Swapna Kollikonda, MD, tells us how stress can affect your menstrual cycle.

Stress affects the menstrual cycle

The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the menstrual cycle.He is sensitive to external factors such as exercise, sleep, stress. or family drama. When working properly, your hypothalamus releases chemicals that stimulate the pituitary gland, which then stimulates your ovary to release menstrual hormones, estrogen and progesterone.

Inject cortisol, a hormone produced by your body during times of stress. This can damage the hypothalamus / pituitary / ovarian interaction and lead to irregular periods.

“When you are under stress, your body releases cortisol. Depending on how your body handles stress, cortisol can lead to delayed or light periods – or no menses at all (amenorrhea), ”says Dr. Colliconda. “If the stress continues, you can go without your period for a long time.”

How much stress is too much?

There are many levels of stress, from a day with bad hair to pandemics that keep you at home for months.How stress affects your menstrual cycle depends on your unique brain and body.

“There is a continuum. Light stress can have fewer consequences, while severe stress can have more serious consequences that last longer, ”says Dr. Colliconda. “The higher your cortisol level, the more likely you are to have no or irregular periods.”

If you go off the rails quickly, you may be more prone to trouble periods.

When to see a doctor if your period is missed

If you have ruled out pregnancy as a cause, see your doctor after three missed or significantly different periods.Estrogen and progesterone play important roles in addition to menstruation. They:

  • Stabilize your mood.
  • Promote bone health.
  • Support heart health.

“Sometimes thyroid problems can interfere with the interaction of the hypothalamus / pituitary / ovaries, resulting in menstrual irregularities. These conditions are usually easy to correct, ”says Dr. Colliconda. “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another medical condition that can affect the menstrual cycle due to hormonal imbalances.So, the first step is to eliminate conditions that can cause a change in the period. ”

Treatment of stress-related amenorrhea

“If you continue to skip your periods, there will be hormonal imbalances in your body. Talk to your doctor, says Dr. Colliconda. “Your doctor may prescribe birth control hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, to correct imbalances and regulate your cycle.”

But before that, your doctor will likely recommend finding ways to relieve stress and lower your cortisol levels.You can reduce your stress levels with:

  • Exercise.
  • Good nutrition.
  • Laughter.
  • Meditation.
  • Quality sleep.

“For more than half of my infertile patients, the pandemic has actually reduced the stress that affects their cycle and their ability to get pregnant,” says Dr. Colliconda. “Since these women do not travel much and have reduced work stress, they have more time to interact with their partner.Many of my patients will have a baby boom early next year. ”

Stress is a personal matter: what causes cortisol for one woman may not be for another. “Tune in to your body to figure out what is causing you stress, and then work hard to suppress them,” says Dr. Colliconda.

90,000 10 possible reasons for the delay of “these days” | women’s magazine

Not everyone loves the onset of their period and all the unpleasant side effects that come with it, but most of us get a little anxious when they linger.While this is not always a sign of anxiety, there are some reasons that are more disturbing than others.

“There are many reasons a woman may miss her period, including lifestyle factors such as stress and diet,” explains a fertility expert at Israel’s Marquez Institute, Carmona. “However, missed periods can also signal more serious consequences, including pregnancy and other illnesses.”

If your period is just irregular or within the 28-35 day window, which is considered “normal” in the medical world, don’t worry yet.Almost every woman has an irregular cycle at one point in her life, and as many as 20 percent of women get it on a regular basis. If you are dealing with missed periods or an irregular cycle on an ongoing basis, here are a few possible reasons.


Of course, the most common reason for a missed period is pregnancy. “If you are sexually active, it’s possible – even if you use contraceptives, they are not always 100 percent effective,” says Dr. Carmona.”A missed period is the most reliable sign of pregnancy, but it’s also important to note that some pregnant women may still experience light bleeding during their cycle.” This light bleeding is commonly referred to as “implantation bleeding” and signals that the egg has been fertilized with sperm.

Hormonal problems

The second most common cause of a missed period is lack of hormones or low hormone levels, this could be a sign that you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that can affect up to 1 in 5 women.“PCOS causes hormonal imbalances that can affect the menstrual cycle or even cause it to stop,” explains Dr. Carmona. “The condition can also have other side effects such as weight gain and excess hair growth.” If you think you are exhibiting these symptoms, it is recommended that you see your doctor immediately.


Certain forms of contraceptives such as an IUD, progestogen-only pills, contraceptive injections such as a Depo-Provera shot, implants, or a coil can affect your period, causing them to become irregular, lighter, or non-existent explains Dr. Carmona.“It’s important to find out how it works for you because some women think that contraception has a positive effect on their cycle, while others think it makes it worse,” he adds.

Stop using contraceptives

If you have used any method of contraception for several years or even decades, it is not uncommon to experience delayed cycles once you finally decide to stop. “It can take time as the pituitary gland wakes up after being repressed for so long, plus hormonal IUDs and some birth control pills can create an atrophic endometrium in the uterus that prevents the endometrium from responding to ovulation hormones,” says Dr. Chenet.”There are many other medications that can affect menstrual cycles, such as chemotherapy and antidepressants.”

Photo: crankyT / iStock

Photo: crankyT / iStock

Extreme Weight Loss

If you have recently lost a significant amount of weight, whether through diet or exercise, your cycle may be knocked down. Missed periods can occur as a result of such extreme dieting or exercise (like gymnasts, for example), notes Leisisha Richardson, MD and Gynecologist in Greenville, Missouri.In addition, she points out that underweight women in general are more likely to have problems with regular cycles. “Fat percentage in women plays an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle.”

Extreme weight gain

In contrast, being overweight or obese can also lead to a missed period. “Being overweight can cause the body to produce excess estrogen, which can cause hormonal imbalances and subsequent missed cycles,” explains Dr. Carmona.If your excess weight begins to affect your menstrual cycle, it is recommended that you schedule a visit to your general practitioner for advice on how to lose weight safely.

Thyroid Condition

“Thyroid hormone plays a significant role in many metabolic actions in the body, including regular menstruation,” explains Anat Brower, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at Greenwich Fertility Endocrinology Centers and Associate Professor of Gynecology at the School of Medicine NYU.”The predominant or inactive thyroid hormone can send signals to the brain to stop making the hormones needed to induce normal ovulation and menstruation.”

Physical or emotional stress

As you know, stress can affect more than just your mind. In fact, this is one of the main culprits for a broken cycle. “Stress can affect the part of the brain responsible for hormone production, and this change in hormone levels can change the frequency and duration of the menstrual cycle – or stop it altogether,” says Dr. Carmona.”Reducing stress levels through various practices such as breathing exercises and physical activity can help your body return to its normal cycle.”

Genetic conditions

Genetic explanations exist for irregular cycles such as Turner syndrome and Sierra syndrome. Both of these conditions are innate, a person is born with him, explains Dr. Chenet. “These conditions can be found in early adolescence, usually in a teenager with monthly pelvic pain but no menstrual period.”


Of course, when a woman runs out of eggs to ovulate, menopause ensues, which usually occurs around age 51. The woman will no longer have her menstrual cycles. “The hormonal changes associated with an increase in menopause can actually lead to disrupted cycles,” explains Dr. Carmona. “Estrogen levels will begin to decrease and ovulation will gradually become less regular.” Although menopause is a natural part of the aging process for women and there is no need to worry, sometimes menopause can start too early – a condition known as premature ovarian failure, explains Dr. Chennett.If you think you may be experiencing menopause at an early age, schedule a visit to your gynecologist.

Although these are some common reasons for irregular cycles, it is always recommended to contact your gynecologist. But always remember, you know your body best – trust your instincts.

Answers to your menstruation questions that you were embarrassed to know

Image. Your menstrual cycle is one of the most important and fundamental mechanisms in your body.We have collected for you a few general questions that you may have been embarrassed to ask about your period, because it is very important to know our body correctly

What is a “normal” menstrual cycle?

Before you rush to classify your menstrual cycle as “abnormal,” it’s important to understand what it means. A “normal” menstrual cycle usually lasts 21 to 35 days, but it certainly varies from woman to woman. It may well be that in a given month you will experience a cycle of 25 days, and a month after a cycle of 30 or even 31 days.As long as your cycles don’t last longer or shorter than a week, and you regularly take the Normal Cycle, you have nothing to worry about. More information can be found in the Normocycle section instruction

Why is my period late?

From a medical point of view, menstruation is delayed from eight days or more after the day of menstruation. Often, women with menstrual periods are more likely to be pregnant, which is certainly possible if they are sexually active. However, there are many things that can lead to post-regulation – high stress levels, significant weight loss, age, and more.

I have very heavy menstrual bleeding, should I consult my gynecologist?

You should always consult your gynecologist if you feel that something in your body is not functioning properly. However, every woman has different levels of bleeding and every body is different. If your bleeding tends to be a little heavier than, say, your sister’s or your best friend’s bleeding, that’s okay. Until you experience more severe symptoms along with it.However, if you start to notice your cycle is getting heavier, more irregular, or no longer at the same time, or if you start to experience shortness of breath and / or dizziness during bleeding, severe red lights should make you go see your gynecologist

Why is my period so short?

If your period is particularly short, it could be a sign of polyps or polycystic ovaries. However, your bleeding may be naturally mild or pill-affected.

Why did I miss my period?

If your period does not take several months, this is definitely a red light that should make you see your doctor soon. You can be:

  • are pregnant
  • under stress
  • to lose weight
  • take contraceptives that cause menopause
  • or your cycle doesn’t work

But you can also have polycystic ovary syndrome or other chronic conditions and worse.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that can present with several symptoms, one of which is very long cycles or no menstruation. Many women with PCOS do not ovulate at all or do not ovulate regularly. Other chronic conditions that affect ovulation and can cause long cycles or missed periods are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or ovarian failure.

How much blood does an average woman lose during her period?

You know the chauvinistic joke about not trusting a creature that bleeds out for 7 days and doesn’t die? The beauty.Thus, the reality of God could be even further: an ordinary woman loses 2-3 tablespoons of blood during her period. Yes, that’s all, of course, it varies from woman to woman, but let’s say that 80 ml is considered relatively heavy bleeding for women, and in general the norm is from 30 to 50 ml, which is less than a chauvinist who tells a joke about bleeding. when he falls off his electric bike.

Why are my contractions so painful?

Uterine contractions are a normal part of premenstrual syndrome and early menstruation.”Normal” cramps cause mild pain in the pelvic and abdominal muscles, but some women have severe menstrual cramps. If your pain level is not controlled or regulated by simple pain relievers or heating pads, it could be a sign of endometriosis, pelvic inflammation, or other problems – see your gynecologist.

Why do I have to go to the bathroom all the time during my period?

If you find yourself having to go to bathroom number two more often than usual during your period, you are definitely not alone.While some women may experience constipation early in their period, others feel like they have to go to toilet number two every few minutes? Why is this happening? Hormones. When estrogen and progesterone hormone levels are submerged a few days before menstruation begins, they are replaced by prostaglandins, which are chemicals that are released during your cycle to give your uterus and intestines free rein. In other words, prostaglandins relax the intestines, making you feel like you should go to the bathroom right now.

Do menstrual bleeding really stop when we are in water?

Even in the shower, pool, sea or hot tub, your menstrual flow will continue as usual. However, due to the water, the backpressure bleeding did not leave the body, but will flow into the uterus and cervix into the vagina and stay there until you get

out of the water.

Oligomenorrhea or irregular menstruation

Oligomenorrhea is a type of menstrual irregularity, manifested by scanty, rare menstruation.Rare delays are normal, the cycle can be affected by stress, overexertion, illness, and medication. Pathology is considered to be the frequent absence of menstruation and a cycle lasting more than 40 days.

What is oligomenorrhea?

A normal menstrual cycle is 21 to 35 days. With oligomenorrhea, the cycle is disrupted. Menstruation occurs less frequently than once every 40 days. Possible at any age. There are two forms – primary, occurs in girls when menstruation has just appeared, passes on its own and secondary – occurs already with the established menstrual cycle, requires treatment.

Causes and symptoms of the disease

The most probable causes of oligomenorrhea:

  • Taking hormonal contraceptives, a possible side effect is rare menstruation.
  • Sports. Women who are actively involved in physical activity, especially strength.
  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia).
  • Thyroid diseases, diabetes.
  • High prolactin levels.
  • In adolescents and premenopausal women, oligomenorrhea is caused by natural fluctuations in hormones.

The main symptoms of oligomenorrhea:

  • absence of menstruation for 40 days or more;
  • irregular periods, 4-9 times a year.

If a woman had 10-12 periods, this indicates the absence of oligomenorrhea.

Diagnostics and treatment

Doctors of the IntelPlus clinic in Vidnoe will be able to diagnose oligomenorrhea after studying the menstrual history, additional tests and analyzes that are necessary for the diagnosis.

Once missed menstrual cycle is often not a pathology. However, periodic interruptions in the cycle may indicate polycystic ovary syndrome.

Treatment of oligomenorrhea is aimed at identifying more serious diseases. If there are none, the doctor will recommend adjusting the daily routine, eating right, not neglecting physical activity, and avoiding stressful situations.

Disrupted menstrual cycle, frequent delays, during the year less than 6 menstruation – you need to contact a gynecologist, find out the reasons and choose the right treatment.

Scientists have found that oligomenorrhea can increase the risk of developing hyperplasia and cancer. Therefore, do not delay your visit to the doctor!

90,000 What’s Normal When To See A Doctor

Irregular periods in adolescents are normal in most cases and may become regular after a few years (1). However, you may need to check with your doctor to make sure that no underlying medical conditions are causing your teen to have irregular periods.

Read this Mentalar post to learn more about the causes, complications, diagnosis and treatment of irregular periods in teens, and when you need to worry.

What Are Irregular Periods?

A menstrual cycle is considered irregular if it lasts longer or shorter than average. In adolescents, there may be variations in the menstrual cycle due to hormonal levels. The interval between regular periods is 20 to 45 days, with an average of 32 days, during the first two years after menarche (first menstrual period).Later, the typical duration of the cycles can range from 21 to 34 days, with an average of 28 days (2).

Irregular periods differ from amenorrhea (missed periods). However, factors contributing to irregular menstruation may also play a role in the development of amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is of two types (1):

  • Primary amenorrhea, in which a girl does not have her first menstruation by the age of 15.
  • Secondary amenorrhea, in which, after the onset of her period, she misses her period for more than three months.It can be due to physical or emotional factors.

Causes of Irregular Periods

In most adolescents, irregular periods are part of the physical changes that go away as they get older.

The reasons for irregular menstruation in adolescents are as follows (3):

  1. Medicines
  2. Too many workouts
  3. Insufficient or overweight
  4. Reduced calorie and nutritional value in food
  5. High carbohydrate diet
  6. High or low levels of thyroid hormones
  7. Androgen excess
  8. Stress
  9. Eating disorders
  10. Drug use

Heavy menstrual bleeding and abnormal uterine bleeding can occur in adolescents due to conditions such as bleeding disorders, ovarian problems, or hormonal changes.

Note: Amenorrhea or delayed menstruation may be caused by the factors listed above. Seek medical attention if your teen has menstrual irregularities or missed periods.

Complications of Irregular Periods

Irregular periods in adolescents may increase the risk of developing (2):

  • Anemia: If a teenager has frequent and heavy periods, there is a risk of anemia due to blood loss.
  • Thinning of bones : Often irregular or missed periods are associated with low estrogen levels. This can eventually lead to osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and make them vulnerable to fractures.
  • Fertility Issues: Irregular periods can continue until reproductive age and can interfere with fertility.

Although unstable periods are normal for most adolescents and disappear after a few years, they can affect quality of life.Seek medical attention to identify and correct root causes to prevent complications.

When to See a Doctor?

Seek medical advice during menarche itself. You can also see a doctor if your teen’s irregular cycles are troubling you.

The following changes may require consultation with a gynecologist (3):

  • Normal cycle changes to unstable
  • Less than 20 days later, there are periods
  • Between cycles, a break of more than 45 days
  • Menses lasting more than seven days
  • Experiencing severe cramps or abdominal pain
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation for 90 days or three months)
  • Menorrhagia (heavy bleeding), soaking more than one pad in one to two hours
  • Personal or family history of bleeding disorders
  • Possibility of pregnancy
  • Excessive hair growth on the body and face

Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve outcome if your teen has menstrual problems due to some underlying condition.

Diagnosis of Irregular Menses

Your doctor diagnoses irregular periods by evaluating cycles and health history. It will be easier to diagnose if you have a menstrual schedule or calendar.

Your doctor may order the following tests to determine the cause of unstable periods (4):

  • Blood tests : Hormones and clotting times can be obtained from blood tests. They can also help identify pregnancy and complications of heavy bleeding, such as anemia.
  • Ultrasound Pelvic Organs : A sonographic image of the pelvic area can help identify any physical abnormalities in the reproductive organs.

Note: The menstrual day chart can be useful for detecting cycle irregularities. You can advise your child to do this on the menstrual calendar.

Treatment of Irregular Periods in Adolescents

For most adolescents, irregular periods do not require treatment.The doctor may advise to change lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, etc., to maintain a healthy body weight and nutritional status. However, if her menstrual irregularities affect her quality of life and do not respond to treatment, hormonal treatments, including cyclic progesterone and oral contraceptives, may be prescribed.

If menstruation problems are related to an underlying medical condition, your teen may need treatment for them.This may include adjusting thyroid hormones, administering clotting factors for bleeding disorders, psychotherapy, and medications for eating disorders.

Surgical interventions are recommended for menstrual irregularities caused by structural abnormalities (5).

Home Remedies For Irregular Menstruation In Teens

If your teen has irregular periods due to lifestyle factors, you can encourage them to develop new healthy habits.

The following lifestyle changes can help reduce the likelihood of menstrual irregularities (6):

  • Medium-intensity exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Consumption of less sugar and carbohydrates
  • Inclusion of nutritious foods in the diet
  • Stress Management

Encourage your teen to lead a healthy lifestyle. You can explain to them the importance of good habits.

Even if your teen has irregular cycles, certain signs and symptoms can help him know when he will have his period.You can ask them to notice physical changes such as back pain, acne, headaches, bloating, mood swings, etc., to understand that they are approaching a cycle and plan their activities accordingly.

You can also advise your daughter to carry pads or tampons in her purse or purse to deal with unexpected periods if they have an irregular cycle.

Do you have something to share? Let us know in the comments below.


1. Problems of the period; Women Health; Department of Health and Human Services
2. Paula J. Adams Hillard; Menstruation in adolescents: what’s normal? ; Medical Journal (2008).
3. The female world of girls and adolescents: the use of the menstrual cycle as a vital sign; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
4. Diane Sachs; Common cycle problems in adolescents; Pediatrics Child Health (1998).
5. What are the common treatments for menstrual irregularities? ; National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Eunice Kennedy Shriver
6.Exercise, diet and periods; Royal Women’s Hospital; Victoria Australia

90,000 Late or missed menstrual periods

How long is a normal menstrual cycle?

Menstrual cycle is the time from the day the menstrual cycle starts until the next period begins. The average duration of the menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, the normal cycle can be shorter or longer than this. This can be from 21 to 35 days.Most periods last 3 to 5 days, but 2 to 7 days is normal. Menstrual cycles can occur around the same date every month, or they can be irregular.


A menstrual cycle is considered late if it has not started 5 or more days after the expected day. A missed period is if you have not had your period for 6 weeks or more after the start of your last period.

During the first two years of menstruation, many adolescents have irregular periods.During this time, your body is still developing and your ovaries may not release eggs every month. As a result, your cycles may be irregular, occurring at about 2 weeks or every 3 months. If you have had your period for 2 years or less and your physical exam is okay, your irregular period may be part of your normal development.

Most girls’ menstrual cycles become fairly regular as hormone levels rise and synchronize.Some women will still have irregular cycles as a normal lifestyle.

Other reasons for a late or missed cycle are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Hormonal imbalance


Pregnancy is the most common cause of missed periods in adolescent girls. If you have a missed period and have had sex at least once in the past few months, see your doctor.It’s best to ask your doctor for a pregnancy test because home testing kits can be confusing and give incorrect or unclear results.

It is important to find out in advance if you are pregnant. Starting prenatal care right away will help you have a healthy baby.

If you are pregnant, you will not have a normal period until your baby is born.


Stress is the second most common cause of delayed or delayed menstrual periods in adolescents.This could be emotional stress (like breaking up with a boyfriend or graduation exams) or depression. Or it could be physical stress on the body, such as a serious illness, sexually transmitted disease, rapid weight loss or gain, or exercise. Diet or overeating and cleansing your body can interrupt your menstrual cycle. Changes in your daily routine (such as taking a vacation) can also delay or miss your period.

Some stress is a normal part of daily life.Too much stress on your body can delay or delay your period. Your periods should return when you change your activity or situation.

Hormonal imbalance

In some cases, a hormonal imbalance is the cause of a delay in the menstrual cycle. For example, if you have been taking birth control pills, your periods may be irregular for a while when you stop taking the pills. If you are having sex, be sure to use another reliable birth control method because you can still get pregnant.

A rare problem called polycystic ovary syndrome can affect a young woman’s menstrual cycle. Polycystic ovary disease can cause irregular periods, increased body hair, acne, and weight gain. It can be treated with hormonal medications prescribed by your doctor.

Problems with the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, adrenal glands or ovaries are other rare causes of irregular menstruation.

  • Mark the start and end dates of each period on the calendar.This information can help your doctor make a correct diagnosis. Take your appointment calendar with you.
  • Eat healthy foods and maintain a stable weight.
    • If you are overweight, a balanced diet and regular exercise can help you lose weight slowly. It is best to lose no more than 2 pounds per week.
    • If you are underweight, make sure you are getting enough nutrition.

    Talk to your doctor if you are not sure what your correct weight should be, or if others are worried about your weight.A dietitian can also provide you with helpful advice.

  • If you are following an intense exercise program, consider cutting back before your period returns. If you don’t want to cut back on exercise, see your doctor to see if you need to cut back, eat more calories, or get medication.
  • Always use contraception when you have sex. Talk to your doctor about your choice.
  • If you have had sex, get a pregnancy test if your period is 5 days or more late.Do not wait. You can get confidential testing and counseling at the offices and clinics of most healthcare providers.
  • See if you can get counseling if you’re feeling stressed.

Delayed menstruation: 9 most likely causes

The process of ovulation and menstruation depends on a delicate balance of hormones. / Sncmedia

The first thought for many sexually active people when their period is delayed is that they are pregnant.However, besides pregnancy, there are many reasons why menstruation may be delayed or even absent altogether.

The process of ovulation and menstruation depends on a delicate balance of hormones, and if these hormones are even slightly imbalanced, it can cause a delay in menstruation.

This article looks at nine reasons why your period may be delayed and what goes on behind the scenes of biological origin.

1. Breastfeeding

If you exclusively breastfeed, there is often amenorrhea or no menstruation.This is because breastfeeding is associated with high levels of the hormone prolactin, says J. Thomas Ruiz, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center.

Elevated prolactin levels suppress the secretion of two hormones important for the menstrual cycle and ovulation: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Some people may not have their period again until they stop breastfeeding completely.

2. Stress

Ruiz says that when you are stressed, your levels of the hormone cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, rise. Elevated cortisol levels suppress LH secretion, which in turn affects ovulation.

Stress can also reduce levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can make your menstrual cycle irregular.

Ruiz says it is not uncommon to skip periods in stressful situations, such as during college final exams.

3. Changes in sleep patterns

A consistent sleep schedule supports your biological schedule. But when your sleep schedule is disrupted, hormone secretion is not as constant and regular as usual, which in turn affects the secretion of reproductive hormones, says Evelyn Mitchell, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist at Keck Medicine at USC.

If your body is not producing hormones associated with menstruation, you may be having a late or missed period.

In addition, lack of sleep can contribute to stress, which, again, will lead to an increase in cortisol levels, which can also affect the timing of your period.

4. Weight Loss

Mitchell says exercise and lack of food can lead to severe weight loss, which can lead to delayed menstruation.

According to Mitchell, when you lose weight, your brain may not release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH is a hormone that controls the secretion of other hormones secreted by the pituitary gland, including reproductive hormones such as FSH and prolactin.

Because of this, your pituitary gland will not receive a signal that it needs to secrete reproductive hormones, and this will lead to late or no menstruation.

5. Too much exercise

Too much exercise is often associated with weight loss, which can lead to late or no menstruation.

But even if you have a constant weight, too much exercise can lead to a delay in menstruation.

6. ​​Weight gain

According to Mitchell, both weight loss can lead to missed periods and weight gain.Adipose tissue or body fat produces estrogen. Thus, when you are overweight, excess estrogen circulates in your body, which can affect hormonal processes in your brain.

“Estrogen can give negative feedback to the brain, making it think, ‘Oh, maybe I don’t need to release so much of this hormone,’ and then that in turn causes no ovulation and no menses,” Mitchell says.

In addition, if you are overweight and chronically high in estrogen, your brain may not sense the increased production of estrogen by the ovaries when it is time for ovulation, and then ovulation and menstruation will not occur, says Ruiz.

“Every woman seems to have a critical weight at which they may have trouble ovulating. Not all women with BMIs between 30 and 35 will have ovulatory dysfunction. So women will be fine until they reach BMI 35, others will start dysfunction at a BMI of 33, ”says Ruiz.

When an overweight person loses weight and estrogen levels return to a more normal baseline, menstruation is likely to return to normal.


Perimenopause is the time before menopause when menstruation stops completely. Perimenopause usually occurs by age 40.

According to Ruiz, during perimenopause, the ovaries run out of eggs and estrogen levels may be irregular. The amount of estrogen produced from cycle to cycle may not be enough to trigger ovulation and therefore menstruation.

In addition, Mitchell says that perimenopause can sometimes prevent the ovaries from responding properly to estrogen, which can also delay menstruation.While regular periods are still possible during perimenopause, they can change from month to month due to changes in hormone levels.

8. Undiagnosed diseases

If you have late periods, but you still get enough sleep, have a consistent healthy weight, do not experience severe stress, do not breastfeed, it is time to think about other possibilities, such as illness.

Here are some examples of major conditions that can affect the menstrual cycle:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Irregular periods are very common in people with PCOS.According to Ruiz, the condition can lead to someone not having their periods for several months in a row, and very heavy menstruation during menstruation.
  • Celiac Disease: Missed periods can be a symptom of celiac disease in adults, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. This is because celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that, if left untreated, can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, which can affect your menstrual cycle.
  • Diabetes: Some people with diabetes or at risk may experience delayed periods.While the reason is not entirely clear, researchers believe insulin resistance plays a role.
  • Thyroid disease: Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can affect your period, Mitchell says. The thyroid gland produces thyroid-stimulating hormone, which can affect the secretion of LH and FSH.
  • Pregnancy. The most common cause of late periods in sexually active people is pregnancy. During pregnancy, you will not have your periods. According to Ruiz, hormonal pregnancy leads to high levels of the hormone progestin, and high levels of progestin suppress ovulation.

Your body will produce hormones and undergo changes to accommodate your growing baby, rather than releasing hormones that are responsible for ovulation and menstruation.

When to see a doctor

It is normal for your period to be delayed or absent and can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, lack of sleep, overexertion, or significant weight changes. But if you have missed three or more periods in a row, you have a condition called amenorrhea and you should make an appointment with your obstetrician / gynecologist.

Your doctor can help determine the cause of your late or missing periods, make sure you are free of any underlying medical conditions, and get you back on track for a normal, regular period.