7 Weird Reasons Your Period Is Late That Have Nothing To Do With A Baby

25 July 2017, 17:07 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 15:21

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Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Don't panic YET. Your uterus is probably not occupied.

Your body is a fickle thing. It can respond dramatically to the food you eat, the amount of sleep you get, and even your hectic schedule. Subtle changes in your life can lead to hormone fluctuations which, for some women, can cause irregular or missing periods. 

If you've ever experienced the heart stopping moment when you realise your period is inexplicably late, don't worry. There are plenty of (non-pregnancy) reasons Aunt Flo has been delayed. 

1) Stress

Have you ever noticed all the odd things your body does when you're stressed out? Stress can disrupt your body's functions in a BIG way. When you're feeling life's little pressures, the glands which work to regulate your hormones can get thrown out of wack, causing delays in ovulation or even missed periods altogether. 

Have you had a particularly stressful couple of months? That could actually be catching up to you in the form of a late period. 

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2) Birth control

Are you on birth control? If you're a regular birth control user then it's very likely that your period is missing because of your medication. The combined pill can stop a woman from ovulating, causing her period to become irregular for a time. Many women also report missing periods after getting the birth control shot. 

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3) You've recently battled the flu or other common illness.

This one is a bit annoying, but battling fairly minor/common illnesses can delay your period. That's because some of the symptoms you experience with the flu (a temperature, stomach issues etc) can convince your body to delay ovulating for the month. This is especially common if you're sick during the middle of your cycle. 

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4) You've started exercising a lot. 

Your body can respond really strongly to weight fluctuations. As we mentioned earlier, any changes in routine (even seemingly unremarkable ones) can impact your cycle. When it comes to exercise affecting your period, there are usually a couple of things at play. Sometimes your body can perceive exercise as "stress", so it will try to make sure your body is only carrying out essential functions. Another issue may be your body fat. You need a certain amount of body fat to ovulate

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5) You recently made a big move/travelled across time zones. 

Have you moved across time zones for work or school? A combination of stress and sleep deprivation may be the cause of your delayed or missing period. Settling back into a routine and getting enough sleep is an essential part of hormone production. Make your move and get back into a routine so your body can catch up. 

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6) Your eating habits have changed. 

People who are dieting/significantly lowering their calorie intake may experience a missing or delayed period. Researchers have also found that a diet that is extremely low in omega 3 fats can lead to hormone imbalances.

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7) It's not actually late.

There is always the chance you have miscalculated. The average cycle is around 28 days. However, some women can experience cycles lasting from 21-45 days. That's why the only sensible way to know if you're actually late is to track your period. Ditch old school calendars and try out a period tracking app over the course of a few months. That will actually give you a more accurate picture of when you're meant to start your period and when you're meant to ovulate each month. 

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