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Categorized | Periods

Missed Periods

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Missed Periods

A missed period can be caused by a number of things, but not all of them should instantly make you afraid. Simple answers include stress or illness, and even a change in your medication or daily routine can cause you to miss a period. Other causes include being over- or underweight, simply miscalculating when you should have started your period, the onset of menopause, or the most obvious reason of a missed period—pregnancy.

Factor: Stress

As a woman, stress can cause more problems in our lives than headaches, irrational behavior and mood swings. It can also create problems with our menstrual cycles. Ovulation and menstruation are both controlled by the hormone GnRH, (a gonadotropin-releasing hormone). Stress can decrease the levels of these hormones, thus causing a delay to the menstrual cycle. Short-term and long-term illnesses can also affect a woman’s menstrual cycle similar to how stress affects it.

Factors: Medication/Schedule Changes

Changes in medications can have many adverse side effects, including a menstrual cycle delay for an indefinite period of time. Changing your daily schedule can also cause unpleasant side effects for your menstrual cycle, especially if you are transitioning from working daytime schedules to a nighttime shift.

Factors: Weight

An overweight body can cause your hormones to fluctuate, thus affecting not only your menstrual cycle, but also your fertility. A woman with a history of fertility (or no reason for infertility) who is able to lose the extra weight may able to achieve a normal menstrual cycle and fertility. An underweight body acts the same, and an underweight body does not have enough fat, so menstruation ceases altogether. If an underweight woman gains to a proper weight, she will likely see the return of her normal menstrual cycle.

Factors: Menopause

Menopause signals the beginning of the end of your menstrual cycle. Periods will become lighter and further apart during this time, but you can still become pregnant for a while and preventative measures should be taken if pregnancy is not desired. Menopause can happen naturally as a woman ages or medically via a hysterectomy or chemotherapy.

Factors: Pregnancy

The most obvious reason for missing a period is pregnancy. Pregnancy is a welcome reason for missed periods for some women, especially for those who have been actively trying to conceive. A home pregnancy test is simple to use and easy to acquire to help determine whether a pregnancy is the culprit for a missed period, and most are very accurate after a few days past your scheduled period.


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