Women's Wellness

Have You Missed Your Periods Lately? These Can Be The Reasons!

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 12 December 2022, Updated on - 22 May 2024

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Did you miss your periods recently? Do you wonder what could be the reasons for that? Well, missed or late periods can occur due to several reasons ranging anywhere from simple hormonal imbalances to serious health issues. Moreover, it's normal for periods to be irregular during menarche (when the period starts) and the beginning of menopause. Normally, a menstrual cycle ranges between 21 and 40 days. In case yours doesn't fall within this range, there could be a myriad of reasons behind it. These include:

1. Stress

Experiencing intense stress disrupts the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which regulates your menstrual cycle and ovulation. Chronic stress can affect your hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates your periods, making your menstrual cycle shorter or longer, missing or painful. Long-term stress can also result in sudden weight changes or illnesses, impacting your period cycle. If you think that stress might be affecting your periods, try engaging in activities that can help you relax such as swimming, yoga, running, or breathing exercises. 

2. Pregnancy

One of the most common causes of missed periods is pregnancy. If you are sexually active and miss your periods, then you could be pregnant. This can happen if you do not use protective barriers like condoms or if your birth control fails. If you experience a delay in your period, then wait for a few days before doing a pregnancy test. You can also consult a doctor to know the underlying reason. 

3. Lifestyle

Certain lifestyle choices can also cause you to miss your periods. These include:

  • Sudden Weight Loss: Sudden or excessive weight loss can play a role in delaying or stopping your periods. Limiting your calorie intake can hamper the production of hormones necessary for ovulation. 
  • Obesity: If you are overweight, then your body may produce too much oestrogen, the hormone responsible for regulating women’s reproductive system. Excess oestrogen can impact the frequency of your periods and also cause them to stop altogether. 
  • Too Much Exercise: Intense physical activity puts stress on your body, affecting the hormones that regulate your periods. Moreover, you may stop ovulating if you lose too much body fat due to exercise. 
  • Unstable Sleep Cycle: Frequent changes in your schedule can throw off the body clock, which can make your periods fairly unpredictable. 

4. Hormonal Imbalances

Another reason behind a missed or delayed period can be hormonal imbalances caused by various conditions such as 

  • Hyperprolactinaemia: A condition where the prolactin hormone is too high, primarily due to a benign growth in the brain. Prolactin hormone is responsible for breast growth and milk production after childbirth. 
  • Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism: Conditions where your thyroid gland produces either too much or too little thyroid hormones.
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A rare genetic condition where the adrenal glands do not produce steroid hormones normally. 
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A condition that increases the production of the male hormone androgen, leading to the formation of cysts on the ovaries.
  • Cushing’s Syndrome: Another disorder that affects the release of steroid hormones in the body. 

While these are the four major causes behind missed periods, there can be other reasons too. In case this becomes a frequent problem, it's highly advisable to consult with a gynaecologist for further evaluation. 

If you need expert advice,

Consult an Apollo Gynaecologist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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