Are you worried about a late period, but you know you’re not pregnant? There are many reasons for a late or missed period that have nothing to do with pregnancy. Causes can be related to issues such as hormonal imbalance, chronic health conditions and perimenopause.
A normal cycle for most women can range from 24 to 38 days. You know your body, so if you have concerns, talk to your Duly provider. They can discuss them with you and treat the underlying issue.
Here are 7 reasons you might miss a period.
1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS affects 5 million (or 6 – 12%) US women of reproductive age. If you’re diagnosed with PCOS, you have more male hormones called androgens than you should. This can stop your body from releasing eggs during ovulation and can cause irregular periods — as well as other symptoms like excess hair growth on the face and body, hair thinning, skin issues and weight gain. Female fertility issues are most often due to PCOS.
An endocrinologist treats PCOS. If you learn that your missed periods are connected to PCOS your provider will discuss treatment options. They can give you medicine so your body can ovulate. There are also treatments for acne and hair growth.
2. Overweight and Obesity
Obesity is a chronic health condition. In the US, nearly 3 in 4 adults age 20 or older are either obese or overweight. If you’re considered obese, you may notice irregular periods. A hormone imbalance can affect your cycle when you’re obese. Sometimes this imbalance is the result of another underlying health condition, like PCOS.
If you’re diagnosed as overweight or obese, you and your provider will work together to find a treatment plan that may include consuming less calories, exercising, and establishing healthy lifestyle changes. The ultimate goal is to reduce all obesity-related complications and improve your quality of life.
Have you been missing your period, but you’re not pregnant? Missed or late periods can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance or a medical condition. Schedule an appointment with a Duly provider.
3. Losing too much weight
Just like gaining too much weight can affect your period, it’s the same with losing too much weight. Your period may stop or become irregular. This may happen if you stop ovulating because you’ve lost too much weight.
If you’re worried about your weight, talk to your provider. They will ask questions and may run some tests to learn more about your weight loss. Being underweight can cause health complications, so they will help you get to a healthy weight.
Sometimes a late or missed period has to do with stress. If work or recent life events are causing more stress than usual, that may be why your period hasn’t shown up. High levels of stress can sometimes cause your period to stop or become irregular. If this is something you’re concerned about, your provider will be able to offer suggestions like counseling, exercising, or practicing self-care.
5. Thyroid Disease
Sometimes missing your period could be a sign of a serious medical condition like Thyroid disease. Thyroid disease is when your body makes too much or too little of the thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones control lots of activities in your body — from how quickly you burn calories to how fast your heart beats. In some cases, some women’s periods stop for several months because the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid, preventing it from making the hormones needed to control your period.
The good news is that there are treatments. You may be prescribed thyroid hormone pills, which will give your body what it needs to function properly.
Endometriosis is when the tissue that normally forms in the lining of the uterus — and sheds during your period — is found on the outside of your uterus or even on other organs. Missed periods can sometimes be a symptom of endometriosis. Treatment options may include medication, surgery or both. Your provider will discuss the right option for you. Although there is no cure for endometriosis, early diagnosis can help you manage your symptoms and slow the growth of implants.
Menopause — when your period stops completely — doesn’t happen immediately. There’s a transitional period for most women between the ages of 45 and 55. You may experience the symptoms — including irregular periods — beforehand. This transitional period is called perimenopause. If any symptoms are impacting your daily life, treatments are available, and your Duly care team is here to support you.
When to See Your Provider
If you’ve missed your period or it’s been irregular lately, you should make time to share your symptoms and concerns with your provider. They’ll be able to diagnose the issue and find a treatment that’s right for you. You may be anxious or a little worried, but it’s okay to feel that way, our Duly providers are here to help. Schedule an appointment with a Duly obstetrics and gynecology provider today.