If you have a late period, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pregnant. While a late period may mean that you’re with child, it can also happen for virtually any reason from hormonal changes in the body to being sick.
We’re going to discuss pregnancy first.
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When a woman is pregnant, she will not have her period. The body will have underwent implantation, but some women also have a light period or spotting even though they are pregnant.
The biggest concern for most women is that they have a negative pregnancy test, but no period. Why?
HCG levels are low
The way that pregnancy tests work is that they detect the “pregnancy hormone” known as hCG, a hormone that only starts to be produced when a woman is pregnant. The issue is that the level of hCG must be at least 5 miU/ml to be detected.
Typically, a pregnancy test should be taken the day after you miss your period.
At this time, there has been enough time for hCG levels to rise in your urine. Now, if you have a missed period pregnancy test that was taken after your missed period, there are two reasons why the results may be negative:
- The test is wrong or the urine is diluted, causing a false test.
- There is another issue causing the period to be missed as discussed below.
Tests can also be wrong, so it is recommended that you take the test again.
A late period negative pregnancy test can occur, and the best option if you’re trying to get pregnant is to consult with a doctor. Your body may not be producing hCG adequately, or the test may simply be wrong.
Major Weight Loss
If you’ve lost a lot of weight in the last month, it can cause your period time to fluctuate. In fact, if you’re already skinny with a BMI level of 19 or less, there is a chance that you will regularly miss your period.
Doctors state that women with a low BMI can miss a period one month and have it the next.
Women that suffer from an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia, are often irregular or may stop having a period altogether due to the disorder. However, a woman that has greatly increased her level of exercise can also have this issue.
Gaining weight and returning to a healthy BMI level will not be enough for a period to return. It can take many months before the body’s hormone levels rise to normal levels, leading to a regular period returning.
Extreme stress actually causes the body to change. When a woman exercises to the extremes, the body will stop ovulation and ensure that estrogen levels are kept to a minimum.
The body is designed to adapt to stress. While we mentioned physical stress, there is also emotional stress that can cause irregular periods. What occurs is that the hypothalamus of the brain is affected by the stress.
The hypothalamus is what regulates the period and where a lot of hormones are stored.
Immense stress is needed to cause this issue. Normally, a death in the family or a divorce is enough to cause a woman’s stress levels to rise and cause a late period – or a completely missed period.
As the stress lowers, period regularity will return.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are also a major concerns. The thyroid gland regulates your body’s metabolism and works with other systems in the body to keep you regular. When the thyroid is under- or over-working, it can affect a woman’s period.
Medication is often prescribed by doctors to regulate the thyroid gland.
As soon as the thyroid levels start to become balanced, the body will go back to normal and periods will return to regularity. The dates of a woman’s period may change depending on when the thyroid issue is corrected.
It should be obvious that birth control alters a woman’s body. Whether a pill, implant or IUD, a woman may miss her menstrual cycle due to birth control. This isn’t anything to worry about, but in the case of pills, you should stop taking the pills until the period returns.
Sometimes, in the case of oral birth control, it can take months for a period to return.
For most women, this is a welcomed reason for missing a period and is one less month of cramps and pains. If you’ve switched birth control methods, you may want to consult with your doctor to adjust the medication as needed.
Early Menopause Symptoms
Women can go into what’s called premature menopause well before the age of 40. What happens is that the body is starting to change and a woman’s hormones are going crazy. Night sweats, vaginal dryness and hot flashes are symptoms of premature menopause.
If you are trying to get pregnant, you will be happy to learn that premature menopause is not common.
The symptoms mentioned above should lead you to a gynecologist. He or she will take tests and verify if it is a premature menopause issue, or if something else is causing a late period.
Polycystic Ovary Symptom
You’ve heard of PCOS before. This is short for Polycystic Ovary Symptom. PCOS is a hormonal imbalance in the body where estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels are over or under normal levels. In fact, one hormone can be too high, and another too low with PCOS.
Abnormal hair growth, difficulty losing weight and fertility issues are symptoms of having PCOS.
Treatment is needed to manage PCOS, and you will need to be diagnosed by a medical professional to ensure that PCOS is causing your underlying issues with your period.
A late period doesn’t mean a woman is pregnant. Sometimes, a woman will miss her period one month and never miss a period again until menopause sets in. Women that have had a late period and have missed more than one period should consult with a gynecologist. An underlying hormonal imbalance, a disease, or current medications may be causing the missed period.
Certain diseases, such as celiac disease, can cause a woman to miss a period and will need to be diagnosed as well.