Reasons For A Missed Period (Other Than Pregnancy)
By Alexandra La-Rotta
It usually comes around every 21-28 days, but has the time gone by already? Are you starting to miss your monthly visitor and wondering where your period is? A missing period can be alarming, especially if you have ruled out the possibility of pregnancy. In this case, there could be a few different factors that could be affecting your menstrual cycle. It’s worth investigating each different option, as a missed period (medically known as Amenorrhea) can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance and other health issues. Below are a few other reasons for a missed period.
- Birth Control- Whether you’ve started a new hormonal birth control, or recently went off of it, your body will be working to adjust to the new hormones which can result in a skipped period. This is one of the most common reasons to miss a period.
- Stress - We all have stress in our lives, but if you are experiencing extreme and consistent stress, your body will start to produce more cortisol (the stress hormone) which will throw off your estrogen and progesterone (reproductive hormones) levels, halting menstruation and ovulation. Stress affects your menstrual health and well-being in many ways.
- Exercise/Weight Loss- The same way too much stress can affect your hormones and subsequently your period, the same goes with diet and exercise. Too much of a good thing, isn’t always a good thing! Your body needs a certain amount of fat to ovulate and menstruate so while exercising is very important, over-exercising is not healthy for anyone. It’s important to create a realistic balance when working out and listen to your body to know what’s best for you.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)- Caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, PCOS affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, and can cause missed or irregular periods. Other symptoms include acne, weight gain and difficulty losing weight, skin tags on the neck or armpits and excessive facial hair growth.
- Perimenopause – Known as the transition into menopause, it can take some women up to 8 years to go from perimenopause, which means “around menopause,” into menopause, which marks the permanent end of a woman’s menstrual periods. The perimenopause period is considered over once you've gone through 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, and at that point you’ve reached menopause. If you find yourself missing periods and are between the ages of 46-52 (although it can vary for many different women) your body could be transitioning into its next phase, period-free.