What You Need To Know About Missing Period
Everyone can miss their period once in a while. This is nothing to worry about; however, if there is a persistent problem, it might be a cause for serious worry. If you have a missed period and are looking to understand why these are the things you should consider and understand:
Amenorrhea is the scientific name for a missed period. This condition can mean that either you haven’t hit puberty or menopause. A missing period in between these two events can signal reproductive issues.
Amenorrhea is not a disease, but rather a symptom of something gone wrong with the reproductive system. This issue can be small or large and often merits a look by your gynecologist.
If you have a missing period, you must be wondering things such as how long after you miss your period, should you worry, or when to test for pregnancy after the missing period? First, you should know that if you have been sexually active recently and have missed a period, it might be a good idea to test for pregnancy within 6 to 10 days of the missing period.
However, if the problem is persistent and you have missed three periods consecutively, it might be time to see a doctor. After ruling out pregnancy, if you still are missing your period, you might be suffering from primary or secondary amenorrhea.
Primary amenorrhea means that you are missing your period during puberty or it didn’t even start. On the other hand, secondary amenorrhea can mean that you have already started your periods, but you suddenly missed one. Read more here about Amenorrhea Signs and Symptoms.
Causes of Missing Periods
Among early signs of pregnancy, missing periods are the most noticeable. However, just because you missed a period does not mean that you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, you would be accompanied by other early signs of pregnancy as well. These include nausea, fatigue, and in some cases, more frequent urination.
Most pregnancy symptoms after the missing period are present if you are pregnant; however, you should not rely only on these pregnancy symptoms after a missed period. It is important that you at least perform a home pregnancy test or consult your doctor.
There are multiple other causes of missed periods besides pregnancy. Here are some of their causes.
1. You might be stressed
Yes, it does sound unbelievable, but extreme stress can interfere with your periods, causing you to miss a bleed. When you are stressed, it can alter the production of a critical hormone called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This hormone can then create issues with ovulation and bleeding.
If you are extremely stressed or have undergone trauma, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor and consult a psychologist. Once you have managed your stress levels, eventually your periods will return to normal, but remember, it might take a few months.
2. You might be exercising too much
Exercising is very good for your body and health, but there is a point after which it can be detrimental as well. Extreme levels of exercise can also cause a missing period. Too much physical activity can interfere with pituitary and thyroid hormones, which in turn can send ovulation and menstruation out of whack. Here we are talking about extreme workouts for more than two hours each day. If you are planning on extreme exercising schedules, it is a good idea to consult a sports doctor first.
3. You might have a thyroid issue or PCOS
Illnesses and diseases can also interfere with regular periods and cause you to miss them. The most common cause of missing periods besides pregnancy is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), from which 21 percent of women of reproductive age suffer. Other causes might include diabetes, liver dysfunction, problems with thyroid glands, disease of the adrenal gland, ovarian cysts, and even pituitary tumors.
Other illnesses such as pneumonia, kidney failure, meningitis, and a heart attack might also cause changes in your body that can lead to rapid weight loss, nutritional deficiency, hormone dysfunction, and missing periods.
4. You have disturbed your internal clock
One of the primary reasons for missing your period might be disturbances to your daily schedule. If you have rotating working hours and shifts with an erratic schedule, chances are you have disturbed your internal clock. This can cause you to have a missing period or a period that is later than usual. So, it is important that you preserve as much of your daily routine as possible.
5. Some medication might be interfering
If you have a missing period, it might be a good idea to have a look at any medications you may be taking. Drugs such as thyroid medications, antipsychotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, or cancer treatment might be interfering with your periods as well. If you are on hormonal pills such as contraceptives, you might also experience an absent or missing period.
6. Your weight has changed
One of the preliminary causes of missing periods is weight gain or weight loss. If you have had a recent drastic change in your weight, it might cause disturbances to your period. Your weight is directly linked to the production of progesterone and estrogen in your body. If you are obese, these hormones can lead to decreased fertility and erratic periods. According to research, a BMI of less than 20 and more than 25 is associated with irregular periods.
It is also important to mention here that women suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia (very low food intake), or those who are exercising too much may also suffer from missing periods.
7. You are going through puberty, perimenopause, or menopause
Times in the life of a woman when she starts (puberty) or ends her reproductive years, such as perimenopause or menopause are critical. During these times, many of the women suffer from changes in their hormone levels which can cause irregular or absent periods.
8. You are breastfeeding a child
Women who are breastfeeding a child often have missed periods. This is called lactational amenorrhea and can last throughout the period the woman is breastfeeding. In such cases, it is perfectly natural to miss your periods.