While the cause of a missed period or irregularity is often innocent things like stress and lifestyle changes, in some cases it can be a sign of a serious condition. You can find more information below.

What is period delay?

There are many myths about the answer to the question of what causes menstrual delay or irregularity, and one of them is that any woman with a delayed period can become pregnant. This is as far from the truth as possible. Not every delay in your periods indicates the possibility of pregnancy.

For example, irregular or delayed periods are quite normal when a person first starts the cycle, i.e. at the teenage or teenage years. Irregular periods are also quite normal as you approach the menopause stage.

While irregular menstrual periods in young adults can be a cause for concern, this irregularity can be triggered by many reasons, including but not limited to stress, food choices, lifestyle.

What causes period delay?

Doctors suggest that if your period is 5-7 days late, it will count as missed periods, however, if you haven’t started menstruating even 10 days after your start date, you can hit the panic button.

However, this does not always mean that you are pregnant, there are many other reasons for a missed period. Here are the reasons for delayed menstruation other than pregnancy:

1- Excessive travel or change in routine

Intensive and excessive travel, traveling to different time zones, staying up late at night and insomnia are some of the reasons that disrupt the schedule your body is used to.

This disruption in your schedule also affects your biological clock and disrupts the delicate balance between the functions of your hypothalamus, pituitary and ovaries, which regulate your menstrual bleeding. This type of stress can cause periods to be delayed, irregular or even missed for a month.

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2- Stress

Both physical and psychological stress is the biggest enemy of the human body. While a little stress can be easily overcome, women tend to suffer from chronic stress caused by the double burden of illness, including work-life balance and medical procedures.

In this state of chronic stress, their system releases cortisol, preparing their body for emergency mode, causing the body to shut down all unnecessary bodily functions like menstruation and focus only on the body’s survival.

3- Excessive weight fluctuation

Sudden weight loss or gain can cause periodic missed periods or even cause you to skip a one-month cycle altogether. Weight loss due to trauma (illness or medical procedures) or eating disorders can cause stress on the body.

Being underweight also means that the body will not have enough tools to produce enough hormones to regulate the menstrual cycle.

On the other hand, weight gain can be caused by illnesses, eating disorders, even insomnia and lack of activity. Excess fat affects the production of estrogen in the body, causing its overproduction. Excess fat in the body can also cause irregular endometrial growth, which negatively affects the menstrual cycle.

4- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Also known as polycystic ovary syndrome , this condition is the most common health problem among women of childbearing age. Other than irregular menstrual periods, other symptoms for PCOS are weight gain, facial and chest hair growth, hormonal changes, male pattern baldness.

PCOS occurs when the levels of male hormones in a woman’s body rise, when the delicate balance between testosterone, progesterone and estrogen in a woman’s body is disturbed. This imbalance causes cysts to form on a woman’s ovaries, resulting in delayed or no periods.

However, the absence of menstruation does not mean that the uterus does not bleed, cysts simply block their passage. This means that the blood remains blocked in your body. If PCOS is not controlled, it can cause serious infections due to a blockage of blood in the uterus.

5- Thyroid disorders

The thyroid gland regulates the body’s metabolism, when thyroid disorders occur, it leads to an imbalance in hormone production in the female body. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause a hormonal imbalance in the human body, leading to a delay or lack of the periodic cycle.

6- Diseases

Medical procedures such as severe viral or bacterial diseases, chronic illnesses, or surgeries can cause stress in the body, leading to the production of cortisol in the body.

If you suffer from menstrual delay or irregularity because you suffer from diseases such as typhoid, malaria, dengue, other autoimmune diseases , or minor operations, you don’t have to worry yet. Your body will be in survival mode for now and it will return to normal once all other bodily functions return to their normal rhythm.

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7- Eating habits

Malnutrition is the biggest contributing factor to a variety of health problems in young adults today. If your meal consists mostly of fatty, junk food, this can cause you to suffer from deficiencies of various important vitamins and minerals.

This, in turn, will affect the function and regulation of many body parts, some of them. This creates a hormonal imbalance in your body that leads to menstrual delay or irregularity and painful menstrual cycles.

8- Too much exercise

Exercising regularly for 30-60 minutes is great for health, but exposing your body to strenuous exercise for longer can lead to low estrogen development in the body. It is a well-known fact that athletes with strict training schedules tend not to have periods for as long as six months.

How are the causes of menstrual delay diagnosed?

It is extremely important for women who experience menstrual irregularity to consult a gynecologist. Because if the cause is serious, it can be brought under control with early diagnosis and treatment. When you see a doctor for menstrual irregularity, the most likely things you will encounter are:

urine test

If pregnancy is the cause of your missed period, there are many urine tests available on the market, and most of them can be done at home. These tests are used to detect the presence of hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, commonly known as the pregnancy hormone. These tests are generally considered safe.

complete blood count

If urine tests show nothing, your gynecologist may ask you to schedule a complete blood count test. A CBC test, which shows your hemoglobin percentage, among other things, can rule out or confirm anemia, which could be a possible cause of irregular periods.

Thyroid tests

Your gynecologist may also recommend a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) test along with a complete blood count test. These tests help detect the functionality of the thyroid gland.

If any of these indicators is above the accepted normal level, it means that the thyroid gland is malfunctioning and causes menstrual irregularity.

Abdominal ultrason

Abdominal ultrasound tests are recommended when urine tests, CBC, and thyroid tests are negative and the person is still experiencing a missed period. Abdominal ultrasounds are used to measure the presence of cysts in the ovaries. If the presence of the cyst is confirmed, you are considered a confirmed case of PCOS resulting in irregular periods.

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Serum prolactin / Blood hCG tests

If urine tests are done too early, they may be negative for pregnancy or in the rare case where the urine test gives a false result. If all other tests fail to make a diagnosis, your gynecologist may ask you to schedule a serum prolactin and blood hCG test.

Prolactin is a hormone that aids the production of milk in a woman’s breast, and hCG is the pregnancy hormone determined by a blood test, which is a much more accurate way to rule out or confirm pregnancy.

Psychological / Physical Stress

If even the serum prolactin/blood hCG test is negative, the body is assumed to be healthy enough to function normally. There is no quantitative test for stress, but if the body is healthy and still experiencing menstrual irregularities, it is assumed that that person is exposing their body or mind to stress and causing this irregularity.

What is good for period delay?

Unless you have PCOS or thyroid disease that requires medical attention, all other body problems for menstrual delay or irregularity can be treated at home. You need to understand that irregular periods are a stress signal for your body because understanding this makes your job easier. Here are the things that are good for menstrual delay:


Raw papaya is one of the oldest and most widely used remedies. Papaya helps contract the uterine muscles, which helps regulate menses. Papaya also prevents the risk of cancer, diabetes , stroke , as well as contributing to bone health .

Aloe vera

The yellow gel under the thick peel of the aloe vera leaf has many health benefits. This gel is good for the skin, helps to cool the stomach and plays an important role in the regulation of menstruation. It is safe to be consumed daily. Consuming some aloe vera gel first thing in the morning keeps the body healthy.


While it’s true that too much exercise can clog your uterus and prevent your periods, if you’re dealing with a missed period and are moderately or not exercising at all; A little more exercise may help you. Exercises such as jumping, squatting, and jumping can trigger your uterus to react quickly.

relaxing activities

If you exercise a lot or are prone to be very stressed, you should make time for some activities that relax your body and mind. Anything from a favorite hobby to getting a massage to meditation can work wonderfully to end a missed period or irregularity.

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