Menstrual cycle is a rather regular process, which is controlled by hormones. Each period has an anticipated date, on which it should start. Late period can be associated with intake of hormonal drugs or indicate either to pregnancy or perimenopause. If you are not pregnant, and all other physiological causes are excluded, then you should better consult a specialist in order to fit out other – pathological origins of the delay.
Female reproductive system is a complex mechanism, which is regulated by a combination of hormones that interchange each other. Such an alternation has a cyclic nature and is referred to as menstrual cycle (MC).
Menstruation is a regular, monthly process of rejection of endometrium (uterine mucous lining), which had previously been prepared for possible conception. It marks the start of the new MC and overlaps with the stage of the ovum’s maturation.
Usually, women know when their period is due, within the accuracy of 1-2 days. Any delay of periods first of all rings the bell about pregnancy. However, you should start searching for other possible causes if you make sure you are not pregnant.
Reasons for late period
Causes of the delay can be classified into the following categories:
- Disturbance of hormonal balance:
- Nonmalignant neoplasms;
- Complication after surgical interventions and inflammatory diseases;
- Pathological consequences of intrauterine devices;
- General diseases.
The first group includes two physiological causes of a delayed period, namely perimenopause and intake of hormonal drugs, and four pathological factors – stress, acclimatization, physical exhaustion and rapid weight loss.
- Perimenopause – this period lasts about 4 years, preceding the menopause (complete absence of periods at least during a year). It is characterized by reduced estrogen effect and a disturbed balance of male and female sex hormones. Menstrual disorder, accompanied by more frequent anovulatory cycles, is one of the classical perimenopausal signs.
- Intake of hormonal contraceptives is aimed at correction of the endocrine profile and provoking anovulatory cycles. That is why scanty and late period, in this case, are considered to be quite normal.
- Severe emotional upset is able to affect neurohumoral regulation of the organism, in general. In some cases, emotional shock results in a missed period. Such a condition does not require gynecologic treatment and is considered to pass through after emotional recovery.
- Mechanism of menstrual disorder is almost the same as in the case of a moving to a different climatic zone since the endocrine profile requires additional time to adjust itself to the new environment. Thus, this can be one of the reasons of a delayed period.
- Women, who are engaged in professional sport, experience disturbed balance of estrogens and androgens, contained in blood, which leads to an irregular MC.
- Rapid decrease of fat tissue provokes hyperstrogenism, which has to do with the fact that lipocytes are significant for hormone metabolism. In order to prevent any harmful consequences of a diet, one should calculate her own ideal weight, and move towards it in small steps.