The reproductive system is a miraculous thing. It is an organism that comes alive every month for the majority of people that experience a cycle. Even more incredible than the reproductive system are the people who have to live with them. Despite the constant stresses associated with menstrual bleeding that exist in the chaos of everyday life, somehow they manage their monthly flows with as much or little ease as is humanly possible.
Even for those who bleed we have to remember that every person is different, and as a result everyone’s body operates uniquely. Some of us have our cycle at the same time every month, down to the exact day. For others, it may not be so predictable. And occasionally for some, they don’t even happen at all. Most people will experience at least one missed period in their lifetime, but if you’ve missed your period for 3 months in a row then you’re experiencing amenorrhea, a condition that affects 3-4% of women.
Missing your period can be the result of numerous things, and it doesn’t always mean pregnancy. So before you start panicking and pre-planning baby names make sure you stop for a moment and check in with your body to determine if there may be some other underlying issue. We’ve put together a list of 9 reasons that you might miss your period, and none of them are pregnancy.
It is common for young people who are just starting their period to have an irregular cycle. The normal menstrual cycle lasts 21-35 days in healthy people, but this is known to vary. For someone who has just gotten their period it can often happen that they have a few cycles and then go months without another one.
Depending on your age, you may be coming up to menopause. Menopause is the total cessation of menstruation in a person’s later life. Young menstruators, you all have quite a few years before you can eliminate the pads and tampons from your shopping list! If you are under 40 and seem to be experiencing the symptoms you may be going through early or premature menopause and should consult your doctor.
Just stopped the pill and noticed you’ve missed your period? Starting or going off the pill can have an impact on your cycle. Birth control pills may cause a period to stop in some women. Once the oral contraceptives are stopped, normal menstruation may return after some time. In some cases, it may take up to 6 months for your cycle to return to normal again.
There are certain medications that could cause a period to stop. If you’ve missed your period, consider that the reason may be the drugs you’re ingesting. Any of these medications can cause a missed period: antidepressants, chemotherapy drugs, antipsychotic drugs, allergy medicines and blood pressure drugs.
Important Lifestyle Factors
We all know that the way we live our lives ultimately has an impact on our bodies. Sometimes these lifestyle choices are unintentional and out of our control, other times it’s just a matter of self-awareness and personal adjustment to find the right mind/body balance for you.
Change In Schedule
Have a strict gym-work routine and then suddenly call it quits? Your body might not handle that well and as a result act out in a number of ways. If you’re constantly changing your work schedule, or if your schedule is generally pretty inconsistent then your period may mimic this and not come on time. Jetlag and constantly travelling can also cause your cycle to be pushed back by a few days or come earlier than expected.
Our brain truly is the boss of our body, and is constantly reminding us of it! There’s this super small chamber in the brain, the size of an almond called the hypothalamus. The magical nut-sized compartment that is the hypothalamus controls the hormones that send signals to the ovaries to regulate your monthly period. It can literally inhibit or stimulate hormone secretion. If you’re experiencing mental stress and you miss a period, two or three, then this governing member may be on strike! So take some time to chill out, de-stress and just breathe. Before you know it your chill levels will be reigning and soon enough your cycle will normalise itself once again.
Excessive Rigorous Exercise
Working out for hours and hours on end can have a negative impact on the body, causing it more harm than good if you are not exercising properly. Overexercising can cause a change in your pituitary and thyroid hormone levels, which can lead to an alteration in your menstrual cycle.
There are certain chronic illnesses that may have an impact on your cycle including diabetes, thyroid disease, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), liver diseases and pituitary tumors. Often your cycle may not return to normal until these conditions have been properly treated, and it may take a while even after you have been completely cured.
Experiencing fluctuating weight? This could be a reason why you’ve missed your period. Being both severely overweight or underweight can affect how our body functions. Having a very high BMI can be related to missed periods, and is usually resolved by losing weight.
People who are extremely underweight, particularly those with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia may often miss their period. Particularly in the cases where the body weight is about 10 per cent under the normal range for your height, your body may stop being able to function properly, which can also result in ovulation ceasing.
When To Reach Out To Your Doc
If missing your period has become a regular occurrence it’s best to check in with the doc to see what’s up with your bod. Even if you’re just going through a change in the pattern of your regular periods there’s no harm to bring it up, better to put your mind at ease than to cause unnecessary stress for yourself.