Are you dealing with a late period? Or maybe you missed it already? Many factors have seen to delay the menstrual cycles and in some cases even lead you to lose them for a long period of time (amenorrhea).
Late/missed period- is it the sign of pregnancy? What are the other factors causing this?
1. The most important is to exclude a possible pregnancy as a reason for that! • Signs/symptoms of pregnancy : (Please be aware, cause these symptoms are NOT exclusive for pregnancy) fatigue, frequent urination, early morning sickness, nausea, headaches, light spotting/implantation bleeding, mood swings, cramping, swollen breasts etc. • Diagnosis of pregnancy : In case you have a suspicion, take a pregnancy test, if is positive set an appointment with your gynecologist, if it is negative try another time after a few days and consult your doctor. • Ectopic pregnancy, abortion etc.
2. What about your lifestyle? Have you thought about the way you live? Is it dangerously stressful? In our days the stress has overwhelmed us and is a great factor of suppressing our body. We work a lot, maybe we travel often, or we suffer even from insomnia and other sleep disorders. All of the previous factors, together with emotional distress (divorce, loss of a family member, etc.) may lead progressively to disorganization of the hypothalamic system which is responsible for menstruation.
3. Excessive weight loss/gain and vigorous exercise. It has been observed that excess workout or abrupt changes in your weight (especially in fatty tissue), disturb the hormonal system. As a result there is a decrease in "leptine" and estrogens level which leads to menstrual disturbances.
4. PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome). Is a common hormonal disorder, due to increase androgens (male hormones mostly) in woman, especially in their reproductive age. Main symptoms include: acne, excess hair loss, menstrual imbalances such as heavy bleeding, and irregular-rare periods.
5. Breastfeeding. During lactation there is an activation of a prophylactic mechanism of the organism called "lactation amenorrhea". According to this for at least 6 months after pregnancy, hormones that induce lactation interrupt the ovulation of the mother(prevents from another pregnancy so close to the previous one).
6. Thyroid problems! Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can lead to menstrual disturbances.
7. Medications In case you follow a contraceptive therapy (pills) for a long period the menstruation can be suppressed for up to six months. Also other drugs seem to suppress the menstrual cycles such as antipsychotics, antiallergics, antidepressants etc.
8. Early perimenopause. Actually there is • Premenopause-> period prior to the transition into menopause • Perimenopause->transitional period prior to menopause • Menopause->the end of reproductive cycles of a woman Early perimenopause (<40ys), could be theoretically another possible reason of an amenorrhea!
*It is advisable to consult your personal physician to assist you appropriately!
Be healthy and happy!
Dr. Chrysoula Valaroutsou is a Greek medical doctor graduated from UOC (english division Constanta,Romania). She is passionate about medicine and always eager to learn more. She has lots of love and loyalty towards serving mankind.
References : Harrison’s principles of internal medicine, MayoClinic.org, PIKTOCHART.COM for the infographic.