Nowadays, with majority of the women following their period with an interest on the brink of obsession, a missed or late period is likely to cause much angst and concern. A missed period can send most women into a frenzy, leaving them frantically trying to figure out the cause behind the sudden no show, particularly when a baby doesn’t figure in one’s plans. Nonetheless, a missed menstruation does not necessarily mean a positive pregnancy, but it may imply anything from mere stress to an underlying medical illness.
Fortunately, most missed periods are a fall out of something trivial enough to resolve itself or something that can be taken care of with medications alone. Nonetheless, a missed menstruation still calls for a thorough investigation to exclude a positive pregnancy or any underlying medical cause for that matter.
Planned and Unplanned Pregnancy
The primary cause of a missed period is Pregnancy, mostly planned and sometimes unplanned. However, a simple home pregnancy kit or a more reliable urine pregnancy test can help rule out this cause. This is also the first step in ascertaining the reason behind a missed period, and if the woman is not pregnant, other causes of a missed period could be anything out of the following:
Top Reason for Missed Period
• Body weight irregularities, with excessive weight loss as well as weight gain being a common cause of irregular periods. Lately, obesity is turning out to be a major cause of most menstrual irregularities.
• Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
• Excessive exercise or extreme-intensity workouts
• Mental stress or depression
• Hormonal imbalances as seen in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Mainly irregularities in the levels of the thyroid hormones, FSH, LH, Estrogen, and Prolactin that support the menstrual cycle are likely to cause irregular periods or a missed period.
• Oral Contraceptive Pills or other contraceptive methods, and Psychotropic drugs for the treatment of psychological disorders may result in a missed period as well.
• Chronic illnesses like tuberculosis
• Breastfeeding generally results in no periods at all, yet a woman may experience a few missed periods when she resumes her menstrual cycle post-pregnancy. Another possibility around this time is a positive pregnancy, as a woman can get pregnant when lactating despite the absence of menstruation.
• Premature menopause
• Abuse or illegal use of recreational drugs
• Underlying medical conditions involving the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, the thyroid gland, or the genital tract.
What to Do When You Have a Missed Menstruation?
The best you could do after a missed period is to stay calm and calculate your menstrual dates in the past few months correctly if you still recollect them. Remember, most missed menstruation are just a one-time episode and your cycle is likely to get back on track next month, unless you are pregnant. Nevertheless, noticing the little signs or changes in your body that may accompany the missed or late period is important to know the reason behind it. Any symptoms from changes in weight to unusual hair growth on the face or chest could give a clue to the cause of a missed period. Such symptoms may indicate underlying hormonal imbalances or disorders like thyroid abnormalities or Polycystic ovarian Syndrome. But again, there are several other symptoms and disorders to note when dealing with a missed period. So, the best thing to do would be to wait for a week or two and if the period still doesn’t surface, get a home pregnancy test and visit your doctor in case it’s positive. However, if the test is negative you could wait a few more days or visit a gynecologist to know the real cause of the missed period and subsequent treatment measures.