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You missed your period, but your home pregnancy test was negative. What’s going on? Missed periods don’t always mean that you’re pregnant (although that’s the most common reason). There are many other factors that can affect your monthly cycle. Here are 7 reasons for a late period negative pregnancy test.
Are you under a lot of stress? Maybe you have a new job, recently moved or are working through a really tough semester at college.
Stress can cause what’s called hypothalamic amenorrhea, a type of missed period. The hypothalamus part of the brain is responsible for regulating a lot of the hormones associated with your period. This part of the brain is highly affected by stress, so major life changes or traumatic events, such as a death in the family, can cause you to miss your period.
Stress is one of the most common reasons for missed period when pregnancy is ruled out.
2. Thyroid Issues
The thyroid gland is responsible for regulating metabolism, and it also interacts with other systems in the body to keep everything running smoothly. If you have a thyroid imbalance or disorder, be it hyper- or hypothyroidism, it can affect your monthly cycle.
3. Medications and Illness
Illness and medications can both affect your period. If you have an illness that is yet to be diagnosed or still has not been treated, it can affect your general system, and in turn, affect your period.
On the other hand, a new medication or a new dosage of an existing medicine can also affect your period. It’s for this reason that your gynecologist always wants to know exactly what medications you’re on and what the dosage is.
If you’ve been ill, have an untreated illness or are taking new medication, this may be the cause of your missed or late period.
4. Weight Changes
Major weight changes, either weight gain or loss, can cause you to miss your period. Why? Changes in your body weight can affect ovulation. Women who are extremely under- or overweight may not get periods at all, which is a sign that your body is not healthy.
If you have recently lost or gained a lot of weight, it may have thrown your cycle off and cause you to miss your period this month.
5. Excessive Exercise
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but just like anything else in life, excessive exercise can be detrimental to the body.
Maybe you’re exercising more than usual or training for a marathon. No matter the case, if you’ve taken up an intense and new exercise routine, it may be throwing your cycle off. Many women who engage in regular intense physical exercise often find that their periods are delayed.
If you’re exercising harder and more often than usual, this may the cause of your delayed period.
6. Premature Menopause
Some women who are under 40 experience premature ovarian failure, or premature menopause. This can occur when the body’s hormones begin misfiring in a very significant way. Aside from missed periods, you may also experience night sweats, hot flashes and dryness in the vaginal area.
The chances of your missed period being caused by premature menopause are slim. It’s not a common condition. However, until your gynecologist rules this out, it’s a possibility.
If you’re experiencing other menopause symptoms along with your missed period, there is a chance that you are suffering from premature menopause.
7. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
PCOS is a condition that causes women to produce more androgen, a male hormone. When this occurs, cysts begin forming on the ovaries because of the hormone imbalance. The combination of these cysts and the imbalance of hormones can cause ovulation to become irregular or stop altogether.
In addition, other hormones, like insulin, can become out of balance because of insulin resistance. PCOS is becoming increasingly common, and it can cause women to either miss their periods or experience irregular cycles.
Some other symptoms of PCOS include growing hair on the chest or face, fertility issues and trouble losing weight.
Your gynecologist can help you determine if PCOS is the cause of your missed period. If it is, your doctor can also help you create a treatment plan to manage and overcome the condition.
These are some of the most common reasons why women miss their periods when they’re not pregnant. It is also possible that you haven’t actually missed your period, and you simply miscalculated your cycle. The average woman’s cycle is 28 days, but many women have cycles that are longer or shorter. On top of this, many women experience slightly irregular cycles without even realizing it. So, before you panic, think back to the last time you had your period. You may just be miscalculating, and your period may be on its way.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can stress cause a missed period even if I’m not pregnant?
Yes, stress can be a common cause of a missed period when pregnancy is ruled out. Major life changes, traumatic events, or high levels of stress can affect the hypothalamus part of your brain, which is responsible for regulating hormones associated with your menstrual cycle. Stress can disrupt this delicate balance and lead to a missed period.
How can thyroid issues affect my menstrual cycle?
Thyroid imbalances or disorders, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, can interfere with your menstrual cycle. The thyroid gland regulates metabolism and interacts with other systems in your body. When the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can disrupt hormonal patterns and lead to irregularities in your monthly cycle.
Can medications and illnesses cause a missed or late period?
Yes, both illnesses and certain medications can impact your menstrual cycle. Undiagnosed or untreated illnesses can affect your overall system and subsequently disrupt your period. Additionally, new medications or changes in medication dosage can also influence your menstrual cycle. It’s important to inform your gynecologist about any medications you’re taking to assess their potential impact on your period.
How do weight changes affect the menstrual cycle?
Significant weight changes, either weight gain or loss, can cause a missed period. Changes in body weight can impact ovulation, and extreme under- or overweight conditions may result in the absence of periods altogether. If you have recently experienced a substantial weight change, it can disrupt your cycle and lead to a missed period.
Can excessive exercise delay my period?
Yes, excessive exercise can disrupt your menstrual cycle and cause a delayed period. While regular physical activity is beneficial, intense and increased exercise routines can place stress on your body. Many women who engage in intense physical exercise often find that their periods are delayed. If you have recently intensified your exercise regimen, it may be the cause of your delayed period.