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We receive a lot of questions in regards to missed periods and negative pregnancy tests. questions like Am I pregnant? Could I be pregnant?

Of course pregnancy is the first thing that we think of when our period is delayed or missed especially if sexual activity has taken place. But there are other reasons for you to have a late or missed period. Pregnancy is not the only reason for people to have a late period.

Here are the 12 most common reasons that you’ve missed your period:

1. Stress
Stress can affect many functions of our bodies including our periods. Scientists know that stress boosts levels of stress hormones – glucocorticoids such as cortisol. Elevated cortisol can inhibit the body’s main sex hormone, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), and subsequently suppresses ovulation.

Sometimes we can get so stressed out that our body decreases the amount of this Gonadotropin-releasing hormone. This hormone receives instruction from the pituitary gland and is necessary to set in motion activity from other hormones to instruct the ovaries to produce and release and an egg during ovulation and then subsequent menstruation occurs.

Working with your doctor or midwife can help you figure out what you need to do to relax and get back on schedule. This can sometimes take a few months or more to work itself out.

2. Illness
A sudden, short illness or even a longer illness can cause your periods to be delayed. If you get a bad case of the flu or a stomach bug you might skip your period for the month.

Irritable Bowel can also cause you to skip a period here and there. This is usually temporary but talk to your doctor about when to expect your period to return.

3. Change in Schedules
Changing schedules can really throw off the natural rhythms of your body. This is particularly true if you work shift work. Did you also know that many women travelers find their usual menstrual cycle changes or even stops while they’re on the road.

4. Change in Medications
Although it is not always conclusive many medications can affect menstruation. Medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure pills, and even antibiotics can affect your periods. Be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife about any side effects. Missed or irregular cycles can be very common with some methods of birth control. If you change medications, be sure to ask what effects this may have on your period.

5. Being Overweight

Carrying around too much weight can shift or disrupt your cycles or even stop them. Basic cholesterol compounds in fat cells can change into a type of weak estrogen called estrone. Overweight or obese women carrying extra fat cells have little estrone-making factories, which have an estrogen effect on glands.

This added estrogen can cause bleeding or menstrual disorders. A woman may go months without ovulating, for example, but the uterine lining is still accumulating — to the point that it becomes unstable. A woman can then have a period that is like a flood and with prolonged or very heavy bleeding. Most women will see a return to normal cycles and fertility with the loss of some weight, even if they are still considered overweight.

6. Being Underweight
If you do not have enough body fat you will not have regular periods, sometimes can even cause your periods to stop all together. This is called amenorrhea. Underweight women and women with eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, that result in extreme weight loss may also be unintentionally impacting their menstrual cycles.

Women without much fat on their bodies may have fewer periods or go longer without ovulating. These women may be so underweight that their bodies simply stop making estrogen. Additionally, the lack of fat doesn’t allow cells to convert cholesterol into extra estrogen. Typically a weight gain will help you have your periods return.

7. Miscalculation
The menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. While we say that the average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, that is not true for everyone. Some women have cycles as short as 21 days or as long as 35 days. Sometimes our period is believed to be late when actually we have simply miscalculated. If you have irregular menstrual cycles, but know when you ovulate, look for your period to start about two weeks after you ovulate.

8. Peri-Menopause
Peri-menopause is the period of time where you are transitioning from your reproductive years to your non-reproductive age. Your periods may be lighter, heavier, more frequent or less frequent – but mostly just not normal. If you do not wish to get pregnant, be sure to continue to use birth control because you are still fertile.

9. Menopause
Menopause is when you have reached the point in your life where you will no longer ovulate or menstruate. Menopause is one of nature’s natural events or it can happen surgically through hysterectomy / oophrectomy which means that your uterus and ovaries have been removed or through a chemical cause such as various forms of chemotherapy.

10. Thyroid
The thyroid is a gland that sits in our neck that helps regulate out bodies functions, such as your period. Women who go to their doctor with a complaint of missed period, discover that the doctor will first and foremost do an examination to see if there are any potential thyroid problems.

It is understandable that the thyroid could have an effect on the menstrual cycle, as it is a hormone producer, and the problem with missed period most often is, it is all based around the imbalance of the hormones needed for the reproductive system.

Tuberculosis and Diabetes can also cause you to skip a period here and there.

11. Excessive Exercise
Excessive exercise can cause period irregularities. You may miss your period completely or you may just have symptoms such as spotting or intermittent bleeding, or even painful menstruation. Not every woman that becomes involved in strenuous sports or excessive exercise, will run into these types of problems but it can be a cause of missed or abnormal bleeding.

This can happen because during long regimes of excessive exercise the body needs more energy. While it is producing this new needed energy it ignores some of the other body functions like the menstrual cycle. This is not a dangerous situation but if continued it may be advisable to reduce the amount of exercise.

If this has become a problem for you speak to your doctor as to whether you should continue with your current exercise program, and also to be sure that this is the root cause of the problem and not something else.

It can take several months of missed periods before the menstrual cycle will return to normal, even after stopping excessive exercise completely.

12. Pregnancy
Finally yes, your missed period might be because you’re pregnant! A simple pregnancy test can usually help you determine if you have missed your period because you are pregnant. Home pregnancy test kits that are on the market today are 97% accurate.

If you are pregnant, you should call to make a prenatal appointment.
If you have taken a pregnancy test and it is negative. Most tests advise you to wait another week and retest. If the second test is negative or if you have a good idea of why your period is missing, then you can and should call the doctor or midwife sooner for a physical exam.

A doctor may also perform a blood work  test and can sometimes prescribe medications to help bring on your period.


Share your Thoughts
  • Sana123

    HI monica,

    First of all you work is awesome…..I got my period on apr 15th ,2012.I didn’t get this month period yet.It was supposed to start on May13th.My cycle was regular(29 days.).so,do you think i’m pregnant?When is the best time to take first response test test?(I’m feeling some sort of strange taste in my mouth).

  • Tenten Buenagua

    hi Im kirsten and im 18 yrs old ..

    i have sexual intercourse last april 30 2014
    and i know he didnt put it all in my vagina
    so i know there’s nothing to worry about
    but when the month of may starts .. and im expecting
    to have menstrual cycle in 2nd week of May
    i missed my period .. so im worried .. i buy a pregnancy test
    but it show’s negative line and then i wait 1 more week
    but my mentrual cycle didnt come yet .. i take another pregnancy test
    but still it show negative i have taken home pregnancy test 3 time in 3 weeks in a row .
    and im so worried and asking and asking to myself am i pregnant ?
    so im 1 month delayed period .. and im planning to take a las pregnancy test but ..
    if it show negative i will see a doctor and take a blood test ..
    but can you help me .. what should i do im planning to take a medication that can help me have mentrual cycle but .. im worried if im pregnant i will lose my baby
    please help me ..

  • leah

    my boyfriend and i had sex almost 3 weeks ago and i was suppose to get my period last week but now its been a week and its late and we didnt use a condom, but the other times we had my period was never late, it was always on time , what does that mean? should i take a pregnancy test or to wait a little more to see if ill get my period?

  • sunita

    Please suggest me which medicen to use as I am 28 yes from 6 months I am not getting menstrual I taken medical test for suger,fatty liver, thyroid,Harmon etc but still no use please suggest me.

  • Nuria Martinez

    My period is over 34 days late . I took a home pregnancy test but it was negative? Can i still be pregnant ? hepl please ASAP

  • suman shahi

    hy im suman. my girlfriend missed period this month bt m sure that she is nt pregnant coz she dnt hv any other symptoms of pregnancy. i knw ask smth abt missed period… last month when she was in period, she had lots of blood bleeding its usual , never happed before. is it any symptoms of illness. she is far frm me i scared abt her health. i told her to pregnancy test also bt she dnt wanna do that coz we didnt had sex by 8months.. can you help me to find out the reason of missed period.
    forgot to mention she is suffering from allergy on her necked frm 1month.. is can be the reason for missed period?????

    hope you ans me soon
    thank you for ur video

  • anshu sig

    i am 21. had my period first time when i was 12 . I used to have regular periods till the age of 18 … i missed my period for about 6 months before i went to hospital.they said its normal for some girls .After usg and thyroid test they said everything is okay and gave me some meds(it was some kind of hormone) for 3 months. After havig meds i had regular menstruation for about 6 months and again it stopped and after about 1 year i got a period and another after 7 months ….. its 40th day from my last period… and i m feeling some slight pain around my vagina (not too much) and little discharge …ive no sexual relationship with anyone but had masturbated many times … please suggest me something ….. CAN IT BE A CANCER ???…please do reply…

  • kencho wangmo

    i have one child and i used injection for my family planning and i stopped after injecting 3 times.And now i am running 6 years without my period back. I too got TB(Tuberculous) and is the reason of that not coming my period. i too took medicine to come my period but yet not coming and so doctor advice me to do DNC even then still my period is not coming.Now i am so worried what is the problem with me and please help me how i will get back my period and pregnant too.