Reasons for Delayed Periods

causes of delayed period


Menstruation is a major part of puberty where a woman starts to bleed from her vagina for a small number of days. The cycle reoccurs after every 28 -35 days. The woman starts to menstruate at the age of 11-12 and ends by 50-52 when she reaches menopause. The menstruation cycle usually begins on the first day of the period to the day before the start of the next period. The period stops during the duration of pregnancy. It restarts only after childbirth. There are many reasons why this menstruation cycle stretches and periods are delayed.

Worried that you still have not had your periods this month? Five to seven day delay is quite normal. One of the first things that the mind goes to when your period is delayed is pregnancy. If pregnancy is not in your scheme of things, then there are many other reasons why your period can be delayed. There is no need to panic.

Listed below are few of the most important reasons for delayed periods:

Weight issues

If you are suffering from weight issues like underweight or weight, it is likely that you have a problem with a normal period cycle. The body goes into a state of amenorrhea. Women who are underweight do not have enough healthy fat cells to produce estrogens. Overweight Women have issues that disrupt the normal hormonal functioning.


Stress brings in a whole lot of problems physically and psychologically. Stress is a major cause of delayed periods. A stressed out body decreases the amount of a hormone (GnRH) needed to menstruate. Stress can cause hypothalamic amenorrhea. Stress could be due to work, family problems, breakups, unexpected events, etc. Learning to relax will help to regulate the normal cycle.

Thyroid irregularity

Thyroid imbalance could hamper your normal menstrual cycle. The thyroid glands help to regulate metabolism. It helps in the smooth running of the various systems of the body. A thyroid disorder or imbalance, whether hypo- or hyperthyroidism, can disrupt the production of prolactin, which is necessary for ovulation.

Excessive exercise

The fitness craze leads many to over exercise. Over exercise can at times cause delayed periods. Women who exercise too much, have low body fat to produce estrogens to ovulate. It has been noticed that gymnasts and ballet dancers have higher incidences of delayed period as compared to female athletes. The demanding exercise puts stress on a woman’s body.


Sometimes short illnesses like cold, cough, fever or even some other kind of illness can cause delay in the period. Once the illness has been cured, period cycle resumes normally.

Change in schedules

Any change from a normal routine can put stress on the body. It could be an out of station trip, an event in the family, a night shift at the job, and change in your wake up time can all affect your period. Until the body gets used to the new schedule or you go back to your normal routine, you might experience delayed periods.


Medications can be a major cause for delayed periods. Some drugs like anti-depressants, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, etc. can hinder normal periods. Even birth control pills can cause the same.

Polycystic Ovary Symptom

Polycystic Ovary Symptom (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance where women produce more male hormones or androgens. This causes the ovaries to malfunction and stop ovulating. Treatment can help manage the condition and have regular periods. Women who suffer from uterine fibroids also suffer from delayed periods.

Most women have the problem of delayed periods in their lifetime. Unless it is a delayed for a very long time, it is nothing to panic about. A regular gynec check up is always a good thing to rule out any other kind of complications or illnesses. A regular check up also helps to correct things at the earliest.