What can cause a missed period?
( Part 1/2 )
Having a regular period means that you menstruate during every menstrual cycle. Missing a period is very likely a sign that you are pregnant.
Menstruation is not possible during pregnancy. Spotting, or light vaginal bleeding may happen, but do not to confuse them with having a normal menstruation.
Therefore, when you miss a period, you may be pregnant. A home pregnancy test, a doctor, or gynecologist can confirm or deny those doubts.
If NOT pregnant, the most frequent reasons for a missed period are:
Anovulation means that you do not ovulate (your ovaries do not release an egg) during your menstrual cycle. Ovulation problems cause 30% of infertility cases, as well as missed periods. Women mostly seek fertility help due to lack of ovulation.
Numerous problems cause anovulation: PCOS or Polycystic ovarian syndrome (70% of cases), thyroid problems, stress, anxiety, the long-term use of hormonal birth control, etc.
Stress and anxiety is bad for your body and health, and can cause problems such as lowering your immunity, affecting your cardiovascular health, or missing your period.
A complex balance of hormones regulates your menstrual cycle. Stress can alter this balance because it interferes with the hypothalamus (area of the brain) which produces those hormones.
Stress situations cause the body to focus on the perceived danger, which can disrupt your body’s normal processes. The reason is that the pituitary gland, which is involved in handling stress, is also responsible for releasing both the luteinizing hormone (LH) and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Both are crucial for your menstrual cycle. FSH helps your egg mature in the ovary, while the LH triggers the egg’s release during ovulation. When the pituitary gland is handling stress, it may cause a delayed ovulation, or none at all. A delayed or absent ovulation leads to a delayed or absent menstrual period.
In short, stress can cause missed, delayed, late, or more painful periods.
A healthy menstrual cycle depends on a good balance of body fat. Fat cells produce estrogen, which plays a crucial role in helping your eggs mature and get released during ovulation.
Being underweight (too little fat cells) may lead to low estrogen production, causing a lack of ovulation, missed periods, and irregular cycles.
Being overweight (excess fat cells) causes excessive estrogen production. In this case, estrogen can act as birth control, impede ovulation and cause missing periods, sometimes even for months.
Too many fat cells can also cause the polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS (a condition when the body produces too much estrogen and too many male hormones), responsible for missed, heavy or irregular periods. PCOS is often inherited, and can cause infertility and ovarian cysts.