Experiencing Late or Skipped Periods? These Could be the Probable Reasons

Reasons for late or skipped periods

Are you experiencing a delay in period or have you skipped your periods?

There are several reasons for a woman to experience late or skipped periods or for periods to stop altogether.

Most women have a menstrual cycle that lasts every 28 days. That said, it is common for some women to have a marginally shorter or longer cycle than this. Thus, the menstrual cycle can be anywhere between 22 and 35 days. Some women may often experience an irregular menstrual cycle. Hence, the commonly asked questions are “why are my periods not coming?” or “why are my periods late?

Moreover, the duration of menstruation as well as its intensity may vary.

Let us look at the reasons for late periods.

Reasons for Delay in Periods

There are numerous reasons for your periods to stop. The most common are mentioned below:

  • Pregnancy
  • Extreme Stress
  • Sudden Loss of Weight
  • Obesity or Being Overweight
  • Too Much Excessive Exercise
  • Intake of Oral Contraceptives or hormonal pills
  • Onset of Menopause
  • PCOS (or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

Sometimes, women may experience a missed period because of an underlying medical condition, such -

  • premature menopause,
  • overactivity of the thyroid glands, or
  • uncontrolled diabetes.

Along with these reasons few daily habits might also impact on period timing leading to delayed period .

Let’s discuss the reasons for delayed period in details -

Pregnancy pauses your periods

This is one of the most common reasons for absence of periods. You may be pregnant if you are sexually active or if the contraception you are making use of fails.

It may also be that your period is just late; so, you should wait for a few days to check if it arrives.

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Stress delays your periods

The second most common reason for delay in periods is too much stress. If you are stressed out, your menstrual cycle can get longer or shorter, your periods may abruptly stop altogether, or you may experience pain during menstruation.

You need to avoid stress during period time by training your mind and body to relax. Regular exercise or physical activity such as running, swimming, and weight training can help in beating stress. Breathing exercises, too, may help.

If you are going through intense stress, you may opt for CBT (or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). This therapy involves talking about your problems so that you can manage them by altering the manner you think as well as act.

Sudden weight loss can cause missed period

Excessive or sudden, abrupt weight loss may cause your periods to stop, making it one of the causes of missed period.

Through severe restriction on the intake of calories you consume, the production of certain hormones required for ovulation may come to a halt.

To tackle this late period problem, your doctor may refer you to a dietitian if you are underweight, which is when your BMI (Body Mass Index) is below 18..5. A dietitian can help you in learning ways to regain weight safely through alterations in your diet.

If an eating disorder (such as anorexia) is the reason for your weight loss, you may need to consult a team of specialists.

Being obese or overweight creates period trouble

Being obese or overweight, too, can affect your menstrual cycle . If you are overweight, your body may produce an excessive amount of oestrogen, which is one of the hormones that are responsible for the regulation of the reproductive system of women.

Excessive levels of oestrogen can affect your period time as well as cause your periods to halt.

Your doctor may advise you to consult a dietitian if you are overweight, with a BMI of 30 or higher, Performing too Much Exercise

The stress that excessive physical activity places on your body can have an impact on the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much fat via intense exercise can also prevent you from ovulating.

You may be advised to reduce the level of your physical activity if excessive exercise is one of the causes of missed periods.

If you are a professional athlete, you may need to consult a doctor specialising in sports medicine. Such a doctor may offer advice regarding how to maintain your peak performance without any disruption in your periods.

Contraceptive Pills

If you are taking a contraceptive pill, you may miss a period, which is not typically a cause for concern.

Certain types of contraception, such as progestogen-only pills (or POP), intrauterine systems (or IUS), or contraceptive injections, can cause a complete stop in your periods.

That said, your periods should resume after you have stopped taking these types of contraception.


Missed periods become more common when you approach the phase of menopause. This is because the levels of oestrogen begin decreasing and ovulation becomes less regular. Post-menopause, your periods will come to a complete halt.

The phase of menopause is a natural part of ageing, which usually occurs in women aged between 45 and 55. That said, around one in 100 women go through this phase before completing 40 years. This is known as premature menopause or even premature ovarian failure.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovaries usually contain a vast number of harmless follicles, which are basically underdeveloped sacs in which eggs (or ova) begin to develop. If you develop PCOS , these sacs are unable to release the ovum, thereby putting a halt to ovulation.

The Bottomline

Just as every human being is different, every menstrual cycle, too, is different. While 28 days is the typical length of the cycle, it may be anywhere between 22 and 35 days. Occasional irregularities in the menstrual cycle (such as a stressmissed period) may occur for numerous reasons, including chronic stress, severe weight loss or weight gain, or the use of contraceptive pills. Now you know the answers to the questions, “why are my periods not coming?” and “why are my periods late?