These Are The Reasons Your Period Could Be Late That Aren’t Pregnancy

A missed period can be worrying, but there are many things it could mean that aren't pregnancy.

It’s not like many of us are jumping for joy when our period arrives but when our periods are late and the pregnancy tests are negative, it’s hard to not worry about what’s going on and what we could do to urge it along, if anything.

However, there are many contributors to missed periods that often aren’t too serious and can be treated with medication, talk therapy or even just a little time.

Also, remember that even if you’re usually regular, most people who haven’t reached menopause usually have a period approximately every 28 days. However, a healthy menstrual cycle can range from every 21-40 days.

Reasons your period can be late that aren’t pregnant

You’re experiencing higher levels of stress

That old chestnut. It’s surprising how much stress impacts our bodies and minds, as so many of us just accept it as part of day-to-day life but stress can really impact our hormones and menstrual health.

According to Healthline: “Chronic stress can throw off your hormones, change your daily routine, and even affect the part of your brain responsible for regulating your period: your hypothalamus. Over time, stress can lead to illness or sudden weight gain or loss, all of which can impact your cycle.”

You’ve been exercising a lot more than before

This may feel like a no-win situation but, according to the period experts at Always, you could be missing periods because you’re exercising a little too much.

Always said: “While moderate exercise is a big plus for staying healthy and boosting your mood, extreme exercise can cause hormonal irregularities that affect your period. For instance, Olympic athletes sometimes stop getting their periods altogether, a condition known as amenorrhea.”


You are on a new medication

We understand that new medications can come with their own side effects (extremely dry skin, anyone?!) but rarely do we put missing periods down to them.

However, according to Always, this is often the underlying reason behind a missed period.

Always said: ”[Periods] can be affected by antidepressants, antipsychotics, thyroid medication, anticonvulsants or some chemotherapeutic drugs. Some women do not get periods whilst on certain types of hormonal contraception such as the progesterone only pill or intrauterine hormone releasing devices.”

You are breastfeeding

According to the NHS, If you fully breastfeed (including at night) without any bottle feeding or using dummies, your periods may not start again until you stop night-time breastfeeding or start giving your baby solid foods, formula or other milk (weaning).

This is because the hormone that causes your body to make breast milk can stop your body making the hormones that control your periods.

When to see a doctor about missed periods

The NHS recommends that you see a doctor if:

  • you’ve missed your period 3 times in a row
  • your periods have not started by the time you’re 16
  • you’ve missed your period and have other symptoms like weight gain or weight loss, tiredness, hair growth on your face and dry or oily skin