Late Period: 7 Causes Of Missed Period

missed or late period

Last updated on July 28th, 2018 at 04:55 am

Late period (skipped or missed period) is often a cause for concern among women. During adolescence, having a delayed period after intercourse can be worrying. However, pregnancy is not the only cause of a delayed period.

Are you worried why your period is late? Do you feel you are pregnant? Did you have a late period with negative pregnancy test?

This guide explains the causes of late period and the right time to test for pregnancy.


Why is my period late?

Every woman in their reproductive years and at puberty will notice cyclical bleeding called period or menstruation.

Normal period in girls last about 2-7 days with normal flow of 40 – 60 mls. Between 2 of your period is ovulation cycle or menstrual cycle.

The normal cycle is between 21 – 35 days and can vary due to stress, anxiety, illnesses or due to medical conditions.


Reasons for late period are:

1.  Pregnancy

Though, there are many other causes of late period, pregnancy is still the commonest reasons for missed period in women.

If you’ve had intercourse without contraception, your late period may be due to pregnancy.

Late period symptoms if due to pregnancy are:

  • Clear milky white and excessive discharge after your missed period
  • Low abdomen pain
  • Breast pain
  • Getting tired easily
  • Vomiting
  • Food aversion
  • Nausea

2.  Stress

Did you notice period is late after stressful weeks or missed your period after prolonged severe exercise?

Body stress can affect hormones that controls ovulation. Ovulation is the release of egg from your ovaries. Normally and in most women, it occurs 14 to 16 days before your next menstruation.

Stressful weeks, severe exercise or eating disorders can affect hormone release by the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus produces hormones that stimulate your pituitary gland producing FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (Luteinizing hormoone). These hormones regulate ovulation by affecting the development of follicles and your endometrium.

Therefore, if you’ve had a stressful months or weeks, it’s likely your late period is due to stress. Should i be worried? Not yet.

3.  Long term illness.

Chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus or kidney disease can affect your period or make it come late.

Also, if you were sick especially when you were expecting ovulation, it can affect ovulation and delay your period.

4.  You’re taking a birth control pill

Birth control pills act on the ovaries to prevent ovulation from taking place. If you ovulate, you can get pregnant. However, these pills when stopped or not taken properly may affect your period and make it come late.

5.  Weight issues

If you are underweight or overweight, you may have problems with your period. Very severe exercise leading to loss of more than 10 percent of body weight can make your period come late.

6.  Perimenopause

What is perimenopause?

This is the time before a woman finally stop releasing eggs from her ovaries. It occurs between 4 to 10 years before menopause with symptoms like breast pain, mood changes and hot flushes.

Menopause usually occurs in women at 51 years. Therefore, if you’re in your mid 40’s and experiencing late period or irregular period, its a sign that menopause is just around the corner.

Also, some women may develop absent period due to premature menopause, which is the failure of ovaries to release eggs very early in life.

7.  After a morning pill (plan B)

Did you take a plan B or postinor after intercourse? Then it may be the reason for late period. Postinor (Levonorgestrel) acts by blocking ovulation and thickening your cervical mucus.

After intercourse, if postinor is taken within 3 days, it can result to a late or skipped period.

8.  Polycystic ovaries

If there is a problem with your ovaries, it can cause hormone imbalance. PCOS (Polycystic ovaries) can cause irregular or late period in women. While there is no known cause, women with PCOS complain of delayed or no period, excessive hair growth, weight gain and difficulty in getting pregnant.

However, treatment is possible. Drugs like metformin and COC pills can be used to regulate your period.


Frequently asked questions about Missed period

These are some FAQs about missed period that may concern you. You questions not answered? Let us know.

How late can a period be before you should worry?

It is not unusual for women to have late period once in a while. However, if it becomes persistent and irregular then it may be a bad sign. Normal menstrual cycle occurs between 21 to 35 days. If you’ve not seen your period a week after missing your period, then you should inform your doctor or run a home pregnancy test.

Also, if you’ve taken any pill or morning after pill, you can have a skipped period. If you still don’t feel signs of pregnancy, then maybe you’re not. However, it is always a good idea to always test for pregnancy.

Are there any cure for delayed period?

If you have a delayed period, then it may not mean you are pregnant. Your delayed period if dues to stress and exercise can be treated with basic lifestyle changes. Also, delayed period due to PCOS can be treated with losing weight, metformin, and oral contraceptive.

In addition, home made therapy can help cure your delayed period. Use of garlic and honey can help regulate your cycle.

Is it possible to miss period for a month?

It is possible to miss your period for months. The right question is: What causes missed period for months? The commonest cause is pregnancy. If you are pregnant, you will not see your period coming out. Birth control pills, drugs, premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovaries and stress can also make you miss period for months.

What are the causes of late period with negative pregnancy test?

It is possible to have late period but not pregnant. Causes of missed period with negative pregnancy test are

  • Stress
  • Weight gain
  • Severe weight loss
  • Excessive exercise
  • Ovulation problems
  • Drugs

What to do if period are late?

If your period is late by a few days, then you don’t have to worry yet. However, If you’ve already missed your period for weeks, then get a pregnancy test done.

Also, if you are expecting an event and just want to period out, then it can be induced. Induction of period can happen if you add parsley to you food or take vitamin C.

Inducing your period may cause a miscarriage if you are already pregnant. Please always get a test done first.

My period is late but i have cramps

If your period is late and you had cramps before your missed period, it is likely because of pregnancy. Also, it could be a sign of late ovulation if you had any stressful exercise or illness when you were expecting ovulation.

My period is 1 day late. What to expect?

You don’t have to worry. It likely due to stress, exercise and severe loss of weight. If you had intercourse, it could be pregnancy.

What should i do?

  • Be watchful and observe yourself for symptoms of pregnancy
  • Any brown discharge before your period?
  • Get a pregnancy test done.

My period is 2 – 3 days late. What to expect?

If its 2 days and late then it may be from non-pregnancy causes. However, pregnancy could still be the cause. Intercourse just before ovulation can cause pregnancy.

What to do? Get a pregnancy test done.

My period is 4, 5, 6, 7 – 10 days late. What to expect?

You could be pregnant or your missed period may be due to stress or other factors like weight loss.

What to do? Check you vaginal discharge.

  • Is it much more than normal?
  • Is is clear discharge that is milky white?
  • Any brown discharge before now?
  • Do you feel tired easily?

Get a pregnancy test done

My period is a week late?

If you have not seen you period after a week, then it likely due to pregnancy. Get a pregnancy test done. If negative, you can recheck at a later time or inform your doctor. PCOS, nipple discharge, post abortion can cause abnormal period.

How do you know you’re pregnant before a missed period?

If you are pregnant you may experience any of these symptoms

  • Brown discharge
  • Fever
  • Enlarged breast
  • Feeling to vomit
  • Breast pain
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal cramps

Can stress delay period?

Yes. If you had a very stressful week it can result to hypothalamic amenorrhea. This can cause reduced GnRH hormone resulting in problem with ovulation. If ovulation does not occur, it will affect your next period.

What causes missed period and cramping?

If you’ve missed your period and you are having cramps, then its likely due to pregnancy. However, other conditions like endometriosis, tubal pregnancy and ovarian cyst can cause this pain.

What are pregnancy symptoms after a missed period

If you missed your period and you are suspecting pregnancy, these are some symptoms that will give you a clue.

  • You are vomiting
  • You urinate frequently
  • brown spotting
  • You notice nipple itching
  • Breast pain and swelling
  • White exercise discharge

I have not had my period in two months and i’m not pregnant

Yes, it is possible. If you missed your period for 2 months, then its likely you are pregnant. However, if you test negative to pregnancy, then it may be a sign of problem with your hormones, pituitary gland or ovaries.


Tagged under:


  • JD Reply

    I am 11 days late with my period it is always a 34 day cycle i have been feeling nauseus for the past 3 days as well as having stomach cramps and fitigue. I have tested twice but both were negative. Is it possible that i still can be pregnant?

    • Dr Dunn A. Reply

      yes. It’s possible you could be pregnant. You can test after a week. Low hormones may delay pregnancy signs and test negative.

  • CG Reply

    I am 5 days late but I do not have any symptoms of pregnancy such as excessive milky discharge (in fact is little to none normal dry discharge) I am usually very regular only missed my period for 1 month once due to stress. Am I experiencing another stress month? How long do I have to wait to get a pregnancy test?

  • Tanesha Cunningham Reply

    i am 16 days late and i have done may pregnancy tests and still got negative. I went to the doctors to do a urine test with them and still negative. Im not stressed (at least I don’t think ) and I got to wait till the end of the month to go back if my period does not come. But I have been having back pains and at times nausea with being gassy also I have evey so often cramps and being tired. I just really want to know if I am or not.

  • Mercy Reply

    I took postinor not knowing dat sperm was not present in my body and now I haven’t seen my period for 7 months

  • Trisha Reply

    Hi, I took postinor 2 three months ago but I had my period in the month that I took the drug but for two months now I haven’t seen my period and I did pregnancy tests but they all tested negative,what is wrong with me?

  • Brittney Reply

    I took plan b and bled for like five days and then when my period was supposed to come it was late i am now 16 days late, having lots of discharge its really clear or really milky looking and have taken several pregnancy tests that have all came back negative. I had some neasea and throwing up in the first week and tired after missing my period. Could i be pregnant?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.