10 Reasons Behind: Why Is My Period Late?

Here are 10 reasons behind “Why Is my period late. But I am not pregnant!” a fright every person who menstruates goes through.

Here are 10 reasons behind “ Why Is my period late. But I am not pregnant! ” a fright every person who menstruates goes through.

Your monthly period is like an old friend who visits without fail but what happens when this friend decides to arrive fashionably late, or worse, doesn’t show up at all?  Before you start panicking about a surprise pregnancy, take a deep breath.

We’ve all been there—that moment of panic when your period doesn’t show up on time, and your mind starts racing with the possibility of pregnancy. While pregnancy is one of the most common reasons for a missed period, there are numerous other factors that can throw your menstrual cycle off course.

Why is my period late if I am not pregnant?

Hormonal imbalances, whether due to underlying medical conditions or lifestyle factors, can disrupt your menstrual cycle. Fluctuations in hormones like oestrogen and progesterone can lead to late or missed periods.

The average menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days, although anywhere from 21 to 35 days is considered within the normal range. In a 28-day cycle, menstruation typically occurs on days 1 to 7, with ovulation happening around day 14.

So, why is my period late, again?

what are the reasons behind late period

Take a deep breath and ask; is it a ‘Late’ or ‘Missed’ period?

A period is generally considered ‘late’ if it has not started within a week (7 days) after the expected start date. For example, if your menstrual cycle is usually 28 days, and your period hasn’t arrived by day 35, it would be considered late.

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A period is considered ‘missed’ if it hasn’t occurred for at least 6 weeks or longer after the expected start date. This means that if you have a 28-day cycle, and you haven’t had your period for 42 days (6 weeks), it would be classified as a missed period.

10 reasons behind: why is my period late fright!

It’s important to note that individual menstrual cycles can vary and if you’re concerned about a late or missed period, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the cause and rule out any underlying issues.

So, before you hit the panic button, let’s explore the top 10 common reasons why your period might be running behind schedule when you’re absolutely sure you’re not pregnant.


Ah, stress – the silent disruptor of our lives. Chronic stress can throw your hormones into disarray, wreaking havoc on your menstrual cycle. Your hypothalamus, the brain’s control centre for your period, can be negatively affected by stress.

The result?

Delayed periods. To combat this, try relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes to manage your stress levels effectively.

  • The Stress Factor: Chronic stress can wreak havoc on your hormones, affecting the hypothalamus, which regulates your menstrual cycle.
  • What You Can Do: Practice relaxation techniques, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and consider professional help if needed.

Read more: Rising Strong: Empowering Women in the Face of Stress and Depression

Low body weight

Extreme weight changes, especially in cases of eating disorders like anorexia or excessive exercise, can lead to irregular periods. A lack of body fat can interrupt ovulation. Seeking treatment for eating disorders and restoring a healthy weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle.

  • Weight Worries: Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or excessive weight loss can lead to irregular or absent periods due to a lack of body fat.
  • Seeking Solutions: Treating the underlying eating disorder and regaining a healthy body weight can restore your menstrual cycle.


On the flip side, excessive body weight can also throw a spanner in the works. Obesity can lead to an excess of oestrogen, a key reproductive hormone, causing irregular periods or even stopping them altogether. Lifestyle changes, including a focus on nutrient-dense foods and exercise, can help address this issue.

  • Weighty Matters: Just as being underweight can disrupt your cycle, obesity can lead to an overproduction of oestrogen, causing irregular periods.
  • Getting Back on Track: Work with your doctor to manage your weight through dietary changes and exercise.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a common condition affecting menstruators, characterized by hormonal imbalances and ovarian cysts. It can make ovulation irregular or non-existent, leading to late or missed periods. Treatments often include birth control or medication to regulate the menstrual cycle.

  • PCOS Puzzle: PCOS can result in hormonal imbalances, cyst formation on the ovaries, and irregular ovulation.
  • Navigating Treatment: Your doctor may prescribe birth control or other medications to help regulate your cycle and manage PCOS symptoms.

Read more: All The Things You Need To Know If You’re Living With PCOS

Birth control

Ironically, the very thing used to control periods can sometimes disrupt them. Birth control methods like pills, implants, or injections can cause changes in your menstrual cycle. It may take up to three months for your cycle to normalize after discontinuing hormonal birth control.

  • Pill Paradox: Starting or stopping birth control pills can temporarily disrupt your menstrual cycle.
  • Patience is Key: It may take a few months for your cycle to stabilize after discontinuing birth control pills.

Read more: Morning After Pill: How Does The Emergency Contraception Work?

Chronic diseases

Conditions like diabetes and celiac disease can also affect your menstrual cycle. Changes in blood sugar levels can lead to hormonal imbalances and menstrual irregularities.

Malnourishment caused by celiac disease can disrupt hormone production, while uncontrolled diabetes can lead to irregular periods. Proper management of these chronic conditions is essential for maintaining a regular cycle.

  • Diabetes and Celiac Disease: Conditions like diabetes and celiac disease can affect blood sugar levels and nutrient absorption, leading to menstrual irregularities.
  • Managing Health: Managing these conditions and maintaining a balanced diet is essential for menstrual health.

Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)

POI occurs when the ovaries stop functioning prematurely, often before the age of 40. It can result from genetic disorders or autoimmune conditions. If you experience missed periods and are under 40, consult your doctor for testing and treatment.

  • Early Menopause: POI can cause early menopausal symptoms, including missed periods, and may occur before the age of 40.
  • Consult a Specialist: If you suspect POI, consult your doctor for testing and treatment options.

Image source: 7 Ways Of Coping With Endometriosis

Thyroid issues

An overactive or underactive thyroid can influence your menstrual cycle. Thyroid hormones play a vital role in regulating your metabolism and reproductive system. Medication can typically treat thyroid issues, restoring your regular cycle.

  • Thyroid Troubles: Thyroid imbalances, whether overactive or underactive, can disrupt your menstrual cycle.
  • Medication Matters: Medication can help correct thyroid issues and restore your regular periods.


Amenorrhea is when you miss your period for six months or more. While pregnancy is one possible cause, other factors, such as hormonal imbalances, tumours, or congenital conditions, could be at play. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.

  • Long-Term Absence: Amenorrhea refers to the absence of periods for six months or more, often due to hormonal imbalances, tumours, or underlying conditions.
  • Tailored Treatment: Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may involve hormonal therapy or addressing the root issue.

Medications or Medical Treatments

Certain medications or medical treatments can impact your menstrual cycle. If you’re taking any medications or undergoing medical treatments and experiencing changes in your menstrual cycle, it’s crucial to discuss these effects with your healthcare provider to ensure they are expected side effects and not a sign of an underlying issue. For example:

  • Anticoagulants: Blood-thinning medications can affect your menstrual flow, potentially leading to lighter or delayed periods.
  • Chemotherapy and Radiation: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy can disrupt the normal functioning of your ovaries, leading to missed or irregular periods.
  • Certain Psychotropic Medications: Some medications used to manage mental health conditions can influence hormone levels, potentially causing menstrual irregularities.
  • Hormonal Treatments: Hormone therapy for conditions like endometriosis or uterine fibroids can alter your menstrual cycle.
  • IUDs (Intrauterine Devices): While hormonal IUDs can make periods lighter or even stop them altogether, non-hormonal IUDs might lead to heavier periods or irregular bleeding.

Bonus reason: you might actually be pregnant!

While we’ve explored various reasons for late periods, it’s crucial to mention that pregnancy is still a possibility. If your period is late and you suspect pregnancy, take a home pregnancy test about one week after your expected period date.

If results are inconclusive or you have other pregnancy symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for further testing.

Read here: 5 Best Home Pregnancy Test Kits In India

Pregnancy vs. Late period: how to tell?

Testing the Waters: If you suspect pregnancy, take a pregnancy test about a week after your missed period.

Early Signs: Look out for other early pregnancy symptoms such as breast tenderness, nausea, fatigue, and frequent urination.

Consult a Professional: If in doubt, consult a healthcare provider for a blood or urine test.

Your menstrual cycle is a complex symphony orchestrated by your body’s intricate systems. It’s perfectly normal for it to occasionally skip a beat or arrive fashionably late.

While a late period can be unsettling, it’s important to remember that pregnancy is just one of the many possible reasons for this delay. Lifestyle factors, underlying health conditions, and hormonal imbalances can all play a role in disrupting your menstrual cycle.

Why is my period late?


If you find yourself facing irregular periods, consult with a healthcare professional to pinpoint the cause and explore appropriate treatment options. Remember, your body is unique, and occasional variations in your menstrual cycle are entirely normal.

Take care of your overall well-being, and your menstrual health will follow suit.

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At Women's Web we try to bring you information on Fitness & Wellness topics of interest to you. This is not, however diagnostic or prescriptive information, so please do consult your doctor or therapist before using any of it.


About the Author

Suruchi Kumari

Hello! I am a feminist and an aspiring journalist. I'm all about dedicating myself to ensure unheard(ignored) and everyday stories of people find a regular place in your feed, through pen or mic; read more...

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