Yes, we know that the first sign of being pregnant is a missed period, medically known as amenorrhea. But if you are not trying for a pregnancy and still get a delayed period, chances are it could be pointing to an underlying health condition or something as simple as stress, which we tend to ignore in our daily lives.
What Is a Menstrual Cycle
A menstrual cycle is a process of shedding the uterine lining that has built up over a month, and it happens to prepare the uterus for pregnancy.
The first day of your period is known as Day 1. On this day, you’ll bleed for about three to five days (depending on how heavy your flow is) before stopping completely. This phase is known as menstruation or “menses.”
After your period ends, you’ll go through an ovulation phase— an egg ripens in one of your ovaries and is released into the fallopian tubes.
If a sperm meets this egg, it can fertilise and form an embryo. If this happens, then pregnancy occurs! If not… well… no baby!
When to Take Pregnancy Test After Missed Period
If you have missed your period, then there is a chance that you could be pregnant. If this happens, it is important to take a pregnancy test immediately. It is recommended that you wait until after the first day of your missed period before taking a test, but some women choose to take them earlier in case of an early miscarriage.
How Soon Can You Take A Pregnancy Test
It can take up to two weeks for your body to produce enough hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone for an accurate result on a pregnancy test—meaning that even if you’ve had unprotected sex recently, it may still not be possible for your body to produce enough hCG for an accurate result before your missed period.
The best way to find out if you’re pregnant is by waiting until at least two weeks after unprotected sex before taking a pregnancy test (even though it may not show up yet).
Causes of a Missed Period
If you’re worried that you might be pregnant, here are five other reasons for experiencing a missed period.
An imbalance of the thyroid hormones could also play havoc with your ovulation and menstrual cycle; the first sign of that would be a missed period. However, look for other signs such as rapid weight gain or weight loss, mood swings, hair falls, chronic fatigue and brain fog which are some prominent signs of a thyroid disorder.
What you can do: Get your T3, T4 and TSH levels tested and visit a general physician who could decipher the results for you.
Aggressive exercise or a change in routine
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If you’ve recently started exercising, it could also be a reason for your missed period. On the other hand, if you have started on a new routine, such as taking up a night job or started staying awake late in the night, it could also be a cause. However, your cycle will return to normal once your body adjusts to the routine.
What you can do: Take it easy and go slow. Look for ways to relax and rejuvenate after work through yoga or meditation.
Yes, this is another health problem that stress could trigger! If you’re undergoing stressful situations such as a painful divorce, breakup, death of a dear one or even work-related issues, it could lead to hypothalamic amenorrhea or a late period.
What you can do: Yoga and meditation are all you need to keep stress away and increase your happiness hormones.
If you’ve taken on an aggressive weight loss regimen and are eating less or exercising way more than your body permits, it could also result in a late period. This is because your body is under a lot of stress, and it takes it as a signal to delay ovulation and your period. Now you know why fitness instructors ask you not to overdo things.
What you can do: If you are trying to lose weight, don’t try easy methods and think of losing it all in a month. Gradual weight loss is more effective and also does not affect your health.
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A severe deficiency in your body, such as low iron levels or illness, could also delay your period. Anaemia or iron deficiency is a condition when your body has a lower number of red blood cells than required those required to carry oxygen to the different parts of your body.
However, other signs would accompany it, such as pale skin, recurrent skin infections, irregular heartbeat, dizziness and headache. Consult your doctor if you feel that you are suffering from them.
What you can do: You should consider adding the missing nutrients to your diet. For example: if you’re missing iron, eat more red meat! Also, see a doctor and discuss them with him in detail.
Some women have shorter or longer cycles than the 28 days that are considered normal—and that’s fine! If your cycle usually lasts 30 days, but this month it’s only 25 days long, don’t worry about it too much unless it continues for more than three months in a row. That could indicate a more serious problem with your hormones or health, which should be addressed by a doctor sooner rather than later.
What you can do: First and foremost, ensure you are eating healthy foods and getting enough exercise. If you’re not getting enough nutrients in your diet or not exercising enough, this can cause irregular periods. Also, ensure you aren’t experiencing any stress in your life.
Stress can also cause irregular periods because it affects the hormones in our bodies and causes them to behave differently than they normally do. Finally, make sure that you aren’t taking any medications that might affect your period (such as birth control pills).
PCOS is a common cause of missed periods and infertility. It stands for polycystic ovary syndrome, caused by an imbalance of hormones in your body. The hormones involved are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Your doctor can diagnose PCOS by doing blood tests and looking at whether you have cysts on your ovaries.
PCOS is characterised by irregular periods and cysts on the ovaries that make it difficult or impossible for them to release eggs regularly (or at all).
What you can do: If you have PCOS, some things can help:
- A low-carb diet
- Weight loss (if needed)
- Birth control pills (for women who want to delay pregnancy)
Do note that for having PCOS and an irregular cycle, the best thing to do about having a missed period is to schedule an appointment with your gynaecologist. He or she can help you monitor your ovulation period and maybe help you to get your menstrual cycle back on track.
If you’ve been sexually active and haven’t been using birth control, a missed period may be a sign that you are pregnant. The average time from when a woman conceives to when she has her first missed period is about six weeks. If this has happened to you, see your doctor to confirm the pregnancy and ensure everything is going well.
What you can do: If you have missed a period, it is important to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible.
If you choose to take a pregnancy test, make sure that it has been at least three days since your last period and that it is performed in the morning. This will ensure the most accurate results possible.
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Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period
Pregnancy symptoms can be a bit confusing. You might experience some while waiting for your period and others that might not show up until after you’ve missed your cycle. Here’s a quick rundown of what to look out for even before a missed period:
It’s common to feel nauseated when your body is preparing for a baby. If this is happening to you, try eating small meals throughout the day instead of three big ones—and don’t forget about snacks!
Fatigue is also common during early pregnancy, especially with morning sickness. This can cause an overwhelming feeling of tiredness that makes even small tasks seem difficult to accomplish and can leave you unable to perform simple tasks like laundry or cooking dinner.
You may notice that one or both of your breasts feel sore or tender before your period arrives. This is normal—it happens because they are filling up with milk!
Food cravings can be a sign that you’re pregnant. You may not have been expecting them, but you might see that your body starts craving certain foods when you start showing pregnancy symptoms. If it’s been more than two weeks since your last period and you’ve noticed that you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s time to take a pregnancy test.
When you’re pregnant, and your hormones start getting all out of whack, your body produces more melanin, which makes your eyes brown and gives the skin its colour. And guess where most of this melanin goes? Yep: Your areola! The darker it gets, the more likely you’re pregnant.
Mood swings, irritability, and crying spells
For some women, mood swings are common during pregnancy because of the changing hormones. Mood swings can cause you to feel overly excited or angry for no reason.
Irritability is also a common symptom of early pregnancy. This may be because your body is adjusting to these new hormones. You may feel tired or even nauseous. Your breasts may also feel tender and sore.
Crying spells occur when you become overwhelmed with emotion during early pregnancy. It can be hard to deal with the changes happening inside your body at this time, so it’s normal for you to cry more than usual.
Missed Period But Have Negative Pregnancy Test
Take a pregnancy test if your period is over a week late. If it’s negative, try again in a few days. If the result is still negative, but the date on the test is earlier than your last period and you’ve had sex since then (or the condom broke), take another test in a few days. If the result shows that both tests are negative, see your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic immediately.
If you think you might have been exposed to someone with chlamydia or gonorrhoea, see your doctor immediately for treatment.
Otherwise, if your period doesn’t start within three weeks of when you would have expected it if you were pregnant (or seven weeks if this was your first missed period), see your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic because there could be something else going on.
Is Missed Period for a Month Something Common
Missed period for a month is something common. If you have missed your period for a month, it can be due to many reasons. Missed period for a month may happen if you are not pregnant or if you are pregnant.
Missed period for a month can happen because of stress and anxiety, irregular menstrual cycle, irregular ovulation, thyroid disorders, diabetes, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), fibroids, endometriosis etc.
The best way to find out if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If it comes out positive, you need to see a gynaecologist immediately and get examined with an ultrasound so that they can confirm whether it is an actual pregnancy.
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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