Health and MedicineDiseasesThe delay of menstruation: most common causes

The delay of menstruation: most common causes

Menstruation consists of the period during which the detachment and expulsion of the endometrium occurs outside the woman’s body, so that if fertilization does not occur each month, the inner layer of the uterus detaches, expelling the ovule in the form of blood from the vagina In other words, we are faced with a physiological process by which women periodically expel a mature egg that is not fertilized with blood, through the vagina, as well as other different materials from the uterus.

This blood flow, also known as the period, comes from the uterus and tends to last a few days, usually between 3 to 5 days, although it will vary depending on the diet followed (for example, whether it is balanced or not), the stress and anxiety that women may suffer, the existence of certain diseases… In any case, it is common for the period or menstruation to occur every 28 to 30 days, at which time the body prepares for the ovulation cycle and finally for the menstrual cycle.

Among the most common symptoms of menstruation we can especially mention the one known as menstrual pain, characterized by the appearance of intense abdominal and/or pelvic pain that appears before menstruation or coincides with it. We can also name other related symptoms or signs, such as: lumbar or kidney pain, headache, swelling, nausea, vomiting, fluid retention, diarrhea or constipation.

Why is menstruation or period late?

Believe it or not, there are actually many causes that can influence a woman’s menstruation to be delayed or not, and for the most part it is true that it has nothing to do with pregnancy. However, it is true that when menstruation does not arrive, the fear of an unwanted pregnancy or even thinking that you could suffer from a fertility problem are two of the issues that most tend to worry most women. What’s more, on rare occasions delayed menstruation can be a symptom of something more serious.

The delay of menstruation as a symptom of pregnancy

If the menstruation does not arrive and you have had some unprotected sexual intercourse, it is possible that a delay in the arrival of the period could be a symptom of pregnancy, especially if you are of childbearing age. In fact, we are facing the most common cause of missed menstruation in women of childbearing age.

Therefore, if your period has not arrived, you suspect that you may be pregnant and in fact the day has already passed when your period should have been lowered. Currently in pharmacies you can find effective pregnancy tests even with just one day of delay.  However, as false negatives can occur, it is best to wait at least 7 days for the test result to be as accurate as possible.

Unbalanced and inadequate diet

Following an unbalanced diet directly influences the delay or even the absence of menstruation, since nutritional imbalances occur that later cause hormonal imbalances.  Therefore, amenorrhea is a common symptom in women with eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia.

Stress and anxiety

Few women think that nerves, stress or anxiety can directly influence the delay of menstruation. Not in vain, emotional stress is a common cause not only that the period is delayed more than necessary, but also that it causes the absence of menstruation itself.

For this reason, when a woman goes through a time of stress, or that nervous tension coincides with the days when her period should arrive, it is common for the period to be delayed and not arrive until after a few days, especially if the tension that may be suffering is temporary and disappears shortly after.

The key? Try to relax, eliminating the tension that may be causing a delay in menstruation. Opt for relaxing infusions, practice physical exercise and do some meditation or relaxation. It will help you re-regulate your menstrual cycle.

Medication consumption

Following a treatment based on some medications can be a common cause of absent or delayed menstruation. Obviously, contraceptives are a direct cause (whether oral, injectable or implanted).

But there are also other medical treatments that can cause delayed or absent menstruation as a side effect. This is the case of antidepressants, antipsychotics, oral corticosteroids, some thyroid drugs (for example in case of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism) or chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder that causes the appearance of cysts in the ovaries, changes in the menstrual cycle and difficulty in achieving pregnancy, which is linked to changes in hormone levels that make it difficult for the ovaries to release correctly of mature ovules.

Therefore, when a woman suffers from this disorder, it is common for the absence of the menstrual period to occur or for there to be irregular menstrual periods.

Thyroid diseases

When the thyroid does not work properly, the decrease in the production of thyroid hormones in turn causes an alteration of the menstrual cycle. In fact, it is estimated that around 40% of women who suffer from hypothyroidism also have menstrual disorders, as ovulation is altered, reducing the woman’s ability to become pregnant.


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