The 2 Reasons Why Your Period Is Late (Even Though You’re Not Pregnant!)
A late period is usually a cause for panic – that is, if you’re not hoping to be pregnant and if you’re used to seeing your period turn up on time each month. With so many more of us tracking our periods with apps, we can become hyper-aware of a change to our cycle. Although it can cause worry and concern at first, this awareness is actually a good thing, because a late period is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong.
If you’re not pregnant, then a longer cycle or seemingly missing period is a sign that your health is suffering. In fact, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that medical professionals view the menstrual cycle as a vital sign and take abnormalities such as this seriously as indicators of a health issue.
What I call the “textbook reasons” for experiencing a late period include: pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, over-exercising, being underweight, or having cysts on your ovaries, i.e. PCOS. You might also find that your period takes a long time to re-start after you come off hormonal birth control like the Pill, Ring, shot or hormonal IUD.
If these situations are not what is causing your cycle changes, then it’s likely down to one or both of the two issues I’m about to describe.
- There’s no need for panic, these issues can be tracked through a salivary test I can run for you, and we can reverse hormone imbalances!
Why Your Period Might Go Missing
There are two common causes that go on to create a late period – SUGAR and STRESS. Too much of either of these is going to manifest in cycle issues – whether it’s increased cramps, worsened PMS, or a late period. And of course, sugar and stress seem to exist in their own special vicious cycle – feeding off of each other. We seek out sugar when we’re stressed out to sustain our energy and make us feel good.
Reason for Your Late Period #1: Sugar
Sugar elevates insulin levels and leads to blood sugar dysregulation – spikes and dips. Too much sugar can slow or prevent ovulation altogether (something to note if you are trying to conceive). When ovulation is late or doesn’t happen at all, then your period will also be late as you won’t have gone through the necessary hormonal fluctuations to trigger this biological event.
When your ovary releases an egg, the egg sack then produces progesterone. The increase of progesterone in your body encourages the buildup and eventual release of the lining of your uterus (a.k.a. your period!). Without proper ovulation, low or no progesterone is produced by your body. A late period can then actually not be an official “period” as such, but more like breakthrough bleeding. There’s no biological signal for the period to start, but your uterus needs to shed its lining anyway.
- How to fix this: “But, how can I avoid sugar??” I get it – sugar feels like one of the hardest things to give up. There’s a difference between bad, processed sugar and the good, or much better, kinds of sugar. You can satisfy your sweet cravings without risking losing your period. Reach out to me, I can give you some amazing dessert recipes that can help curve those sugar cravings, just message me and I’ll email them to you!
Reason for Your Late Period #2: Stress
An overload of stress creates a disturbance in your cortisol levels, aka the stress hormone. Stress raises cortisol levels, increases inflammatory markers in the body, and disrupts adrenal-thyroid performance. When you’re stressed and cortisol is running high, your body’s supplies of the hormone progesterone are used to produce cortisol instead of going towards triggering the onset of your period.
Also, chronic stress resulting in elevated cortisol levels leads to elevated insulin levels which interrupts ovulation which sends an overarching message to your body that you are not in the right set of circumstances to carry a baby. Evolutionarily this makes sense – in the past, feeling stress meant we were in physical danger and therefore unable to care for or nourish a pregnancy. These days chronic stress can become a way of life – we are overworked and overstretched and under-rested as a norm – and so sometimes our bodies react in this way to protect us.
- How to fix this: We all deal with stress sometimes, it’s unavoidable, but you shouldn’t be feeling wracked with stress every single day. If you’re getting so stressed out that your period goes missing, it’s time to take action. We look into your lifestyle, see how and where we can revamp your life. We also dig deep into your emotional stress, the resistance to let go through the “You Unbroken” program and our “Mirror Technique.”
You have it in your power to have a symptom free and delightful period every month. Investigate why your cycle is off, and take the right steps to get back in your regular flow! Having those hormones balanced is the key to unlocking your most powerful self. Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you!