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My period came 2 weeks early last month. Now it's one week late and still no period. What's going on?

By Anonymous January 4, 2016 - 2:26pm
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So last month was final exams, and my period came 2 weeks early. I'm assuming that stress was a good cause of that. But I have not been sexually active in several years, so unless we need to alert the churches, I am not pregnant. What could be other reasons why I'm not getting my period, and when should I be concerned?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thank you for your post!

A regular period is supposed to happen every 24-29 days. Irregular menstrual bleeding takes many forms and varies from woman to woman. 23–35 day cycles are very common. Some women get their periods only one to four times a year. Others have periods two to three times in a month with spotting or extremely heavy flow.

Girls may not have regular periods at the beginning. It's normal, especially in the first two years after starting menstruation, to have an irregular cycle. It may take several years for the hormones to reach a balance.

Menstrual periods can also be irregular at the other end of the menstrual years. Many women approaching perimenopause and menopause notice their otherwise regular periods become irregular. This can be due to an imbalance of hormones upsetting their cycle.

Gynecologists typically agree most irregular periods are benign. They’re usually caused by some sort of hormonal imbalance. Monthly periods are susceptible to highs and lows in our emotions and health. Simple things like illness or travel can bring on irregular cycles.

Pregnancy is the most common cause of a missed period. Anorexic or bulimic women or endurance athletes can find their menstrual cycles lessened or stopped due to a decrease in body fat. These women have low estrogen and aren’t ovulating.

Stress – this includes drug use and reliance on caffeine and alcohol – can lead to irregular periods. Medications, such as birth control, may cause lighter, less frequent, more frequent, skipped periods or no periods at all. Other causes can be recent childbirth, miscarriage, a D&C and even breast-feeding.

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) usually don’t ovulate regularly. With PCOS, high levels of estrogen are generated but no eggs are released. The excessive estrogen stimulates the uterine lining to thicken to a point where it must be released. However women with this condition aren’t having what are considered “real” menstrual periods since they’re not regularly ovulating.

Another cause may be your thyroid.

When thyroid hormones are off balance, a wide range of symptoms can result, including irregular periods.

Since you've skipped a period and are late just in the past two months try to relax. Many women experience irregular periods now and then. Chances are good your cycle will return to normal next month now that exams and holidays are over. If it doesn’t, talk to your health care practitioner to talk about getting back on track.


January 4, 2016 - 3:34pm
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