Why Is My Period Late? 

image001 A normal period is typically on a 28 day cycle. For most women, especially those on birth control pills, this is what they have come to expect. When your period is late, worry often sets in. What could be causing this? What’s going wrong with your body? Fortunately, though there are many reasons why a period could be late, and most of them are not serious at all.

11 Reasons for a Late Period

There are many reasons why your period might be late. Most of them are nothing to worry about. Sometimes there is more than one reason, and sometimes a period is mysteriously late for no reason you can really pinpoint.




Some women are quite lucky in being able to track their periods on a regular schedule; for instance, some women might have their period every 28 days, like clockwork. But others aren’t so lucky, and that means they might not know the exact day on which their period is supposed to start. Miscalculation is a typical cause of what seems to be a late period.

Initial Years of Periods

When a young woman first starts her period, it usually takes several months, sometimes even years, for the schedule to become regular. A young woman might have a few periods, then nothing for several months. Or once she does settle into a schedule, she might then start having late periods as her body changes yet again.


Stress plays a significant role in most issues with the human body, including late periods. Stress has been proven to sometimes reduce the hormone GnRH, which is responsible for making woman ovulate and menstruate. The stress of emotional upheaval can also wreck havoc on your body.

Weight Fluctuation

Not having enough body fat can lead to lighter or even non-existent periods. But carrying too much weight can also lead to late periods or other problems with your menstrual cycle. When you are dieting, or quickly gaining or losing weight, one of the side-effects could be a few months of late periods.

Intense Exercise

If you are an athlete, the pressure of constant exercise can take a toll on your body, even if you are at a healthy weight. Many athletes find that their periods can become lighter, late, or they can even miss a few during times of strenuous physical activities.


This is a time of transition between the fertile years and the non-fertile ones. During this time, the hormones in your body are fluctuating, and that means that one month things might be normal, and the next month, your period might be late. It could also be the reason for lighter periods, heavier periods, or no periods at all for a time.


When your body decides it’s time to stop the fertile cycle, menopause occurs. The hormones that allow for ovulation reduce or cease, and that can also mean that your periods are a thing of the past. This can happen naturally over time, or might be induced surgically following a hysterectomy or other medical procedure.

Health Problems

Speaking of health problems, there are many issues that can cause your period to be late. Problems with your thyroid, illnesses such as the flu, and even disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome can cause your period to be late or to even disappear for a while.


Though medications can be helpful for what ails you, they can also have side effects that have an impact on your body. This is especially true with contraceptives. If you have just stated on birth control pills, had an IUD inserted or tried several of the other types of birth control on the market, you might find that your periods are changing.


If you’re traveling a great deal lately, the stress of all that zooming across the world might have something to do with your late periods. Constant changes in schedule, eating on the run, and the simple stress of air travel or long hours in a car can contribute to stress that affects your body in all sorts of ways, including upsetting your menstrual cycle.


Of course, a late period could very well be caused by pregnancy. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant, a late period means you can start to get excited that maybe this is the month! Either way, a simple pregnancy test can help either confirm or rule out the possibility of pregnancy.

If you’re still not sure why your period is late, remember that only a doctor can help you be absolutely sure of the cause. If you’re concerned about a late period, be safe rather than sorry – contact your doctor and set up an appointment to get to the cause of the problem.