Missed Period

MISSED PERIOD

Last Updated August 16th, 2019

Most people believe that the absence of a menstrual cycle is a clear cut indication of pregnancy. But it is possible to have missed periods for other reasons too. The other reasons of missed periods are - low BMI, stress, PCOS, birth control pills, thyroid imbalances, and eating disorders. At times, missing one period is considered normal by most doctors. However, if you are sexually active you should consider taking a pregnancy test if you miss a period.
In addition to a missed period, there are other signs in your body that hint towards pregnancy. You should check your breasts for tenderness. During pregnancy, breasts turn swollen and tender. A persistent feeling of nausea and vomiting aka morning sickness is the second indication. You might feel tired easily. The frequency of urination increases.
In order to get the most accurate results of a pregnancy test, you should ideally take up the test one week after your missed period. Or, you should wait at least 1-2 weeks after you had intercourse to get reliable results. If you take a pregnancy test on the 1st day of your missed period and it turns out to be positive, that means it is almost 2 weeks since you conceived.
Missed periods or amenorrhea can be due to a multitude of reasons. Having a missed period does indicate pregnancy however pregnancy is not always the reason for a missed period. If you have lost significant weight, it could make you miss a period. Travel, sickness, stress, change in eating patterns, PCOS, and endocrine disorders are linked to missed periods. Having 1 missed period is normal generally. You should consult a doctor if it keeps repeating (2-3 missed periods).

Introduction

In women of reproductive age, the ovaries take turns month after month to release a mature ovum. This ovum is expected to meet with a sperm and get fertilized to form an embryo. In anticipation of this, the uterine lining becomes thickened with blood in order to facilitate implantation of the embryo so conceived. When conception fails to occur, the uterine lining is shed through the vagina. This mechanism is responsible for menstrual bleeding. Every woman’s body is different; some have their period every 28 days and others may have a 31-day cycle. This explains why perfectly healthy women may sometimes experience 11 periods or 13 periods in a calendar year.

 

What is a Missed Period or Irregular Periods?

  • MISSED PERIOD causesSome young women fail to achieve menarche or onset of menstruation. This is one form of amenorrhea.
  • Menstrual bleeding for the month fails to occur in a woman who has already hit puberty, this is called a missed or skipped period.
  • When menstrual bleeding remains absent for up to three months, this is called secondary amenorrhea.
  • The period appears earlier or later than expected and there is continuous variation in the length of the menstrual cycle and heaviness of bleeding, this is known as irregular menstruation.

In the initial months and years following menarche, irregularity is a common phenomenon as the body is still in the process of regularising menstruation. Once a woman’s body has settled into a regular pattern of menstruation, she will learn to recognize this pattern and the normal duration of her menstrual cycle. Under normal circumstances, this pattern continues as expected.

A minor deviation of a few days is considered perfectly normal. Menstrual cycles ranging in duration from 24 to 35 days fall within the normal range. However, at times there may be a significant deviation. For instance, the bleeding for a particular month may fail to occur at all or it may be very late.

A missed period can indicate a sudden change in the bodily environment and by the time of the next period, things may return to normal. However, if the bleeding fails to occur for several months in a row or if the menstrual cycle remains irregular and unpredictable, this should be looked into. Its causes could range from pregnancy to menopause to polycystic ovary syndrome.

 

What is the Cause for This?

MISSED PERIOD pregnancyThe onset of menstruation may fail to occur on account of certain genetic defects or failure of the ovaries at an early age.

In the event of a missed or delayed period in a woman who has successfully attained puberty, especially when this occurs following unprotected intercourse, the most obvious conclusion is that of pregnancy.

However, there can be a variety of possible reasons for missing a period or irregular periods.

Some such causes are:

  • Chromosomal abnormalities such as Turner syndrome.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding. If one has recently had unprotected intercourse and not used oral contraceptives, then it is very likely that conception may have taken place and led to pregnancy. During pregnancy, the woman will not experience menstrual bleeding. Even afterward, it may take some time for the menstrual cycle to return to normal, usually only after the infant has been weaned off breastfeeding.
  • This is the period of time leading up to menopause when several changes in the body and menstrual cycle are expected to occur. This is a perfectly normal and healthy aspect of aging.
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain.
  • Anorexia.
  • Use of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamines.
  • Travel.
  • Stress.
  • Illness.
  • Exercise or physical activity in excess of one’s usual activity levels.
  • Endocrine disorders such as thyroid or pituitary dysfunction.
  • Premature ovarian failure or the loss of ovarian function before the age of 40.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Asherman’s syndrome, characterized by inflammation of uterine tissue which interferes with normal menstruation.
  • Certain birth control methods can cause missed or irregular periods. For instance, oral contraceptives function by disabling ovulation which is the very cause for the menstrual bleeding.
  • A long-term or untreated illness such as celiac disease.
  • Having an imperforate hymen. In this condition, the woman’s hymen does not have an opening sufficient for menstrual blood to pass through.

 

What are the Signs?

  • A missed period is a one-off failure or absence of menstrual bleeding.
  • Amenorrhea is characterized by the failure or absence of menstrual bleeding for as much as three months at a stretch.
  • Irregular menstruation involves continuous variation in the length of the menstrual cycle.
  • Irregular periods may also present with significant variation in the quantity of menstrual bleeding and the duration of the period.
  • Irregularity may also manifest in the form of spotting or light bleeding between periods.

These signs, in themselves, do not necessarily indicate a disease or disorder. As noted above, there are certain circumstances under which irregular or skipped menstruation is considered perfectly normal. Depending on the actual cause, there can be wide variation in the signs accompanying menstrual irregularity. For instance, a woman in the first trimester of pregnancy will typically experience morning sickness, mood swings, constipation, tenderness in the breasts and changes in appetite in addition to absent periods. Those experiencing perimenopause will also notice mood swings but this may be accompanied by hot flashes and vaginal dryness.

 

What are the Different Types of Amenorrhea?

MISSED PERIODThere are two fundamentally distinct types of amenorrhea. These are:

  • Primary Amenorrhea: Typically, this is the failure to achieve menarche at all. Often, this is the result of primary ovarian insufficiency, a condition seen in individuals with genetic abnormalities such as Turner syndrome. Alternatively, the reason may be an anatomical abnormality such as Mullerian agenesis which is characterized by the congenital absence of the uterus or the vagina or both in some instances. Primary amenorrhea cannot be cured.
  • Secondary Amenorrhea: This is medically defined as the absence of regular menstruation for three months at a stretch or the absence of irregular menstruation for six months at least. Causes for this can range from pregnancy and endocrine disorder to contraceptive use or conditions such as untreated celiac disease or anorexia. This is often treatable.

 

Are There Any Complications Associated With a Missed Period?

Where pregnancy is ruled out as the underlying cause, amenorrhea adversely affects fertility because it is usually characterized by the absence of ovulation. When ovulation does not occur, it is not possible to conceive. Lowered estrogen levels can increase the risk of loss of bone density and of developing osteoporosis.    

 

How Can This Be Diagnosed?

Adolescent females aged 15 or older who have not yet experienced menarche should seek medical advice. Theirs may be a case of primary amenorrhea or delayed onset of puberty. Generally, pregnancy is the first suspect when a sexually active woman has skipped her period once or for two months in a row. Hence, the gynecologist will certainly test for pregnancy. If this is ruled out, a number of other tests can help pinpoint the cause of this disturbance. Depending on the particular combination of symptoms exhibited the list of possible causes can be narrowed down.

The procedure of diagnosis may be as follows:

  • Physical examination and medical history.
  • Pregnancy tests.
  • Tests for thyroid and pituitary function.
  • Tests for serum hormone levels particularly with respect to hormones such as prolactin, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and testosterone.
  • Diagnostic imaging using techniques such as ultrasound and computerized tomography to study the condition of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Magnetic resonance imaging helps assess the condition of the pituitary gland and detect abnormalities such as tumors.

 

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment – Treatment for PCOS (a cause of irregular periods)

  • Combination birth control – Pills that contain estrogen and progestin decrease androgen levels and regulate estrogen. Regulating your hormones can lower your risks of endometrial cancer and correct abnormal bleeding, excess hair growth and acne. Progestin therapy – Taking progestin for 10-14 days every 1-2 months can help regulate your period and protect against endometrial cancer.
  • Lifestyle changes – Your doctor may recommend weight loss with a help of a low-calorie diet with moderate exercise activities. Even a moderate level of weight loss can help in reducing the PCOS symptoms.
  • Limit carbohydrates – Low fat and high carbohydrates might increase insulin levels. Be active – Exercise helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Increase in daily activities and participating in regular exercise can treat or even prevent insulin resistance, help weight management, and avoid diabetes.

Treatment for hyperthyroidism (a cause of irregular periods)

  • Radioactive iodine – This is absorbed by the thyroid gland, where the gland shrinks and the symptoms reduce, usually within 6-8 months. Anti-thyroid medications – This method reduces the production of excess amounts of the hormone that the thyroid gland produces. Beta-blockers – These are commonly used to treat high levels of blood pressure. They cannot reduce the thyroid levels but can reduce the heart rate and palpitations. It can also be treated with the help of surgery.
  • Supplementing your diet – If you have experienced a high level of weight loss and muscle wasting, you can fix a diet for you that contains extra calories and protein. Treatment of hyperthyroidism can lead to excessive weight gain, which is why it is also important to include exercise into your lifestyle and maintain your weight. Get sufficient amount of vitamin D and calcium – Since this condition can contribute to thinning bones, it is important to get a sufficient amount of calcium to prevent osteoporosis.

Prevention 

  • Stress management – Try and manage your stress levels to help reduce the frequency of your irregular period.
  • Avoid excessive workouts – While exercising is good for your reproductive health, over-indulging in it can make you miss your period.
  • Avoid dieting – while many people are obsessed with the idea of looking thin, it is important to maintain a steady weight. This is because of illnesses like anorexia. As the body’s hormonal balance is lost.
  • Darken your sleeping room – Make sure that your bedroom is dark and comfortable so as to get enough and the proper amount of sleep. This helps in making sure that there is no loss of the body’s libido which causes missed or irregular period.

Facts

  • Stress is one of the main causes for a missed period. Emotional stress and anxiety can cause irregular periods.
  • Health problems such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), thyroid disease, uncontrolled diabetes and uterine fibroids are other causes for a missed period.

Facts

  • Human, humpback whales, and elephants are the only animals that go through menopause.
  • In the middle ages, it was believed that red-heads were conceived during a period.
  • “Tampon” is French for “plug”

Facts

  • Jet lag can cause you to have irregular periods, as crossing time zones can throw your hormones off balance, just the way that stress does.
  • Gaining or losing weight can affect your period cycle.
  • Conceiving can be more challenging when you have missed periods.

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Most people believe that the absence of a menstrual cycle is a clear cut indication of pregnancy. But it is possible to have missed periods for other reasons too. The other reasons of missed periods are - low BMI, stress, PCOS, birth control pills, thyroid imbalances, and eating disorders. At times, missing one period is considered normal by most doctors. However, if you are sexually active you should consider taking a pregnancy test if you miss a period.
In addition to a missed period, there are other signs in your body that hint towards pregnancy. You should check your breasts for tenderness. During pregnancy, breasts turn swollen and tender. A persistent feeling of nausea and vomiting aka morning sickness is the second indication. You might feel tired easily. The frequency of urination increases.
In order to get the most accurate results of a pregnancy test, you should ideally take up the test one week after your missed period. Or, you should wait at least 1-2 weeks after you had intercourse to get reliable results. If you take a pregnancy test on the 1st day of your missed period and it turns out to be positive, that means it is almost 2 weeks since you conceived.
Missed periods or amenorrhea can be due to a multitude of reasons. Having a missed period does indicate pregnancy however pregnancy is not always the reason for a missed period. If you have lost significant weight, it could make you miss a period. Travel, sickness, stress, change in eating patterns, PCOS, and endocrine disorders are linked to missed periods. Having 1 missed period is normal generally. You should consult a doctor if it keeps repeating (2-3 missed periods).

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Consume high-fiber foods, more lean proteins, and anti-inflammatory foods.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Maintain proper weight.
Don'ts
  • Consume refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, and monitor sodium intake.
  • Indulge in smoking and excessive drinking.
  • Skip any meals or cut down on your sleep. Maintain a proper and well-balanced lifestyle.

 

 

 

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Diabetic Profile The diabetic profile is a set of tests used for testing and monitoring the various kinds of Diabetes…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Squid-ink-spaghetti
Squid Ink: A unique food coloring and flavoring agent Want to add a unique black color to your pasta, noodles and ice-creams? How can you use squid…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body in ways you…
Pumpkin Seeds: Why pumpkins are more than just for pies! Pumpkins have been long associated with Halloween carvings and delicious pies. But did you know that pumpkin seeds…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
GM Diet: The fastest way to lose weight or yet another hoax diet? General Motors started this trend of extreme dieting for 7 straight days to ensure its employees were able…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Sputum test Sputum test is a commonly used diagnostic tool that is used to examine the presence of pathogens in…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
beta hcg test
Beta hCG Test A Beta hCG test measures the level of human gonadotropin hormones present in the blood that is primarliy…
hepatitis B envelope antigen
Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg) The HBeAg or hepatitis B envelope antigen test is a screening test used to diagnose the onset of…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
macadamia nuts in food
Proven health benefits and nutrition of macadamia nuts Know all about scientific, amazing health benefits of macadamia nuts, its nutrition, recipes, how to consume, price and…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an enema could actually…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Hysteroscopy_procedure
Hysteroscopy Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive tool to help specialists view the uterus to diagnose and even treat several…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
11 unbelievable health benefits of thyme you didn’t know! Thyme is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine.It is a well known seasoning in the…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) Test Transglutaminase is an enzyme present in our body and is involved in protein metabolism. A tTg test is…
lp-pla2
LP-PLA2 Test The LP-PLA2 test is a test which is carried out to assess the levels of Lipoprotein-Associated Phospholipase A2…
immunoglobulin M
Immunoglobulin M Test Immunoglobulin M is the largest and the first produced antibody which helps in the prevention or fighting of…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
Find all the instant ways to get rid of blackheads Blackheads - Not only are they aesthetically unappealing but if left untreated these can cause bacterial overgrowth on…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
quinoa salad
Quinoa : A prodigious superfood you need to include in your diet today! Quinoa - what is so special about this native South American grain that has taken the world by…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out how you can…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
The complete “what to eat” guide for gluten intolerance Does eating breads and pastas often makes you nauseous? Gluten intolerance is a common reason why you might…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
Inversion Therapy: The anti-gravity way of healing chronic back pain Inversion therapy involves suspending a person upside dow using different types of equipment. This works by taking the…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
thyroid_scan
Thyroid Scan Thyroid scan is a diagnostic procedure that aims to view the thyroid gland and detect any growths or…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
shoudler exercises
Keep your shoulders pain-free with these shoulder exercises Shoulder exercises are important in order to prevent chronic back and neck pain. Learn more about how you…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…