What Causes Delayed Periods Besides Pregnancy?

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Unlike pregnancy and the onset of menopause, which naturally stop menstruation, there are some other reasons that can cause delayed periods. In this article, we will highlight the major causes of irregular periods that can help you understand and deal with the problem well.

Major Causes Of Delayed Periods

Here are some most common causes of irregular periods every female should know about.

1. Increased Stress Levels

If a woman experiences severe stress for a long time, then her body begins to conserve energy without producing ovulation. If a woman experiences a sudden traumatic event, it can put increased stress on the adrenal glands.

It leads to the cessation of the production of estrogens and other reproductive hormones (a condition called hypothalamic amenorrhea). When a woman has an insufficient amount of estrogen, then her uterine mucosa cannot be maintained in a normal state; as a result, menstruation gets delayed.

The body has always prioritized the production of stress hormones that help to cope with critical situations, considering sex hormones as secondary during periods. Under high-stress conditions, such as dieting, strenuous exercise, or emotionally charged events, all such situations can lead to delayed periods.

2. Drinking Alcohol Regularly

Like many other health problems, drinking alcohol can also affect periods by delaying them or making them irregular. Alcohol increases the level of two important hormones, named estrogen and testosterone, in the body. Such hormonal fluctuation is important for ovulation, so when these changes occur, you may have irregular periods.

This can really be a permanent problem if you have an addiction to alcohol. However, there are many rehabs that can assist, and most of them offer insurance coverage for treatment. Cigna health insurance for alcohol rehab is one of the most popular insurances as it covers all parts of your treatment.

3. Improper Nutrition

Foods that are low in nutrients, antioxidants, and probiotics and high in aphrodisiacs can put an increased strain on the thyroid and adrenal glands. For example, cortisol levels can rise when the following factors are present:

  • High consumption of sugar, hydrogenated fats, and artificial additives or pesticides
  • Problems with the thyroid gland
  • Adrenaline fatigue

Elevated cortisol levels interfere with the optimal production of many other important hormones, including sex hormones. If elevated cortisol levels persist for a long time, it can lead to skin problems, damage to bone, muscle, and brain tissue. This high cortisol cycle can lead to protein deficiencies, resulting in muscle loss and osteoporosis.

If you are having trouble with your period, check how healthy you are eating. Choose foods that are high in antioxidants and nutrients, especially those that are high in fat and protein. You can also use high-calorie food supplements if you are underweight or actively involved in sports.

4. Excessive Weight Loss And Low Weight

When the body mass index (BMI) falls below the 18-19 mark, menstruation may be delayed due to too little adipose tissue. Body fat is important for the production of enough estrogen. For this reason, women who are too thin or who have serious medical conditions such as anorexia and bulimia may suffer from missing or delayed periods.

Increased physical activity leads to a high need for nutrients due to intense exercise. Such exercises can sometimes lead to weight loss and put you at risk of developing hormonal imbalances. Low-calorie and low-fat foods can also cause nutritional deficiencies and fat loss and contribute to irregular menstruation and bone loss.

There is some evidence that very thin vegans, including those who consume exclusively raw food without cooking and vegetarians who do not eat only meat, are also at risk. Most likely because they are more likely to be underweight and their bodies lack vital useful substances.

5. Increased Physical Activity

While moderate exercise is very important for heart health, mood control, sleep, and maintaining stable body weight, increased physical activity increases the stress on the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary glands. Therefore, women who abruptly start intense physical training, for example, preparing for a marathon or similar important event that requires high physical excretion, may experience delayed menstruating.

Like other stress hormones, a surge in cortisol occurs in response to any real or anticipated stress. The latter can be physical (including sports) or emotional. Such stressors include overwork and physical exhaustion from increased physical exertion. This can be accompanied by lack of sleep, constant rush, infectious diseases, and emotional exhaustion.

In our time, with a constant desire to be slim and maintain good physical shape, some women believe that they need to exercise intensively. Due to it, they think that profuse sweating is beneficial, and so they exhaust themselves constantly.

6. Thyroid Disorders

You may not even suspect that the thyroid gland may be the cause of hormonal disorders. The thyroid gland, considered the main regulatory mechanism of the endocrine system, is responsible for metabolism and influences many sex hormones.

Thyroid problems, including hypofunctional or endemic goiter and hyperfunction, can cause a wide range of health problems. Some of these include changes in estrogen and cortisol levels and delayed periods. Increased cortisol levels can lead to general hormonal insensitivity, including thyroid insensitivity. Thus, get checked in time so you can avoid this problem.

7. Chronic Hormonal Imbalance 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an imbalance of hormones in women that negatively affects ovulation. When a woman suffers from polycystic ovary disease, it means that her hormone levels, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, are disrupted. Some common signs of such an imbalance include:

  • Excessive growth of hair on face
  • Problems with sugar levels
  • Excess weight
  • Acne
  • Irregular menstrual cycle

You need to visit a gynecologist for this matter who can diagnose polycystic ovary disease. A gynecologist will check the level of hormones, analyze the symptoms, and check your genetic predisposition to the disease, as well as examine the ovaries and find out if cysts are growing or not.

Take Away

Many females experience irregular or delayed periods and the most common reasons behind it are stress and a poor lifestyle. By knowing the reason for delayed periods, you can treat it timely and restore your well-being.

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