Many women believe that a late period is the result of pregnancy. Well, this isn’t true every time. A late period can be a result of many other reasons like hormonal imbalance or a serious health issue. So, if you’re all stressed going “Why is my period late?!” read on to know about the different reasons that contribute to early or later periods.

Why Is My Period Late? A Better Understanding

An irregular period is a normal occurrence when a girl first has her period, and when menopause begins. It happens because the woman’s body goes through a transition during these times.

Generally, a healthy woman has her period every 28 days, before reaching menopause. However, as per doctors, there is nothing to be worried about if a woman has her periods in a gap of 21 to 35 days. There are several reasons why your period is delayed, and some are serious while most aren’t. Read on to better understand it. 


Stress may seem to be a common problem but can cause some really serious damage to your health. It can potentially affect your hormones and even cause damage to the part of your brain (hypothalamus) which regulates your period. It can also trigger sudden weight loss or gain, leading to a late period.

Getting rid of stress is easy with some lifestyle changes, such as adding more exercise to your daily routine. You can also try some meditation and yoga to help relieve stress.

Low Body Weight

Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can also lead to a late or missed period in women. If a woman weighs less than 10% of the normal range as per her height, she may also experience a late or missed period. She may also stop ovulating.

The best way to fix this problem is to take proper treatment for eating disorders, and put on some weight to restore your normal menstrual cycle. Moreover, women who do extreme exercises may also suffer from a late period.

why is my period late

You should keep these reasons for late periods in check to eliminate the possibility of anything more severe.

Obesity-Induced Late Period

Just like low body weight, being overweight can also cause hormonal imbalance. If the doctor diagnoses obesity behind your late period, he may give you some dietary guidelines and an exercise program to fix it.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

In PCOS, the woman’s body starts producing more male hormone androgens. This hormonal imbalance leads to formation of cysts on the ovaries, eventually causing irregular or no ovulation.

PCOS also throws some other hormones like insulin out of balance. Its treatment is focused on relieving symptoms. The doctors sometimes use birth control or other medications to deal with PCOS.

Birth Control

Starting or stopping birth control pills may also cause changes in your menstrual cycle. Such pills contain hormones like estrogen and progestin, which stop release of eggs from your ovaries. This causes late or missed periods.

It may take around 6 months for your periods to be regular again. Other modes of birth control like implanted or injected contraceptives can also lead to a missed or late period.

Chronic Diseases 

Diabetes and celiac disease can also affect your cycle. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels are a result of hormonal imbalance. So, it may be rare but if your diabetes isn’t under control, you may experience a missed or late period.

Early Perimenopause Behind Late Period

Women experience menopause during 45 to 55 years of age. However, some women develop menopause symptoms around the age of 40 years. This condition is called perimenopause. It means your ovaries are not producing enough eggs.  That will result in missed periods and end of menstruation.

Thyroid Issues

Underactive or overactive thyroid glands can be the answer to your perpetual “why is my period late again” woes. The thyroid gland keeps your metabolism in optimal condition. So, when it doesn’t work correctly, it may lead to hormonal changes. Doctors treat this problem with medications. After that, you will start having regular periods.

When Should You Meet A Doctor?

People usually procrastinate on meeting a gynecologist when they have a missed or late period. It can aggravate your problem and may result in a longer treatment.

If your period is late, you should immediately get in touch with a doctor to know the cause. We advise you to see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Very heavy bleeding
  • Extreme pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Continuous bleeding for more than 7 days
  • Bleeding after completing one year of menopause


Some of the most common issues women face are late or missed periods. But in some cases, it may be a sign of a bigger health concern. So, seeing a doctor at the right time becomes very critical. Moreover, you should also keep the above-discussed symptoms in check to eliminate the possibility of anything more severe.

FAQs On Why Is My Period Late 

How Many Times Can Your Period Be Late Without Being Pregnant?

Your period should start 21-35 days after your last period in case there’s nothing affecting your menstrual cycle. Do keep in mind that periods for a regular cycle can vary. Your period can be late in case your regular cycle is 28 days and you still didn’t get your period on the 29th day. 

Why Is My Period Late If I Know I’m Not Pregnant? 

Apart from pregnancy, there are several other reasons as to why your period can get late. If you’re not pregnant, it could be because of excessive weight loss, hormonal imbalance, menopause, etc. 

How Much Delay Is Normal In Periods? 

A delay of 21-35 days is considered normal in periods by most doctors. 

Is My Period Coming Late Or Am I Pregnant? 

If your period is late by a few days, that is still considered normal. But if you miss your period, there can be another reason associated with it. It can be due to pregnancy, and if you’ve never been pregnant before, it’s easy to miss the early signs of pregnancy.