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Uncovering The Reasons For Missed Periods

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Menstruation, often known as a period, is the normal vaginal bleeding that occurs during the monthly cycle of a woman or an Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB).

Most women get their periods every 28 days. However, they may experience missed periods, leading to frustration and emotional distress. 

While pregnancy is a prominent reason for missed periods, several other factors, like Menopause and Stress, might contribute to this variation in the menstrual cycle.

Identifying these reasons for missing menstruation is essential for proper diagnosis and management. 

Let’s proceed and learn about the causes behind missed periods and ways to overcome them.

Reasons For Missed Period

Although  missed periods are commonly associated with pregnancy,  there are various other reasons why someone might experience skipped periods.

These causes often include Stress, weight fluctuations, Menopause, usage of hormonal birth control, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), thyroid issues, and certain chronic medical conditions.

Let’s take a closer look at the causes of your missed periods in detail.


Stress can disrupt your menstruation in several ways, including missed or irregular periods. 

Stress causes the production of Stress hormones, including Cortisol and Adrenaline. 

These hormones can damage the hypothalamus, which regulates menstruation, resulting in Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.

Stress can also impair the synthesis of hormones, such as Estrogen and Progesterone, that control the menstrual cycle.

The change may cause disruption to the normal functioning of the ovaries, resulting in missed periods.



Menopause is a normal biological process that indicates the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It causes a considerable decrease in Estrogen and Progesterone levels. 

These hormones are necessary to regulate the menstrual cycle. 

As levels of these hormones drop, the menstrual cycle becomes unpredictable and finally stops, resulting in missed periods.

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  • Weight Fluctuations

    Weight changes, whether a quick increase or loss, can affect the hormonal balance in the body, leading to missed periods.

    When the body loses too much weight, there may be insufficient fat reserves to create Estrogen, which is required for ovulation. 

    This can result in a missed period or even an entire failure to have menstruation, known as Amenorrhea.

    On the other hand, increased body weight, particularly fatty tissue, can cause excess production of Estrogen, disrupting the menstrual cycle. 

    Excessive body weight is also related to insulin resistance, which can cause additional hormonal disruption, leading to missed periods.

    Hormonal Birth Control

    Hormonal birth control choices, including pills, patches, injections, and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), primarily inhibit ovulation.

    In the absence of ovulation, the female body does not produce an egg, which causes the menstrual cycle to deviate from its regular pattern. 

    Since there is no egg to fertilize, the uterine lining does not thicken as much as it would during a normal menstrual cycle. 

    Hence, there are fewer tissues to shed during menstruation, resulting in a lighter or skipped period.

    To learn more about how birth control affects menstruation, read Does birth control stop your period?

    Consult a doctor if you are experiencing missed periods or irregular menstrual cycles to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

    PCOS is a hormonal disorder where your ovaries start producing an abnormal amount of androgens (male hormone), particularly testosterone. Higher Testosterone levels might disrupt the menstrual cycle, resulting in skipped or irregular periods.

    Additionally, many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, which causes the body to generate more insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. 

    High insulin levels can further cause a rise in the production of Androgens, which disrupts the menstrual cycle, causing missed periods.

    Besides missed periods, PCOS can also lead to unexplained weight gain, which can worsen your condition.

    To know more, read Unveiling the Hidden Signs: Understanding PCOS Symptoms

    Thyroid Issues

    Woman suffering from thyroidSource: pixelshot
    Woman suffering from thyroid

    Your thyroid gland produces hormones that aid in the regulation of metabolism. 

    A thyroid imbalance, especially Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), may disturb the delicate balance of reproductive hormones like Estrogen and Progesterone.

    This, in turn, results in menstrual abnormalities, including missed periods.

    Chronic Health Issue

    Chronic health conditions like Diabetes and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) can directly or indirectly lead to missed periods by disrupting the hormonal or physiological system that affects the usual menstrual cycle. 

    A missed period could be a warning sign of other health issues like PCOS and thyroid disorders. Consult your doctor if you frequently experience missed menstruation but are not pregnant.

    Managing Missed Periods

    Management of missed menstruation depends on the underlying cause if you are not pregnant.

    After diagnosing the cause, your doctor may suggest the following strategies to overcome missed periods:

    • Stress management with the help of yoga, meditation, and engaging yourself in your favourite activities
    • Retaining a healthy weight with exercise and a nutritious diet
    • Medications like Spironolactone and Metformin to treat PCOS if it is causing menstrual irregularities
    • Change in birth control treatment if you have missed menstruation for 2 months after using hormonal birth control
    • Treating the underlying medical condition causing the missed periods

    When To Seek Medical Help

    You ought to consult with a doctor if you have missed one or more periods. 

    They can assist in examining the underlying reason and offer suitable treatment and management.

    Although missed periods might be worrying, they often indicate a symptom that can be cured if the cause is determined.

    Visit your nearby healthcare provider if:

    • Your usual monthly menstrual cycle pattern changes
    • You skipped three or more periods in a single year
    • You missed menstruation for 3 months continuously
    • You are experiencing more bleeding than normal throughout your period
    • You have had prolonged menstrual bleeding for more than 7 days
    • You are experiencing significant pain throughout your period


    Although pregnancy is one of the main reasons for missed periods, there are several other potential causes to consider.

    Stress, weight fluctuations, Menopause, and usage of hormonal birth control, can all lead to missed periods. Additionally, PCOS, thyroid issues, and some chronic medical diseases like Diabetes and PID could also be reasons for missing menstruation.

    Consultation with a healthcare expert is essential for determining the underlying reason and developing an effective treatment strategy to regulate your menstrual cycle and get rid of missed periods.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    I missed my period, but I am not pregnant. Should I be worried? 

    Sometimes, missing a period is quite common, and it is usually not cause for concern. 
    However, if you have missed more than one period or are suffering additional symptoms, you should consult a healthcare specialist to discover the underlying reason.

    Is missed menstruation normal?

    Occassionally experiencing missed menstruation is normal. 
    However, experiencing recurrent menstrual cycle disruptions may be an indication of underlying health conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or thyroid problems.

    Which food is best for missed menstruation?

    Food items containing Vitamin D, calcium, and Omega-3 fatty acids are effective in restoring menstrual regularities.
    To overcome missed menstruation, you should include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, proteins, and low-fat dairy products in your diet.

    How much time between periods is considered normal?

    If you are healthy, your period should begin between 24 and 38 days after your last period, per your regular cycle. 
    However, it is deemed late if you are seven days over your anticipated time frame. Beyond six weeks, you can call your period late or miss.

    Can medicine cause a missing period? 

    Yes, various medicines, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, chemotherapeutic medication, and corticosteroids, can induce missing periods by affecting your menstrual cycle.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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