Your period was due days ago and it is now officially late. Before you pee on that stick, consider first that there could be another reason that could cause a missed period.
- Emotional Stress: Although stress is a part of our everyday lives, there are those times when it is just too much! Running a household, meeting project deadlines at work, paying the bills on time, and dealing with your friend’s problems can all add up. Stress has a way of building up on itself and negatively affects the hypothalamus, which is the area of the brain that controls the hormones in the body. Stress decreases the production of the GnRH hormone, which causes you to miss a period. Stress and anxiety can actually throw off the body’s equilibrium and not release the estrogen hormone in the body. Therefore, getting your body back on track can be as simple as evaluating stress levels and finding ways to alleviate it. Breathing techniques, yoga, writing, and meditation are all ways that one can de-stress and balance out the equilibrium in the body so that everything, including the menstrual cycle, function normally. Missing a period is how your body tells you it needs a time out to relax.
- Major life changes: Similar to stress, major life changes can also have a negative effect on your hormones. These include starting or ending a relationship, starting or losing your job, losing a loved one or a pet, and/or moving house.
- Schedule changes: Travel can create schedule changes that your body may not be used to. You would think that traveling would be relaxing, but this abrupt change in schedules can mess with your cycles. This is also true if you stop working days and start working nights instead.
- Dietary changes: If you change your diet – for example become a vegetarian – sometimes such nutritional changes can alter your body’s hormonal balance, which can lead to a missed period.
- Weight: If you are over or under weight, your body could display amenorrhea. Being overweight, can add undue stress on your hormones; but if you are underweight, your body will not be producing enough estrogen because you will not have enough healthy fat cells.
- Excessive exercise: Strenuous exercise can also influence metabolism and hormones causing your body to skip a period or two.
- Eating disorders: According to WebMD, another cause for a missed period would be eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia (binging and purging).
Our bodies are very complex in nature and understanding them can help us in making sure that there is both physical and emotional balance. Causes of a missed period in women does not have a cut and dry answer. Pregnancy is only one of the possibilities. If you are a woman who is concerned about her menstrual cycle, do not hesitate to bring those concerns to your doctor. You only have one body. Take care of it so it can take care of you.