Menstrual cycle irregularity

Taken from

The Period Book: Everything You Don’t Want to Ask (But Need to Know)

by Karen Gravelle and Jennifer Gravelle

OneĀ of the biggest scares a woman can have is missing their period. This is for the simple reason that regardless of how much a baby can be a bundle of joy in later years, an unplanned pregnancy can be disastrous. However missing a period or having a late period usually does not mean pregnancy. In this case here are some reasons that may result in a late period.


Having that one stress factor in your life can change your entire cycle and in effect cause your menstrual period to be late. With the stress hormones produced in high levels, the brain separates the nonessential body functions with the essential, stopping in a sense the nonessential hence the late period.

Excessive exercise

Too much of anything is poison, even if it is working out to be healthy. In this case in the event that excessive exercises are undertaken, the body ceases to produce enough estrogen for the menstrual cycle. The slow production in the end leads to late period.


With weight gain or severe weight loss, hypothalamus is usually affected leading to delayed and even complete halt of menstrual period. With the fact that it is the gland responsible for regulation of several body functions, the body inhibits release of estrogen subsequently stopping the uterus lining build up slowing down menstrual cycle.

Change in routine

The body works on a particular clock based on routine to function properly. In this regard when there is a change in schedule, the biological clock is first to be disrupted changing hormone levels. In the end this results to late menstrual period until another regular routine is established.

Birth control pills

One of the most common reasons for late menstrual periods are birth control pills. With the pills working to increase and inhibit estrogen hormone working as normal, late periods occur. However the emergency after pill is known to affect ovulation, can also stop ones menstrual cycle altogether and hence should be avoided unless necessary.


Prolactin the hormone responsible for milk production in moms also works to stop ovulation. In this case it comes as no surprise when new moms miss periods or experience late periods for a few months. However one should be careful as they can still get pregnant.

With menopause approaching, menstrual cycles generally become less frequent and often late in its early stages with the less production of estrogen. In this case after the age of 50 one can start experiencing late periods for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 8 years, until they eventually stop completely.