Late Periods: [10] Reasons Other Than Pregnancy and Home Remedies

what to do when periods are late

Late Periods: [10] Reasons Other Than Pregnancy and Home Remedies

What does it mean if your period is late

For 15 days, it might mean nothing. For a month, umm…a bit concerning. 

For three months, well we need to be cautious now.

After consulting several clients, even doctors come to this conclusion. 

For 15-20 days when periods are late, it might mean that the body is going into another menstruation cycle. 

It's normal to miss or have late onset of periods once in a while.

As teenagers, several girls face it. Realistically speaking, everyone can miss a period maybe once or twice sometimes.

After that, the menstruation cycle switches to a new order, and we need to memorize new dates.

But what to do when periods are late every month or it continues to be random?

This is a disconcerting situation. Your body is giving out symptoms. 

These symptoms might be indicative of uterine fibroids or hormonal issues, depending on what kind of changes you’re noticing. 

There can be many causes of missed periods other than pregnancy:

  • Excessive weight gain or sudden loss
  • Severe anxiety or depression
  • Over-exercising
  • Irregular sleep
  • Hormonal medicines
  • PCOD
  • Pre-menopause

But what can you do if you are facing this often?

The cure for delayed periods can be:

  • A proper exercise routine
  • Switching food habits
  • Correcting sleep schedule
  • Taking certain medicines
  • Making some necessary lifestyle changes

All these sections will be dealt in this blog separately. 

But let us first look into the main topic for which you’re on this page! What to do when periods are late? 

There isn’t much to worry about, especially if you’re fairly healthy and disease-free.

Fortunately, more often than not, hormonal issues are to blame.

Regardless, it’s always better to be aware of the steps you can take to fix late periods.

 

What to Do When Periods are Late – At-Home Natural Remedies 

Natural Remedies for Late Periods

There are easy measures to fix a slight delay in periods on your own. Take these steps:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule and don’t compromise with it
  • Reduce stress and avoid stressful work situations if possible
  • Quit birth control pills if they are causing issues (discuss birth control alternatives with your doctor instead)
  • Make changes in your diet and stay physically active
  • Practice yoga asanas at home

Irrespective of the causes of delay in periods, it works in your favor if you know how to get periods immediately if delayed

Here, I’m not talking only about hormonal medicines.

Rather, it’s best to first try some home remedies if symptoms are not too bothering.

So, what to do when periods are late?

The cure for delayed periods usually lies in your day-to-day life. 

Accordingly, the best way to remedy the issue is through making healthy changes where required.

#1. Regulate Sleep Cycle

Irregular sleep cycles or poor sleep quality can have adverse effects on your health. Your menstruation cycle is no exception!

Thus, it’s important to sleep for at least 8 hours to have regular periods.

#2. Reduce Stress

Stress releases hormones that hampers the menstrual cycle.

At times, the body devotes much ATP to stress levels, and ovulation gets neglected.

This is one of the reasons for delayed periods too. So, avoid too much stress at all costs.

#3. Check If Birth Control Pills are to Blame

Birth Control Pills

If you are sexually active, you might be consuming birth control pills. But there can be a downside to it.

Often, the body can’t withstand the hormonal imbalance. 

Therefore, after taking hormonal pills, periods may get delayed by months. 

It’s advised not to use medications that don’t suit your body.

Ask your doctor for alternatives if these medicines are causing issues for you.

#4. Change in Diet

Can there be any food to get periods early

Yes!

Some food items have uterotonic properties.

Papaya

Papaya stimulates contraction of the uterus. It induces menstruation in women. 

Plus, the fruit contains carotene, which regulates estrogen levels in the body.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C increases estrogen levels in the body. It regulates the menstrual cycle.

Moreover, Vitamin C sheds the uterine lining.  

Consume Vitamin C-rich foods in a regulated manner all along the day.

Carrots

The beta-carotene helps in shedding the uterine lining.

As a result, the bioactive compounds in carrots help in getting periods early. 

Consume it every day if you can. 

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds can act as an emmenagogue. It means increased blood flow in the uterus.

You can consume it at regular intervals all day. Boil and drink it along with water.

Turmeric

The curcumin bioactive compound in turmeric stimulates blood flow in the uterus.

Sometimes, there might be an internal injury that turmeric heals.

Consume it once a day in warm water with a tsp. mixed in.

Sesame Seed

The bioactive compounds in sesame regularize periods. 

You can consume it every day two weeks before you expect your periods. 

However, consume in moderation as these seeds generate a lot of heat inside the body.

#5. Exercise

exercise to get periods immediately

So, what’s the best exercise to get periods immediately? Well, there isn’t a single recommendation. 

Still, there are some exercises you can try to regulate the menstrual cycle on your own:

Squats

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend knees such that thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Keep that position steady for 5 seconds. 
  • Stand back up and repeat.

Sit-Ups

  • Lie on your back.
  • Keep your legs in semi-bend form and place feet firmly on the ground.
  • Cross your hands and place them on opposite shoulders.
  • Curl your upper body mid-way to your knees. (Don’t strain your neck in the process).
  • Lie back down and repeat.

Bicycle Crunch

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place the calf section of the legs perpendicular to the hip section.
  • Move one leg up in the air as if pedaling.
  • Do it with the other leg in a cycling motion.
  • Repeat.

Scissors

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place hands underneath your glutes to support the lower side.
  • Extend legs straight. And scissor them each. 
  • Scissor means crossing legs in and out above each other or straight up and down. Repeat.

TAKE NOTE: Don’t let your legs touch the floor and engage your core. Keep your lower back pressed onto the mat while doing this.

#6. Yoga

yoga asanas for delayed periods

In addition to the above exercises, there are some yoga poses you can try at home to fix missed periods. 

These yoga asanas for periods are quite effective and are simple solutions when you think of what to do when periods are late.

Moreover, yoga asanas are easy to do, and you can easily do them twice a day. 

Try these yoga asanas for delayed periods at home:

  1. Bow pose (Dhanurasana)
  1. Fish pose (Matsyasana)
  1. Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)
  1. Camel pose (Ustrasana)

Apart from these lifestyle changes, you can also try some medicines for missed periods, proven effective for late periods. 

 

Medicine for Missed Periods

Medroxyprogesterone is often used to treat abnormal periods in women who are not pregnant.

It’s used to regulate irregular/missed periods. Women with menopausal symptoms can also opt for it.

You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information before taking the medication. 

I hope by now you, at least, have a general idea of what to do when periods are late.

However, what causes menstruation issues? Here are some possible explanations.

 

What Can Cause Your Period to be Late?

reasons for late periods

There can be a number of reasons for late periods, including:

  • Changes in the menstrual cycle
  • Constant stress
  • Premenopause, PCOS, or other hormonal issues
  • Chemical pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Breastfeeding
  • Excessive physical strain
  • Poor sleep quality and irregular schedules
  • Uterine fibroids and cysts

Aunt Flo has a peculiar way of giving us shocks. The pain of the missing period is even more staggering than the first period.

Imagine marking the days of your next period. And it does not come on the said date… okay, not even 5 days later.

Wow, the anxiety meter rises! 

But then what can cause your period to be late? There must be an explanation for this erratic change, right? 

#1. Change in Menstrual Cycle

Suppose, you had your period at the start of the month without any signs in that week. 

Maybe your body is changing the clock.

Now, the next menstrual cycle might occur by the end of the month.

When thinking of what to do when periods are late, gynecologists suggest waiting for at most fifteen-twenty days for this reason.

#2. Extreme Anxiety and Stress

On the top of our list of what can cause a missed period is severe anxiety. 

The body is all about a balance of hormones.

Your period is related to chemical hormones, and mood irregularities affect them. 

If you’re tense and depressed, it affects the overall health.

#3. Premenopause

When women come to the age of 45-50, the body prepares for menopause.

In the premenopausal period, many women face delays in periods. It occurs due to biological changes.

However, if there are other symptoms and pain accompanies those symptoms, then refer to a good gynecologist.

#4. PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance in the body. Naturally, this leads to irregular ovulation. 

At times, PCOS even leads to thyroid activation. Thus, it’s best to not avoid bothering symptoms.

#5. Chemical Pregnancy

Chemical pregnancy

It’s alarming if you are sexually active and miss your periods. Though, the irregularity in periods can also be due to chemical pregnancy. 

Unprotected sex might lead to the fertilization of the egg, but the implantation in the uterus never happens.

This is what is medically known as “chemical pregnancy”.

This is a miscarriage and could be one of the reasons for the late arrival of periods.

It might go unnoticed but can cause a delay in periods for several months.

However, this holds true only for women who are sexually active and are trying to conceive.

#6. Excessive Weight Gain or Weight Loss

If you have lost several pounds through vigorous exercise, the body becomes too weak.

The ATP required to produce eggs couldn’t be produced due to excessive exercise. 

Similarly, if you gain too much weight, it interferes with metabolism.

Therefore, the hormones get affected. All this leads to delay in periods.

#7. Breastfeeding

Women who breastfeed already have high hormone levels. So, they may have delayed periods. 

This is quite a common phenomenon post-pregnancy.

Sometimes, it takes as long as two months to get your periods back on track.

#8. Excessive Exercising

Too much exercise depletes the body of the necessary calories needed to release eggs from the uterus. 

Thus, the linings of the uterus don’t shed, leading to no periods.

So, remember to not over-strain your body. 

#9. Lack of Sleep

sleep and late period

This one is a no-brainer!

Poor sleep quality is another reason for delayed periods. Take rest adequately so that the body works efficiently. 

So, if you’re asking what to do when periods are late, making small changes in your routine can have drastic effects.

#10. Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids and cysts block the ovulation process too. 

Many times, uterine fibroids are responsible for delayed periods.

So, if periods are late by two to three months, there can be other underlying issues.

I suggest you seek a professional if there is severe abdominal pain.

What happens when your period is late?

There’s really nothing to worry about if there are slight changes in the cycle. 

Your body shows perceivable signs all through the menstrual cycle. 

So, when periods are late, it might mean one of several things.

However, the most suspected factor for late periods is pregnancy. Remember, the maximum delay in periods if not pregnant is 1-2 months.

If you’re not sexually active, then it cannot be pregnancy. There can be some other issues as stated above. 

In most cases, though, women have late periods and they stress out so much that it causes the periods to get delayed even further.

Stress really is one of the most common culprits.

It’s not uncommon to miss periods due to sudden work pressure or physical exertion.

Once these causes are fixed or eliminated, periods get back to normal without taking any additional steps.

If you’ve missed your periods and have become a worry bag, first calm down and take active steps to sleep properly, manage stress, and banish unhealthy eating. 

This is exactly what you need to do when periods are late. Phew!

So, with all that said, let’s part ways with some of your common questions answered.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Late or Missed Periods 

There are some popular searches regarding late and missed periods, so I’ve tried to compile a list addressing most of them. 

#1. What does it mean when your period is late?
Several factors come into play when your periods are late.

Out of every explanation, it means your body is hinting towards several factors.

These can be:

  • Start of menopause
  • Change in the menstrual cycle
  • Poor lifestyle

In all cases, it means your body is undergoing biological changes.

#2. How late can a period be without being pregnant?
The range can lie anywhere between 6-8 weeks.

It can also mean chemical pregnancy if you are sexually active.

You can expect periods to be delayed by 30 days or so. The menstrual cycle ideally occurs every 28 days.

So, give the body these 28 days time before getting a pregnancy kit.

#3. How much delay in periods is normal?
According to a usual menstrual cycle, you have periods every 28 days.

The length can vary, though. For some women, there can be a variation of 5-8 days.

So, a delay of a few days is normal.

#4. How many days late can a period be before worrying about pregnancy?
In case you are sexually active, take a pregnancy test after a two weeks delay.

At times, doctors recommend waiting for as long as two months.

However, you can try a home pregnancy test kit on your own to check for pregnancy after the said delay.

#5. When to see a doctor for late period?
If you are having periods twice a month or no periods in 3-4 months, consult a doctor.

 

Conclusion

It’s every girl’s biggest nightmare to miss periods month after month. 

However, now you must have an idea of ‘what to do when periods are late?’. 

First things first, late periods are a sign of shifting cycles, i.e., dates might change without any worrying symptoms.

If you are sexually active, it might mean you need to take more steps. Check for dates for your menstrual cycles first.  Then, try to recollect if the late-cycle is for 15 days or more. Depending on that, go for a home pregnancy test kit. In general, your periods may be as late as 30 days. It’s normal to miss periods by a month due to lifestyle factors. But if it goes beyond the mark of 3 months, it’s better to get advice from a doctor.

A woman’s period is regulated through hormones. The major source of hormone irregularity is stress.

So, if you’re under chronic anxiety or depression, it’ll affect your everyday life including menstruation.

If you keep a tab on your dates and take healthy lifestyle measures, things might resolve soon. 

Perhaps, a breather, a walk outside with your friends, and a nutritious meal might be all you need to fix your late cycle!

Regina Stemers
regina@horizonclinics.org

Dr. Regina Stemers spent many years as a general physician before developing an interest in the management of skin conditions. This has led her to take an active part in multiple research studies centered around skincare, aging, and other areas of female medical concerns. Read More... About Me

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