5 Causes of Late or Skipped Periods

Missing your period can be concerning, whether you’re sexually active or not. Many different things can lead to missing or irregular periods, and it can take some time to narrow down exactly what’s wrong. That said, there are some common culprits behind this issue, so you have a place to start. 

At Serrano OBGyn, our compassionate doctor, Dr. Christopher Serrano, can solve the mystery behind your missing or late periods. If you’re pregnant, he can provide prenatal care. If you’re not, he can provide appropriate treatment, if needed, to help balance your system

Common causes of missed periods 

The most common cause of a missed period is pregnancy. However, if you’re not sexually active, haven’t had sex in a few months, or got a negative result on your pregnancy test, you already know that’s not the issue. 

That leads us to other possibilities. While one late or missing period isn’t worth fretting about, you shouldn’t let it become a common occurrence. Here are the five most common causes of irregular periods, and what you can do about them. 

1. Extreme stress 

We’ve all heard about stress throwing your body out of order, but this goes especially for your menstrual cycle. If you’re under a lot of stress, it can interfere with your ovulation and menstruation. The solution? Self-care and stress reduction. 

2. Excessive exercise or changes in weight 

While working out is good for you, a sudden increase in activity or losing a lot of weight can put a pause on your menstrual cycle. This is often seen in young female athletes or those with poor nutrition and eating disorders. It’s caused by a high calorie burn, which leads to hormonal imbalances. 

3. Changes in birth control 

If you’ve recently started hormonal birth control, this can cause your cycles to become irregular for a little while. This isn’t a cause for concern, though you should come in to see us if it continues. 

4. Thyroid problems 

Your thyroid is responsible for controlling your metabolism and menstrual cycle, but thyroid disease can throw a wrench in things. Problems with thyroid levels can lead to heavy periods, irregular periods, and skipped periods). Women are more likely to experience thyroid disease than men, so if you have thyroid problems, it’s worth mentioning. 

5. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS can affect your entire life, right down to your menstrual cycle. Missing, irregular, or heavy periods are a common symptom of PCOS, along with things like weight gain, scalp hair thinning, and facial hair growth. 

When to visit the OB/GYN

A rule of thumb when dealing with periods is that one or two irregular months aren’t abnormal, but anything more is worth a phone call to our office. Amenorrhea, which is the absence of periods, can be caused by a number of factors, and we can help diagnose and treat those issues. 

Have you noticed something is off with your menstrual cycle? Bring your problems to Dr. Serrano at Serrano OBGyn. You can make an appointment by calling our office in San Antonio, Texas, at 210-761-5309, or visit our contact page for more information.

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