How Late Can Your Period Be Without You Being Pregnant?

How Late Can Your Period Be Without You Being Pregnant?

After an extended time after a missed period, should I still consider pregnancy?

A visit to your medical provider can determine if you are pregnant — if you do not trust an at-home test. Your provider can run more specific tests, like ultrasound or blood tests. The length of a missed period does not directly correlate with pregnancy. Several conditions cause extended late or even missed periods.

Stress: Emotional stress can cause your period to become shorter, more painful, or stop altogether.

GI issues: Digestive system disorders can cause missed periods. Usually, they will have other symptoms in addition to irregular periods. Some conditions include liver issues, irritable bowel disease, and diabetes.

Weight fluctuations: Extreme weight loss can interrupt or even stop your menstrual cycle. Limiting your daily calorie intake can prevent the creation of the hormones needed for ovulation. Gaining a lot of weight produces additional estrogen, which regulates the reproductive system. It affects how often you have periods, and can cause them to stop.

Breastfeeding: Lots of women do not have regular periods while breastfeeding.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: PCOS occurs when the body produces irregular egg sacs in the ovaries, which do not release eggs. Ovulation does not occur, so irregular and missed periods will occur.  PCOS affects about one in every ten women.

Menopause: Periods become irregular and eventually stop as menopause approaches. Menopause is the absence of your period for 12 months. As hormone production decreases, ovulation is less regular, and your periods stop forever.

Studies show that modifiable risk factors that can contribute to late periods include obesity, stress, smoking, and relationship status. Additionally, beginning smoking at an early age and frequent smoking are associated with early menopause. 

You should always visit your medical provider if you think you are pregnant. If you have had several missed periods and a few negative pregnancy tests, you should visit your provider. Though some causes of late and missed periods can be relieved by changes in daily practices, many may require medical intervention. It is crucial to get a diagnosis and be treated early to avoid long-term issues.