A late period is usually a cause for panic – that is, if you’re not hoping to be pregnant and if you’re used to seeing your period turn up on time each month. With so many more of us tracking our periods with apps, we can become hyper-aware of a change to our cycle. Although it can cause worry and concern at first, this awareness is actually a good thing, because a late period is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong.
If you’re not pregnant, then a longer cycle or seemingly missing period is a sign that your health is suffering. In fact, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that medical professionals view the menstrual cycle as a vital sign and take abnormalities such as this seriously as indicators of a health issue.
What I call the “textbook reasons” for experiencing a late period include: pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, over-exercising , being underweight , or having cysts on your ovaries, i.e. PCOS. You might also find that your period takes a long time to re-start after you come off hormonal birth control like the Pill, Ring, shot or hormonal IUD.
If these situations are not what is causing your cycle changes, then it’s likely down to one or both of the two issues I’m about to describe. There’s no need for panic, though, both of these issues can be totally reversed and you’ll be back on track with your periods in no time. Reset your hormones with my free Hormone Detox program or start cycle-syncing your diet with a few major, important food groups. You also pick up a copy of my book “WomanCode” to learn more.
Why Your Period Might Go Missing
There are two common causes that go on to create a late period – sugar and stress. Too much of either of these is going to manifest in cycle issues – whether it’s increased cramps, worsened PMS, or a late period. And of course, sugar and stress seem to exist in their own special vicious cycle – feeding off of each other. We seek out sugar when we’re stressed out to sustain our energy and make us feel good.
For many women who otherwise experience regular cycles, they’ll find their period goes missing after the holiday season, in January, when sugar becomes a staple and stress seems unavoidable. You might start the new year feeling the pain of cramps, PMS and panic about your period if you’ve overindulged in either of these.
Reason for Your Late Period #1: Sugar
Sugar elevates insulin levels and leads to blood sugar dysregulation – spikes and dips. Too much sugar can slow or prevent ovulation altogether (something to note if you are trying to conceive). When ovulation is late or doesn’t happen at all, then your period will also be late as you won’t have gone through the necessary hormonal fluctuations to trigger this biological event.
When your ovary releases an egg, the egg sack then produces progesterone. The increase of progesterone in your body encourages the buildup and eventual release of the lining of your uterus (a.k.a. your period!). Without proper ovulation, low or no progesterone is produced by your body. A late period can then actually not be an official “period” as such, but more like breakthrough bleeding. There’s no biological signal for the period to start, but your uterus needs to shed its lining anyway.
The Flo-fix: “But, how can I avoid sugar?” I hear you ask! I get it – sugar feels like one of the hardest things to give up. There’s a difference between bad, processed sugar and the good, or much better, kinds of sugar. You can satisfy your sweet cravings without risking losing your period. Try out some better sugar alternatives by making my favorite desserts and treats.
Reason for Your Late Period #2: Stress
An overload of stress creates a disturbance in your cortisol levels, aka the stress hormone. Stress raises cortisol levels, increases inflammatory markers in the body, and disrupts adrenal-thyroid performance. When you’re stressed and cortisol is running high, your body’s supplies of the hormone progesterone are used to produce cortisol instead of going towards triggering the onset of your period.
Also, chronic stress resulting in elevated cortisol levels leads to elevated insulin levels which interrupts ovulation which sends an overarching message to your body that you are not in the right set of circumstances to carry a baby. Evolutionarily this makes sense – in the past, feeling stress meant we were in physical danger and therefore unable to care for or nourish a pregnancy. These days chronic stress can become a way of life – we are overworked and overstretched and under-rested as a norm – and so sometimes our bodies react in this way to protect us.
The Flo-fix: We all deal with stress sometimes, it’s unavoidable, but you shouldn’t be feeling wracked with stress every single day. If you’re getting so stressed out that your period goes missing, it’s time to take action. Practice my extreme self-care techniques and reconnect with your feminine energy.
You have it in your power to have a symptom free and delightful period every month. Investigate why your cycle is off, and take the right steps to get back in your FLO. Having those hormones balanced is the key to unlocking your most powerful self.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you experience late or missing periods regularly?
Second, do you have sugar cravings?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
Need more Hormone Help?
If you’re needing some health upgrading, it’s time you started you looking into what’s going on with your hormones.
I’ve designed a 4 day hormone detox and evaluation to help you understand exactly what’s out of whack and how you can start getting back to balance so that your hormones no longer have to suffer.
Click here to get your FREE detox and evaluation!