Reasons for Delay in Menstrual Cycle

There are many reasons for delay in menstrual cycle. Medication, diet, stress, extremely low weight and too much exercise can all play a part in a delayed menstrual cycle. Menstruation is when a woman's body sheds the lining from the uterus. This natural process usually occurs about every 28 days, but the timing can vary according to the woman.

Delayed Menstruation
While some women have a clockwork menstrual cycle, many women have a naturally irregular menstruation cycle. A clockwork menstrual cycle sheds the uterus lining every "X" amount of days without fail. An irregular menstruation cycle may shed the uterus lining after 23 days one month, 34 days the next month and 29 days the month after that. A delayed menstrual cycle means that your monthly menstruation starts significantly later than it should, even if you have irregular periods.

A woman who has had regular or irregular menstruation but misses one or more periods without being pregnant, is experiencing secondary amenorrhea. Amenorrhea is a symptom, not a disease. It simply means your body has skipped an entire menstruation cycle. Delayed menstruation or skipped menstruation are both common problems that can be traced to the same causes.

Delayed Menstruation and Amenorrhea Causes
Delayed menstruation and amenorrhea, or skipping one or more months of menstruation, can be caused by many different reasons. There is usually no reason to worry if you experience a delayed menstruation or amenorrhea. However, if the problem goes on for an extended period of time, or is accompanied by severe symptoms, you need to talk to your doctor.

  • Medications can cause disruption in your menstrual cycle, regardless of whether they are used properly or improperly. It is not unusual for antibiotics, anti-depressants, birth control and many other common medications to cause slight delays in menstruation. These delays can occur while you're taking the meds or for a period of time after you go off the meds.
  • Diet can play an important part in the regularity of your menstrual cycle. A healthy diet filled with fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and whole grains creates and maintains a healthy body. An unhealthy diet filled with caffeine, sugar and processed food creates and maintains an unhealthy body. A healthy body is simply better able to regulate menstruation than an unhealthy body.
  • Stress can play an enormous role in the regularity of your menstrual cycle. Stress can affect both your physical and mental well-being, which in turn can effect your menstruation cycle. Healthy stress-management techniques, such as moderate exercise, can help prevent menstruation problems.
  • Extremely low weight can often result in problems with menstruation regularity. If you're significantly underweight, especially if you're anorexic or bulimic, you're disrupting hormonal function. This disruption can lead to delayed menstruation or a full stop in the menstruation cycle.
  • Overexercising can sometimes result in delayed or skipped menstruation. Women who endure rigorous training, such as ballet or gymnastics, can often experience menstruation issues. The combination of stress, low weight and extreme energy expenditure can disrupt hormone function, leading to menstrual problems.
  • Chemical imbalances can sometimes cause delayed or skipped menstruation. An underactive thyroid gland can disrupt hormone balances, causing menstruation problems. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as PCOS, can result in excessive male hormones that disrupt menstruation. Depression caused by chemical imbalances in the brain can also lead to hormonal imbalances that in turn result in menstruation problems. 
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