Skip to main content

Delayed Period: Reasons Why Your Period is Late

Delayed Period: Reasons Why Your Period is Late

Experiencing a delayed period may raise your concern. Don't fret; you're not alone in this. Everyone who menstruates will likely experience a late or missed period at least once in their lifetime. 

While it's natural to feel concerned when your period doesn't arrive on time, it's important to understand that there can be several reasons behind it. The causes are mostly not a cause for worry. However, if it becomes too frequent, it may require your attention.

How do you know if your delayed period is harmless or requires further attention? Let's discuss more about it below!

Let’s Get Started: Understanding Period Cycle

A period cycle is the time frame between one period to the next one. The time frame is calculated by days. For instance, if you had a period on May 5 2023 and your next period fell on June 2 2023, your cycle would be 28 days.

It's important to note that everyone has a different period cycle, with an average of 28 days. However, a regular period that occurs in a shorter or longer cycle, from 23 to 35 days, is considered normal.

The way that you identify a delayed period is by looking at your regular cycle. If you usually have a 28-day cycle but haven’t bled on day 29 yet, that means your period is late. However, this shouldn't be a cause of concern as long as the delay doesn't exceed 35 days.

How To Identify Your Regular Cycle

The easiest way to identify your regular cycle is by tracking it. You can do it the old-fashioned way, where you write down when your period starts and when it ends, and then count the number of days between the beginning of each month.

Alternatively, you can explore digital menstrual tracking. There are numerous menstrual-tracking mobile apps that you can download. These mobile apps allow you to log your period start and end dates, similar to the old-fashioned method.

The difference is, of course, these mobile apps come up with additional features. Most period tracking apps can predict your next cycle, usually after two months of data input. 

These apps will also consider your period to be late if you haven't logged it. The number of days since your starting date has not been entered will be counted, allowing you to determine whether your delayed period is normal or not.

13 Possible Reasons Why Your Period is Delayed

Contrary to the myth that a delayed period indicates pregnancy, there are plenty of other reasons behind late menstruation. Some are harmless, while others may be more serious and need medical attention to resolve.

So, what are the causes of your delayed period? We've come up with 13 possible reasons to help you figure out your condition, which you can find below:

Changes in Your Schedule

Changes in your schedule, such as sleep patterns, work shifts, or jet lag, may have a minor effect on your hormones. As your hormone levels fluctuate, your cycle may be disrupted, resulting in a delayed period.

In this case, there's nothing you should be worried about. As long as you're feeling well and sure that you're not pregnant, your late period is usually harmless.

Fluctuations in period cycles are normal. For example, a cycle can sometimes change from 28 days to 32 days. So take a deep breath and relax. Your menstruation will come shortly.


Being in a state of prolonged stress may be the cause of your delayed period. That's because when you're continuously feeling under pressure, your body starts to produce stress hormones known as cortisol. 

The stress hormones subsequently will suppress the reproductive hormones that play major roles in your menstrual cycle, namely estrogen and progesterone. This, in turn, increases the likeliness of a late period.

How long can stress delay your period? The answer is it depends. The delay can usually last anywhere from a few days to a week. However, if the stress is chronic, the delay may be longer, and you may even skip a cycle.

Excessive Exercise

Excessive exercise often causes a delayed period as it can disrupt hormones responsible for controlling your menstrual cycle. The body also naturally triggers the stress hormones or cortisol release, increasing the likeliness of a late period.

If you've been engaging in physical training and notice a delayed cycle, there's nothing you need to worry about. Many menstruating athletes also experience the same issue, especially if they've been training rigorously for competitions. 

Aside from triggering cortisol release, excessive training can drain your energy. As per Healthline, once your body has used up its energy for exercise and recovery, there is little left to fulfil a menstrual cycle.

Low Body Mass

Significant or sudden weight loss often causes late periods. When your body mass index falls below the healthy weight limit, your body begins to have difficulty producing reproductive hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone.

Disrupted reproductive hormone production, in turn, leads to a delayed period. In some cases, the problem becomes quite serious and one may go months without menstruation.

That is why it's essential to maintain a healthy weight. Even if you intend to lose weight, it will be much better to do so gradually. This reduces hormonal imbalances and allows you to menstruate more regularly and with less delay in each cycle.


Obesity, just like low body mass, also causes a delayed period. But instead of restricting reproductive hormone production, obesity increases estrogen levels, similarly disrupting the menstruation cycle.

When there is an excess of estrogen, the hormonal balance is disrupted. A healthy menstrual cycle requires a hormonal balance between estrogen and progesterone–something that's lacking with obesity.

If you have frequent delayed periods and your body mass index (BMI) is in the obese range, healthy weight loss may be the answer. Just keep in mind to do so gradually to avoid further disruption from rapid weight loss.

Painkiller Consumption

Painkillers like ibuprofen or mefenamic acid are commonly used to relieve painful menstruation. However, these medications frequently cause a delayed period in some people, ranging from a few days to 2 weeks.

If you’re experiencing the same issue, don’t fret. You'll be fine as long as you take your pain reliever as instructed or do not exceed the recommended dose. Your period will most likely return to normal the following cycle.

Chronic Illness

Certain chronic illnesses can interfere with the menstrual cycle, causing frequent delayed periods. The following are some conditions that often cause late periods:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Liver dysfunction

It is entirely dependent on medical professionals to diagnose and provide the appropriate treatments. If you are being treated for any of the chronic illnesses, we recommend that you consult your doctor about your delayed period.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) commonly causes irregular periods in people who have it. This condition may cause heavier periods, delayed periods, or missed periods altogether for months.

As a reference, women mainly produce estrogen and progesterone hormones to control their reproductive systems. But, a small amount of androgen or male hormones (i.e., testosterone) is also there to regulate the menstrual cycle.

The reason that PCOS causes menstrual irregularities is that it disrupts the hormonal balance. Women with PCOS have higher amounts of androgen or male hormones in their system, which interferes with their period cycles.

Besides the menstrual irregularities, PCOS is usually identifiable with the following characteristics:

  • Weight gain and difficulty to lose weight
  • Acne
  • Extra facial hair
  • Thinning hair on the head
  • Darkening or thickening skin around the neck, armpits, and breast

PCOS requires a medical professional to check and diagnose. If your doctor suspects you have PCOS, they will refer you to an OB/GYN specialist for further assessment and treatment.

Thyroid Issues

The human body produces thyroid hormones responsible for controlling metabolism, or the process of transforming food into energy. The hormones also play a role in regulating the menstrual cycle.

With thyroid issues, there will be a lesser amount of thyroid hormones produced. This can have an impact on the period cycle, causing menstrual irregularities or delayed periods. In some cases, people may also have missed periods for a few months. 

Birth Control

Hormonal birth control containing estrogen and progesterone, or progesterone only frequently causes delayed or missed periods. It’s completely normal and nothing to worry about if you experience a delayed period while being on hormonal birth control. 

Technically speaking, hormonal birth control works by inhibiting ovulation, which prevents fertilisation that leads to pregnancy. The way that hormonal birth control works frequently causes menstrual irregularities.

Some women may have lighter bleeding, or spotting, delayed periods, or missed periods lasting for a few months. Either of these conditions may also persist after stopping birth control as your body needs time to adjust to its normal cycle.


Breastfeeding your baby may result in missed periods for several months after childbirth. This is because the prolactin hormone, which helps you produce milk, prevents you from ovulating, resulting in a missed period.

If you exclusively breastfeed your baby, it could take up to a year before your menstruation returns. However, if you are concerned about becoming pregnant, a pregnancy test will be of great help in determining this.


Pregnancy is one of the causes of a missed period, which can excite or concern people. If you've been sexually active and your period has been delayed, you might be wondering if you're pregnant.

In this case, a pregnancy test will be useful in determining whether or not you are pregnant. Apart from the missed period, Healthline notes that pregnancy is often linked with the following conditions:

  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Lower back pain
  • Frequent urination


Perimenopause is a transition stage to menopause, where your ovaries start to produce fewer reproductive hormones. During this time, your period may become irregular. You may notice a heavier or lighter period than usual, with a probability of missed periods as well.

If you're at the age close to menopause (i.e., 45 to 55 years old), there's nothing to worry about, as this condition is perfectly normal. However, if you're younger than the stated age, then you might want to see your doctor about early menopause.

According to NHS, early menopause typically comes with the following existing conditions:

  • Vaginal dryness and feeling of discomfort during sex
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Anxiety
  • Hot flushes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Night sweats
  • Problems with memory and concentration

What Are The Complications Of  A Delayed Period?

A delayed period isn't the nicest thing to have. It creates a sense of uncertainty and feels uncomfortable physically as well. So, what are the complications of late menstruation that many women face?

Psychological Stress

Psychological stress is a common complication symptom felt by women with a delayed period. They may be experiencing heightened levels of anxiety and worry about the potential causes and implications of the delay.

If you experience this issue, try your best to relax and wait until 7 days. Period cycles, as previously discussed, aren’t time fixed. One moment, your cycle could be in 28 days, and at another time, it could shift to 32 days.

However, if your period hasn't arrived after 7 days and you are sexually active, it’s wise to take a pregnancy test to rule out the possibility of pregnancy. Otherwise, if the test shows up negative, there could be other underlying issues behind the delay.


Cramps commonly occur in the delayed period for a variety of reasons. Hormonal imbalance (i.e., lack or excess estrogen and progesterone) causing late periods often results in this symptom.

Furthermore, delayed ovulation could also cause cramps. Delayed ovulation impacts the onset of menstrual flow, causing it to be late as well. As a result, cramps are common when menstrual flow occurs later than expected.

Lastly, cramps could also arise as a result of psychological stress. The stress can increase the tension of your muscles, which manifests as cramps.


A variety of factors cause migraines that are present in a delayed period. First and foremost, a missed period upsets the hormonal balance. If you are sensitive to hormonal imbalance, you may experience it physically in migraines.

In addition to causing hormonal imbalances, migraines could also occur as a result of psychological stress. The increased tension due to feelings of uncertainty and emotional burden later may trigger the migraine.

It’s worth noting that migraines that occur due to delayed periods can vary from one person to another. If you have migraines, you must observe your symptoms to help manage the migraines more effectively.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are prevalent in delayed periods. Many women feel uneasy emotionally when their periods is late due to a variety of factors, including hormonal changes and physical discomfort.

Hormonal changes, particularly within the estrogen and progesterone levels, play a significant role in regulating mood. When there’s a delay in your menstruation, these hormone levels may become disrupted, leading to mood swings.

Finally, physical discomfort, just like hormonal changes, can cause mood swings. Physical discomforts like cramps and migraines can affect you psychologically, making you easily irritated, sad, or tired.


The last impact of the delayed period that’s often encountered is spotting. Spotting is a condition in which you bleed lightly, which is identifiable by the small brownish or reddish flecks on your underwear.

Spotting usually happens on the day you should be menstruating. Spotting, like menstruation, contains blood, but due to the small amount of blood, it doesn’t count as your period. 

Hence, if you notice these brownish or reddish flecks on the day your menstrual flows should be arriving, it’s considered a delayed period. Typically, the flecks will be present for a few days before your menstruation blood occurs.

How To Manage The Complications?

The complications of a delayed period make you feel uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. Worry no more! There are ways for you to overcome these issues and feel more at ease when you do the following:

Invest in Comfortable Period Underwear

Investing in comfortable period underwear helps you prepare when your menstrual flows arrive unexpectedly. Period underwear is also more convenient to wear when you experience spotting, compared to using disposable pantyliners.

There are a variety of comfortable period underwear styles that you can choose from as well. From the colourful Hiphuggers and slimming effects of High Cut Briefs to sleek Thongs, you can choose what makes you feel best and keeps you protected while spotting.

When your period finally comes, you can also use period underwear to stay comfortable during the bloody days. Get to choose your period underwear from heavy, medium, light to extra-light absorbency, you’re free to select one that suits your menstrual flows.

Eat Nutritious Food

Eating nutritious food can help you deal with complications from delayed periods. Nutritious food rich in vitamins and minerals helps your body to function better, reducing the physical and emotional discomfort that you’re experiencing.

There are several nutritious foods that you can try, including those that are high in vitamin E, vitamin C, or vitamin B12. You can find these vitamins in foods like avocado, dragon fruit, and fish.

Aside from giving you the nutrients you need, these foods can also satisfy your cravings and lift your mood. This keeps you from eating unhealthy foods to fulfil your cravings, which could make your late period worse.

Take Enough Rest

Taking enough rest is beneficial for your body to recover. Oftentimes, delayed periods cause stress, migraines, or cramps that make it unbearable to do heavy activities. So take a step back and get your deserved rest.

Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies help to regulate your menstrual flow as well as reduce the physical and emotional discomfort associated with delayed periods. The following are some herbal remedies that you can try:

  • Applying warm compresses helps you to minimise the lower tummy aches that commonly occur in late periods.
  • Practising yoga helps your body to relax, beneficial for your physical and emotional well-being
  • Drinking ginger tea is refreshing and ginger contains anti-inflammatory agents that are helpful to manage cramps.
  • Turmeric is a traditional herb that adds flavour to your food while also being beneficial to your health, particularly for your reproductive system.

Seek Medical Help If The Complications Become Serious

If the complications worsen, it's best to seek medical attention. There's nothing more dire than dealing with untreated conditions that can harm your health.

Seeking medical help will provide you with a comprehensive examination, allowing you to understand your body better and get the right treatments.

Final Thoughts

Delayed periods can be frustrating. But after reading this article, we hope that you can feel more at ease. You’re now aware of all the possible causes along with the solutions you can try to manage your late period, including wearing comfortable period underwear when spotting occurs.

Mooncheeks period underwear is specifically designed to help you remain protected and comfortable during the bloody days. It feels like wearing your regular underwear but without the bulky pads or tampons.

Shop your favourite piece(s) today and feel the bloody good times ahead!


How long after the missed period should I worry?

Missed period or the absence of menstruation is usually harmless if it occurs infrequently. However, if the absence becomes more frequent, you'll need to have yourself checked for the possibility of underlying medical issues and receive proper treatment.

Why is my period late if I'm not pregnant?

Your period can be late even if you're not pregnant for various reasons. Stress, excessive exercise, and unhealthy body weight are common factors causing late periods.

How much delay is normal in periods?

One week of period delay is considered normal. Menstrual cycles frequently fluctuate, resulting in varying cycle days between periods.

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.
Thanks for contacting us! We'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for subscribing Thanks! We will notify you when it becomes available! The max number of items have already been added There is only one item left to add to the cart There are only [num_items] items left to add to the cart