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April 26, 2015

Missed Menstrual Period

A missed menstrual period (amenorrhea) is one of the first early pregnancy symptoms that a woman looks for. This pregnancy symptom can be misleading though, as there may be a few different reasons why you missed a period or why it may be a couple dates late.

For the woman who has an irregular menstrual cycle, a missed period may mean nothing out of the ordinary. There are some women that naturally have menstrual cycles that do not follow a set pattern. One month the cycle may last 27 days and the next month it may be 41 days. Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which is caused by a hormonal imbalance, may never be able to use a missed period as an indicator of pregnancy since many times their periods are irregular and few and far between. For women with irregular periods or ones that have hormonal issues like PCOS, the absence of a period should not be factored in as one of the pregnancy symptoms.

There are a few other reasons why a woman may miss her menstrual period.

  • If the woman is breastfeeding it is not uncommon for her menstrual cycle to be unpredictable.
  • Large amounts of stress can also cause amenorrhea. Getting rid of emotional stress in your life can help bring on your menstrual period.

Malnourishment, being underweight, and exercising too much can all cause a missed menstrual period. These items put too much stress on the body, causing it to lose its balance.

  • Missing a menstrual period is also a symptom of thyroid disease. Many women may have thyroid disease and may never know or something in their life like a pregnancy can cause thyroid disease.
  • Certain medications such as antidepressants, steroids, oral contraceptives, and chemotherapy drugs can cause amenorrhea.
  • If you have been sick for a long period of time or have a chronic illness, it may cause an absence of your menstrual period. Prolonged stress on the body may cause a delay in your menstrual cycle. Once you are better, it should return to normal.

Although all of the above factors could be a reason for the absence of your menstrual period, the number one reason is actually pregnancy. When a woman gets her menstrual period it is due to the shedding of the lining of the uterus which is prepared for a fertilized egg to implant in. When the woman ovulates and the egg does not get fertilized it sends a message to the uterus to shed the lining. This is why a missed menstrual period is a pretty good indication of pregnancy and is a pretty reliable among the pregnancy symptoms. If a woman has regular or semi-regular periods every month, the absence of a period one month can almost always be related to pregnancy that is considering the factors above have also been considered.

If you have missed your menstrual period, you may want to take a pregnancy test. If you the test comes out positive, call your doctor for your first prenatal visit. If the test comes out negative, and you still think you may be pregnant, wait another 3-5 days and take anther test. If it still comes out negative, wait awhile longer for your period to finally show and take into consideration the reasons stated above from amenorrhea. If your period still does not show after 2-3 months, you will want to call your doctor so he can run some test on you.

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