Reasons for Late Periods

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Reasons for Late Periods

Experiencing a late period can sometimes be worrying, owing to the fact that there can be a number of concerning reasons. While irregular periods commonly affect all women at some point or other - and are often nothing to worry about - if they are frequent or sudden there might be a medical factor to blame, which needs addressing. Find out about the most common reasons for late periods.


If your period is usually regular, but is suddenly late, naturally many women will jump to the conclusion of the possibility of being pregnant.  If you are sexually active, there is always a chance that you could get pregnant - regardless of whether you use contraception. This is because no contraception is 100% effective, even when it is used correctly. For those who believe this might be the case, it is advisable to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible.


For women around 45, a late period could be a sign of approaching menopause. This being said, it is possible for much younger women to embark upon these changes sometimes. Menopause involves hormonal fluctuations which can cause irregular and delayed menstruation among other symptoms.


Many women are unaware of the fact that emotional difficulties can impact on their menstrual cycle. Stress can have an influence on hormonal activity, causing changes which can affect the regularity of periods, and may lead to late menstruation. In this instance, your regular cycle will usually return if you are able to de-stress with relaxation techniques like yoga.

Weight Loss

Production of hormones greatly reduces if you lose a significant amount of weight, or lose weight suddenly. This can cause a delayed period, irregularity, or even stop periods altogether. Women who suffer with eating disorders are particularly at risk of experiencing irregular periods.

Excessive Exercise

A number of female athletes find that their periods are irregular. This is due to the fact that physical exertion can affect the behavior of reproductive hormones and actually stop you from ovulating. If you suddenly start undergoing strenuous exercise, this could be the reason for a late period. Limiting your exercise regime will usually restore your normal cycle.


Most types of contraception have an effect on your menstrual cycle, and so if you have recently changed your method of birth control it could interrupt your regularity, or cause a skipped or late period. The injection, or progestogen-only pill can sometimes stop periods altogether in some women.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

This condition usually develops during teenage years; however, some women in their early to mid-20s can suffer from it. PCOS describes the presence of small, non-cancerous cysts in the womb. It develops due to hormonal imbalance, and can result in delayed or skipped periods.

A late period can cause confusion and worry in many women; however, with some understanding about the vast number of possible causes hopefully any concern can be evaded. Keep reading to know how to handle unexpected and late periods.