For many women, a regular menstrual cycle serves as an indicator of reproductive health and well-being. However, there are times when your period may deviate from its usual schedule, causing concern and confusion. While a late period can be unsettling, it’s important to remember that occasional irregularities are relatively common. To help you out, we asked the professionals at Uptown Pharmacy for valuable information about possible reasons why your period is late.

1. Stress

You’ve probably heard before how a significant amount of stress can make you sick or play a role in the development of several diseases. Well, that is true; stress can significantly impact our health, including our menstrual cycle. 

High stress levels can disrupt the hormonal balance in your body, affecting the regularity of your periods. When you get stressed, two important glands of your body, called “adrenal glands,” release an impactful hormone called “cortisol,” which can cause significant imbalances in your body’s functions and natural processes. 

Emotional stress, such as work pressure, relationship issues, or significant life events, can contribute to a delayed period. Engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as exercise, meditation, and self-care, may help regulate your cycle.

2. Hormonal imbalances

Our hormones are responsible for many different body functions; they’re the chemical messengers that send information to our organs, muscles, skin, and other tissues. Hormones fluctuate at different stages in our lives, but drastic fluctuations in hormone levels can cause changes in your menstrual cycle.

Hormonal imbalances can result from factors such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, or excessive exercise. Such imbalances can disrupt the normal ovulation process, delaying the period. If you suspect a hormonal imbalance, it’s advisable to talk with a doctor for evaluation and appropriate management.

3. Changes in weight

Significant body weight changes, whether weight loss or weight gain, may impact your menstrual cycle. Drastic weight loss or being significantly underweight, as well as overexercising or undereating for a significant period of time, can lead to the absence of your period. That happens because those factors interfere with the ovulation process, and if you don’t ovulate, you skip your period. Sudden weight gain can cause irregularities, such as having your period later or sooner.

Achieving a healthy and stable weight through a healthy diet and regular physical activity can aid in regulating your menstrual cycle and prevent the absence of your period.

4. Medications and birth control

Certain medications, such as hormonal contraceptives or certain types of birth control methods like intrauterine devices (IUDs), birth control pills, patches, hormonal rings, and implants, can affect your menstrual cycle. Those methods can cause lighter or heavier periods, irregular bleeding, longer or shorter periods, or even the absence of your period. 

The effects each birth control method has depend on each individual’s metabolism. If you suspect your birth control is responsible for a delayed period or a significant irregularity, consult your trusted doctor for further guidance.

5. Perimenopause

When women are in their late 30s or 40s, they start experiencing what is called “Perimenopause.” That is a transitional phase in which they experience several changes before they enter menopause. During this time, hormones are crazy, fluctuating constantly. Hormonal fluctuations can cause mood swings, hot flashes, sleep problems, and changes in the menstrual cycle, including irregular periods, lighter or heavier periods, or skipped periods.

6. Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition some women experience during their reproductive years. It can be caused for a wide range of reasons, but most commonly because of abnormal hormone levels in the body, such as high levels of insulin or androgen excess. It can also be inherited. 

PCOS can impact different functions of your body and cause side effects such as infertility, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, and delayed menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may experience irregular menstrual cycles, anovulation, a heavier or prolonged period, and pain while having their period. PCOS is a condition that needs monitoring and assessment provided by a healthcare professional.


While a late period can be concerning, it’s essential to remember that occasional irregularities are typical. Stress, hormonal imbalances, changes in weight, and birth control methods can all contribute to a delayed menstrual cycle. Suppose you experience persistent irregularities or other concerning symptoms. In that case, it is always recommended to consult with a professional to rule out any underlying conditions and ensure your reproductive health and well-being.