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Definition

What is missed period?

Most women usually have between 11 and 13 menstrual periods each year. But you may be the different one when having more or fewer, it is called missed or irregular period.

How common is missed period?

Missed period can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of missed period?

Most women have a period every 28 days or so, but it’s common to have a slightly shorter or longer cycle than this, from 24 to 35 days. Some women don’t always have a regular menstrual cycle. Their period may be early or late, and how long it lasts and how heavy it is may vary each time.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • You have lower belly pain.
  • You are pregnant when taking a home pregnancy test, or you think you’re pregnant even though the test says you are not.
  • You have missed two regular periods and don’t know the reason.
  • You miss two periods while taking birth control pills, and you have not skipped any pills.
  • You have not had your first period although you are 16.
  • You have not developed breasts or pubic hair by age of 14.

Causes

What causes missed period?

During the first few years after menstruation starts, menstrual periods are often irregular. It may take several years for the hormones to reach a balance.

Menstrual periods may also be very irregular at the other end of the menstrual years. Many women realize that they are approaching perimenopause and menopause when their regular periods become irregular. Menopause occurs when it has been 12 months since you had a menstrual period.

The most common cause of a missed period is pregnancy. Use a home pregnancy test as the first step to finding out whether you are pregnant.

If you are not, other causes of missed or irregular periods may include:

  • Excessive weight loss or gain. Although low body weight is a common cause of missed or irregular periods, obesity also can cause menstrual problems.
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.
  • Increased exercise. This often occurs in endurance athletes.
  • Emotional stress.
  • Illness.
  • Travel.
  • Medicines such as birth control methods.
  • Hormone problems. This may cause a change in the levels of the hormones that the body needs to support menstruation.
  • Illegal drug use.
  • Problems with the pelvic organs, such as imperforate hymen, polycystic ovary syndrome or Asherman’s syndrome.
  • Breastfeeding.

Premature ovarian failure is when you stop menstruating before age 40. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy to the abdomen or pelvis may cause premature ovarian failure.

Other diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, tuberculosis, liver disease, and diabetes can cause missed or irregular periods, although this is rare. But if any of these diseases are present, you will usually have other symptoms besides menstrual irregularities.

If you’ve skipped a period, try to relax. Restoring your life to emotional and physical balance can help. Many women miss periods now and then. Unless you are pregnant, chances are your cycle will return to normal next month.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for missed period?

There are many risk factors for missed period, such as:

  • Lose weight;
  • Restricting eating;
  • Rigorous exercise.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is missed period diagnosed?

The doctor will do a quick pelvic exam to determine whether any causes happen to you. In case you are 18 and do not have the first period, more extensive testing will be carried out.

How is missed period treated?

If an underlying reason has been diagnosed, the treatment for them will be made. However, if there is no reason for missing period, the options are available:

  • Healthy diet;
  • Vitamins and minerals.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage missed period?

You could try some tips below to manage your period:

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs.
  • Avoid caffeine, or limit your intake to about 1 cup of coffee or tea each day.
  • Do not clean a cat litter box, to avoid the risk of toxoplasmosis.
  • Avoid people who are ill.
  • Take a vitamin supplement that contains folic acid or a prenatal vitamin.

If the home pregnancy test is negative but you continue to have pregnancy symptoms, it is a good idea to see your doctor confirm the results. Practice good health habits until you see your doctor.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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