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Delayed periods in women

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Delay in periods is delay of normal menstrual cyclebeyond 35 days

Normal menstrual cycle is from 28 to 35 days. If the menstruation does not occur after 35 days it is called delayed periods.

Causes

  • Stress: Stress will decrease the amount of the hormone (GnRH) which causes cessation of ovulation or menstruation.
  • Illness: A sudden, short or long illness cause’s delay in periods and it is temporary.
  • Change in schedules: Like changing days to night shifts at work or vice versa.
  • Change in medications: Commonly seen with some methods of birth control.
  • Overweight: Delay in periods can occur in individuals who are overweight.
  • Underweight.
  • Miscalculation of period date.
  • Perimenopause: It is the period from transitioning from reproductive age to non reproductive age.
  • Menopause: It is the period when there is no longer ovulation or menstruation. It can occur naturally or after surgery like hysterectomy and after chemotherapy.
  • Pregnancy: Missed period can be due to pregnancy. A simple urine pregnancy test to be done which detects the hormone (HCG).
  • Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia can lead to delay in periods.

What to do next

If you are pregnant, it the pregnancy test is positive you need to consult a gynecologist.

If the pregnancy test is negative, wait till one more week and retest. If the second test is also negative you need to see a doctor for physical examination and to do some blood investigations.

Sometimes medications like Provera (Medroxy progesterone)is prescribed to bring back the periods. It is short-acting synthetic progestin. Progestin therapy in adolescents produces regular cyclic withdrawal bleeding until maturity of positive feedback system is achieved. Progestins stop endometrial cell proliferation, allowing organized sloughing of cells after withdrawal. Typically does not stop acute bleeding episode but produces a normal bleeding episode following withdrawal.

If there is iron deficiency anemia it has to be treated with iron supplements.

Overweight individuals are advised to reduce weight. Underweight individuals are instructed to have well balanced diet.

Prevention of the delayed periods

Appropriate changes in diet and exercise to achieve a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight.

Avoiding recreational drug use, excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking.

To maintain healthy balance in work, recreation and rest.

Assessing areas of stress or conflicts of life.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause. Hormone replacement therapy.

 

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