What is Late Menstrual Cycle

| November 14, 2011 | 0 Comments

The scenario of “late periods” varies. Usually though, it’s any of the three cases below that may become causes for worry for you:

1. Your regular periods have been taking longer to come for a while now and you can’t figure out why. They may even have stopped entirely.

2. You had your first period well into your teens and can’t explain what kept it.

3. You’re well into your teens and haven’t had a period yet.

If you can relate your dilemma with any of the three scenarios described above, then rejoice for this article has been written to reduce your worries by giving explanations.

Scenario 1: Period late or gone missing

If your regular period doesn’t come at your calculated date one month then the most obvious (and the most significant) explanation that comes to one’s mind is pregnancy.

However, fundamental explanations can help eliminate or confirm this explanation: you need to have sex to become pregnant. If you did have sex some time prior to your due date, then your question probably answered itself when you missed your period. Even if you suspect you’re pregnant, you need to set up an appointment with your doctor.

Another possible explanation for a late menstrual cycle is your hormones’ strange behavior. If they’re messed up, they’ll ruin the pattern of your menstrual cycle. Therefore, late menstrual cycles can be indication of hormonal imbalance, which is definitely a cause for concern.

There are in turn many reasons for your hormones’ sudden stubbornness:

  • Increased Stress
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Heavy exercise (or none at all)
  • Poor nutrition
  • A diet too high in carbohydrates
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Eating Disorders (Anorexia Nervosa or the fear that you’ll put on weight by eating is one example)
  • Certain medications
  • Caffeine
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

What is an irregular period?

For references purposes, a normal menstrual cycle happens every month. Variation in the time is often seen because the period doesn’t occur on the same date every month. However, if they’re occurring every 24-35 days, you may consider your periods to be normal.

An irregular period is one that occurs when you don’t expect it. To know when to expect one, you need to keep track of them. Count days between consecutive periods, and if any value that you calculate varies from your average, the period in question is an irregular one.

Irregular periods can be either ones that come too early or too late. In both cases however, they’re irregular for you. Here’s a simple example: If your periods come every two months and have been following this pattern for over a year, they’re regular. But if suddenly you don’t have one for 4 months, and then the next comes after a mere twenty days, their pattern has been disturbed. This is indicated by the randomness in the timing of your menstrual cycle. You can’t predict when it’ll come next.

Having irregular periods suddenly?

If

  • You can’t tell when your period will come
  • You have missed periods
  • Your periods have not been following a certain pattern.
  • If your period varies in how long it lasts (e.g. you bleed 3 days one month and 7 the next month)
  • You don’t bleed much at all.
  • you bleed very heavily during one.

Then you’re having irregular periods. It is advisable that you read on.

Scenario 2 & 3: What took it so long?

Most girls get their first period between the ages of 10-13, but some may get it as late as 16 or even 17. However uncommon it may be, it’s not an abnormality. If you’re beyond 14, you’re probably suffering from the same problem now. Keep in mind though that this alone does not spell danger. Everyone is different and has different stages of development.

If you got started with menstruation in your late teens then it’s probably your genetic make-up that brought it about; which means you inherited it from your parents. Asking Mom when she had her first period should help get you to relax if you’re worried. If she got it around the same time as you then you will know this is the reason you had a late menstrual cycle too.

Being underweight or malnourished can also cause delay in your periods. You need body fat for your body to begin producing the necessary hormones and hence indirectly, maturing the eggs stored in it.

If you are a petite young girl, it’ll take some time to attain the necessary levels of body fat. Stay put; try putting on some weight the healthy way while you’re at it.

On the other hand, if you eat too much and junk food forms a major chunk of your daily diet, you’re malnourished. Junk food does not give you the necessary nutrients in their right configuration for your body to begin some hormones. Menstruation is the expulsion of the spongy layer of tissue and blood vessels that develops in the uterus in expectation of implantation. You need nutrients to generate that layer in the first place!

It is advisable to eat well and eat carefully. Once you start eating healthy, your body’s functions will slowly be optimized and you’ll be all set to have your first period; in some cases with a little help from multi-vitamin tablets of course.

Category: Menstrual Cycle

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