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Delayed menstruation is a common problem with several potential causes, and pregnancy is absolutely not the only one. Stress can be an enormous contributing factor, but besides this, inadequate nutrition or excessive exercising could be the one to blame.

One Experience Of Delayed Menstruation

“I have a sister who has been having irregular periods since she started menstruating. The menses themselves started late for her, at age 18. She is now 24 and has been married for over a year. The problem of irregular periods and delayed menstruations still continues. I know she has visited gynecologists, and a couple of them have suggested laparoscopy. I also know she was taking medication to regulate her periods. Her periods have been regular for as long as she has been taken the medication. At the moment, she is not using medicines, so her last period started about 2 months ago. I was wondering if she might be pregnant, but the test came back negative.”
 
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Since delayed menstruation is a common problem, it is hard to believe there are so many myths and misinformation about the causes of amenorrhea. We need to learn more and to hear about the reasons and possible treatments, therapies and prevention of delayed menstruation.

What Is Delayed Menstruation?

Delayed menstruation is a problem called amenorrhea in medical terms. Of course, there are periods in life when causes of delayed menstruation or the complete absence of menstrual periods are perfectly normal; this is called natural amenorrhea and it occurs during pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause.

But there are also situations in life when women's lifestyles could have more of an impact on their delayed menstruation [1]:

  • Stress can be an enormous contributing factor
  • Inadequate nutrition or being underweight (being approximately 10% under normal weight may interrupt ovulation)
  • Rigorous exercise, such as in professional athletes

Women should be aware that taking specific medication (not just contraceptives) may cause delayed menstruation or the even absence of menstrual periods [2, 3]:

  • Antipsychotics
  • Cancer chemotherapy
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure drugs
  • Allergy medications

Medical problems that may cause hormonal imbalance are often be related to delayed menstruation as well [4]:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid (hyperthyroid or hypothyroid)
  • Pituitary tumor
  • Premature menopause – when menopause starts before age 40

And of course, there are structural and anatomical problems that can potentially cause delayed menstruation [5]:

  • Uterine scarring
  • Lack of reproductive organs or a structural abnormality of the vagina
In some cases, the answer to attaining a regular menstrual cycle lies in focusing on healthier lifestyle habits: cutting down exercising in professional athletes, eating properly, and concentrating on food and herbs that nourish the body and help alleviate the stress in life.

In other cases, such as those where a woman is taking medicines, has a hormonal imbalance, or has structural problems, a woman should talk to her heathcare provider. An increased focus on improving her lifestyle habits is very welcome, but working on improving lifestyle habits alone probably won’t solve the problem of delayed menstruation.

A woman should also pamper herself a bit. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a warm, soothing bath every evening about the time that your menstrual period should begin. You could also add a little lavender oil or perhaps some Ylang Ylang. It would be nice to burn some candles, play some soothing music, and be nice to yourself.

Lavender is an herb known for its soothing and relaxing properties [6]. At the same time, Ylang Ylang is a powerful uterine contractor [7]. There are also aromatic botanical baths on the market that will make the discomforts of a woman’s pre-monthly cycle easier.

Even science isn’t sure whether menstrual synchrony is a myth, but the old wives' tale is: be around other women who are menstruating. Menstrual synchrony, also called the McClintock effect, is the alleged process whereby women who begin living together in close proximity see their menstrual cycle onsets become closer together in time than previously. Pheromones released during menstruation seem to trigger a response in other women. There are studies that dismiss this thesis and claim menstrual synchrony is a myth, [8] but being around other menstruating women definitely won't harm you.

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