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When your period is delayed, pregnancy is often the first thought to cross your mind. 

Alongside absent menstruation, other early pregnancy symptoms include:

  • Tender and swollen breasts
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pregnancy nausea (morning sickness)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • More frequent urination

The only definitive way to establish whether or not you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test, however. Home pregnancy tests are very reliable as long as they are taken after the date on which your menstruation was due, but you can also obtain a pregnancy test at your doctor's office or a family planning clinic. 

Should your pregnancy test be negative, many other factors can explain your missed period. 

Are You Using The Birth Control Pill Or Other Hormonal Contraceptives?

If you're on the pill, it's not unusual to miss a period here and there. The same holds true for other hormonal birth control systems, including the Mirena intrauterine system and Depo Provera, 

It is important to note that incorrect use of oral contraceptives can lead to a pregnancy, so women you may have accidentally skipped a few doses should not assume that they cannot be pregnant. Taking a pregnancy test is wise in this situation.

Have You Been Stressed?

Extreme stress can lead to delayed menstruation as well as less regular cycles and a change in the severity of your menstrual flow.  

While any number of life factors can lead to extreme stress, worrying about the possibility that you are pregnant could itself be the reason for your delayed menstruation. 

Women who are so stressed that normal stress-relief techniques such as engaging in sport, hobbies, and relaxing with friends are not working will want to consider seeking professional help for their stress. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a good option. 

Have You Lost Or Gained Weight, And What's Your Diet Like?

Undernourishment can cause periods to be delayed or stop — and this applies to people who have decided to go on crash diets and people with eating disorders such as anorexia as much as people suffering from food insecurity for financial reasons. If you are considerably underweight, your body will shut down those systems it considers to be of secondary importance. This means that the production of the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle can be disrupted. 

Being obese can likewise lead to menstrual irregularities, as can nutritional deficiencies

Have You Been Hitting The Gym Too Often?

Both professional athletes and extreme fitness hobbyists can experience menstrual irregularities as the result of excessive exercise, for the same reason that mental stress can interfere with your periods. When you are putting your body through an exercise regime that is too rigorous for you, hormone production is altered and this can manifest itself through missed periods. 

What Else Can Delay Your Period?

The perimenopause and polycystic ovary syndrome can likewise delay your period. 

While most women enter the menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, premature menopause is possible, and can affect even women in their early twenties. 

PCOS is a hormone-related condition that frequently leads to missed periods. 

What Should You Do If You Have Missed Your Period But You Are Not Pregnant?

One missed or delayed period is not a particular cause for concern, especially if you use hormonal contraceptives or have recently experienced extreme stress. Should you keep on missing periods despite a negative pregnancy test, however, please seek medical advice. 

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