Skip to main content

Figuring out Irregular Periods: Understanding the Causes Behind Late Menstruation

Pia VermaakPia Vermaak  April 1, 2024

It is distressing to girls and women who experience irregular periods/menstruation. Knowing why periods can come later than expected is important for maintaining reproductive health and general well-being. This article seeks to explore different causes of late menses, intending to explain hormonal imbalances, lifestyle changes, the relationship between sex and menstrual cycle, abnormal menstrual types, early pregnancy signs even in cases of irregular period flow, how to handle this sickness as well as the importance of seeking medical assistance.

Irregular periods

Introduction to Irregular Periods

Irregular menstruation, also referred to as irregular periods, is one thing that irritates most people. It is important to know what counts as an irregular period. A menstrual cycle that varies more than seven days from an individual’s standard cycle length is usually termed “irregular”. However, there might be various reasons behind late period or late menses, such as lifestyle or underlying medical conditions.

Significant Reasons for Why is My Period Late

Late onset of menstruation may be due to various factors. Stress levels, weight changes, food habits, regular physical activities, and sleeping patterns interfere with monthly discharges accompanying the phenomenon. Hormonal imbalances such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid gland complications are common causes of such delays in women’s lives. 

In addition, some drugs or family planning methods can have effects on how often periods occur. It is essential, therefore, to examine these potential causes to provide direction on late menses.

Lifestyle Issues and Late Menstruations or Menstrual Irregularities

Our way of life dramatically affects our periodic cycles too much. Intense nervousness makes improper nutrition insufficient, and exercising uneven sleep, these actions disrupt proper hormone balance for regular shedding off blood by a woman through her vagina during her organic processes associated with reproduction organs highly dependent on hormonal regulation. 

Indeed tension brings about hormone differences, consequently affecting the timing and regularity of blood flow from the vagina. Therefore, understanding these lifestyle factors is crucial in managing and preventing late periods or menstrual irregularities.

Hormonal Imbalances and Late Periods

The menstrual irregularities can be caused by hormonal imbalances, as may occur in PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) or thyroid diseases. In PCOS, the absence or presence of high levels of androgens interferes with ovulation, giving absent or irregular menses.

Similarly, endocrine gland disorders such as thyroids are known to result in abnormalities seen during this process. It’s essential, therefore, to pay attention to/ these hormonal complications for a possible return to normal cycle.

Medications and Contraceptives Impacting Menstrual Regularity

There are several drugs, including hormonal contraceptives, that affect monthly discharges. Nonetheless, switching contraceptives or even forgetting about medication intake patterns will make menses come later than usual. 

Additionally, medications given for conditions like epilepsy or mental health disorders also affect the frequency of menstruation bouts. Thus, knowing what medications do is critical for managing delays in the menstrual cycle.

Can Sex Delay Your Period?

Most people mistakenly believe that one can postpone their period by having sex when it is due. However, having sex does not lead directly to delayed menstruation, but some aspects associated with sexual activity can interfere with the menstrual cycle itself. 

Stress stemming from sexual life or failure in contraception leads women to have late menses, which usually originates from pregnancy caused by unprotected sex, especially if there is any abnormal period experience.

8 Types of Abnormal Menstruation

Irregular periods are a broad category consisting of different types of anomalies in the menstrual process. Knowledge about these may expose root problems:

Amenorrhea: Not having menstruation. This is when a person has not started periods by the age of 15 (primary amenorrhea) or when periods have ceased for more than three cycles or six months (secondary amenorrhea).

Dysmenorrhea: Severe period pain, which is so intense that it disrupts normal activities. It consists of primary dysmenorrhea, simple menstrual cramps, and secondary dysmenorrhea which is caused by reproductive system problems.

Menorrhagia: Excessive bleeding during menstruation in terms of blood loss and length of bleeding time. Without any doubt, this could result in anemia and make someone’s life unbearably difficult.

Oligomenorrhea: Scanty menses with intervals exceeding 35 days. It can range from having menses after every 36 days to several months apart.

Metrorrhagia: These are episodes of blood loss between one period and another. They can be associated with certain medical conditions or hormonal imbalances.

Menometrorrhagia: Heavy irregular menstrual bleeding. Often signaling malfunctioning reproductive system organs.

Polymenorrhea: Frequent menstruation where the onset of two menstrual cycles is spaced out by less than 21 days. As such, women may experience more than one menstrual flow per month.

Hypomenorrhea: Menstrual flows are very scanty. Nevertheless, substantial changes concerning the flow should raise an alarm while slight differences might not need attention.

This knowledge will enable people to identify potential difficulties with their flow patterns and seek assistance from competent physicians whenever necessary.

Recognizing Abnormal Menstruation Patterns

It is essential to identify possible causes of abnormal menstruation for proper diagnosis. Distortions in the menstrual cycle can come in several forms, such as long or short periods, hefty flow, and light bleeding. People can tell when they are having strange menses if they keep track of their menstruation calendars and note any irregularities.

Signs of Pregnancy When You Have Irregular Periods

For women with atypical menstruation, differentiating between a delayed period and pregnancy is puzzling. Late periods are usually attributed to hormonal changes or lifestyle factors but may also indicate pregnancy

Most signs commonly associated with pregnancy, including morning sickness and swollen breasts, among other things, might be misconstrued as symptoms of irregular periods.


What Are The Common Causes Of Irregular Periods?

Miscarriage occurs due to stress, fluctuating hormones, body-weight disorders, dietary issues, certain medications, as well as underlying health conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disease (thyroiditis).

Why is my menstrual cycle getting longer?

Sexual activity itself cannot postpone a woman’s menstrual cycle directly; however, factors like anxiety from sex or unexpected birth control accidents could disrupt regular menstrual cycles even though they may not result in a pregnancy.

How can I distinguish between late menstruation and pregnancy?

Differentiating between late period and pregnancy becomes difficult, especially for those who have sporadic menses. Nausea accompanied by vomiting and fatigue plus breast soreness that women experience during their first three months may result from the exact causes as above, which would make it hard for them to tell between late period occurrence and being pregnant.


This Blog has helped explain why periods occur irregularly or late. By understanding common causes, including factors affecting lifestyle, hormone disbalance, and medication effects, people may take active steps to deal with their menstrual health. When women recognize abnormal patterns in their menses, they will also be able to tell when they might be experiencing pregnancy signs, hence seeking the right medical help when needed. Overall well-being will enable them to maintain regular menses and, thus, reproductive health.

Pia Vermaak

Pia Vermaak 

Pia Vermaak is the owner of the leading digital marketing and content writing company, MotherTyper. Her skill sets include degrees/certificates in beauty, psychology, business, and writing! MotherTyper has writers from all over the world with different races, genders, and backgrounds, ensuring the perfect piece is written, researched, and presented to you!