Do you end up wasting time and energy overthinking why your periods are late by a few days? Are you troubled by the endless list of menstrual concerns and queries that pop up in your head? Period stress is common, more so, because your hormones are already imbalanced when you’re PMSing. Here are the answers you need that will help put your concerns to rest.
Menstrual Cycle: Common Concerns & Questions
1. Missed My Period! Am I Pregnant?
There are a lot of reasons because of which you can miss your period. Your period is considered late when it’s over 30 days past since you last had them. But, if your cycle has always been slightly longer, there’s no reason to worry. A gap of more than 45 days between two cycles should always be highlighted to your gynaecologist. Here are some reasons your periods may arrive later than ‘usual’.
Stress is one of the main reasons your periods can be late. The increase in cortisol and perceived level of stress affects your hormones. It’s not uncommon for stress to cause an early or late period. The key is to help relax your mind and body. Eat well, sleep well, meditate and undertake an activity that makes you feel positive. You could workout, listen to some music, dance, or immerse yourself in a good book. The most important thing is to stop stressing about not having gotten your period, because the stress will delay it further.
Being Underweight Or Overweight
If you’ve recently lost or gained weight, it can also be the cause of your period being late. A low body fat ratio lowers the number of reproductive hormones, which affects your menstrual cycle. The same way being obese can also affect your hormones and sometimes increase your risk of PCOS too. So if you’re overweight and you have missed your periods more than a few times, consider visiting a doctor.
There are birth control pills that can interrupt your hormones and affect the lining of your uterus, resulting in a late period. If your periods are delayed since adopting a new birth control pill, consult your doctor for a substitute.
Hormonal Imbalance is a common period delaying issue faced by women. Especially during your teenage years, your periods get late because of hormones such as prolactin. Women who have thyroid problems can also face irregular periods.
Did You Know?
You’ll approximately spend 10 years of your life on your period.
2. How Late Can A Period Be Without Me Being Pregnant?
If you’re worried about getting pregnant, tracking your period is a must. When in doubt, a home pregnancy test can always help put your mind to rest. If after a negative result, there’s another week’s delay in your periods, consider retaking the test. Sometimes pregnancy kits aren’t that accurate as they fail to detect the hCG in your urine if it’s too early. Pay attention to symptoms like painful breasts, nausea and vomiting.
3. What Is The Cause Of Irregular Periods Among Teenagers?
Irregularity of periods among teens is very common as their bodies are still developing. Ovaries take time to release an egg every month and hence their cycles keep on changing. Some other reasons are hormonal levels being too high or too low, being under or overweight, and too much exercise. Especially during the first 2 years, girls will face irregularity in their cycles and sometimes also miss a period. Practising yoga for irregular periods can be helpful in regulating the cycle.
4. What Are Some Signs Of PMS?
PMS is short for Premenstrual Syndrome. Most women have at least one sign of PMS. You could experience a bloated tummy, cramps, sleeplessness, pimples, weight gain, tension or anxiety, loss of mental focus, joint pain, headaches and increased hunger.
5. Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Sex On My Period?
Yes, you can get pregnant at any time of the month. Though the chances of pregnancy are very, very low, the truth is that sperm can survive in your reproductive system for up to 5 days. So, having sex on your period isn’t a 100% guarantee against pregnancy.
6. When Will I Stop Menstruating?
The change of life is the term used for women who have not had their periods for over a year. Commonly known as menopause, it is the time when you stop having your periods. This usually happens between the ages of 45 and 50. In some cases, women stop getting their periods at the age of 40, which is considered premature menopause. It takes time for your ovaries to stop producing enough hormones to trigger a period.
7. Why Does My Period Blood Smell?
When the shedding of an unfertilised egg exits your body, it is very natural for it to have a smell. Learning to differentiate between the smells is also a smart practice. A healthy period smells very blood-like, while an unhealthy one smells foul. Also, don’t forget that tampons and sanitary napkins trap the smell by not exposing it to air. Practising vaginal hygiene and changing tampons and pads from time to time helps with the period smell. What you need to look out for is creamy, egg white, or sticky vaginal discharge. This can be a sign of infection or some underlying problem.
8. How Can I Deal With Menstrual Cramps?
Here are some things you can do to reduce or treat those period cramps:
Drink Enough Water And Eat Healthy
As simple as it sounds, your body needs to stay hydrated when you are menstruating. Eating right is difficult with all those cravings but it is really important too. Eat high fibre and high protein foods instead of gorging on junk.
The most commonly practised technique is putting a heating pad on your belly and lower back to relieve cramps and body pain.
Natural Pain Relief
There are natural pain remedies available in the market like balms and roll-ons. Experts suggest drinking ginger and black pepper tea to lower the levels of prostaglandins.
But if you’re going through severe discomfort, consulting a doctor is vital.
9. Tampons & Virginity: Are They Safe?
Tampons work absolutely fine even if you’re a virgin. It can, in some cases, cause the hymen to stretch or tear but you’re still a virgin if you’ve not had sex. Remember, there are a ton of activities that can cause the hymen to break and that the concept of virginity is just that, a concept.
10. Can I Get My Periods & Still Be Pregnant?
Yes, you can get your periods and still be pregnant. 20% of women bleed in the early stage of pregnancy because of the implantation of the fertilised egg in the lining of the uterus. It is a light period which only lasts for a few hours sometimes. This is known as implantation bleeding.
Periods are painful, stressful, and emotional for most women. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed but having all the answers you need can help you navigate through a tough cycle. If you have specific concerns, it’s best to consult your OB/GYN.