For women taking contraceptives, your period is your crowning achievement. It is that cramp-ridden bump in the road that you secretly look forward to every month, as it is the ultimate factor in determining that yes, you have succeeded in living another month baby free!
With all of this “period relief” being felt palpably around the world, it can be a little alarming when good old Aunt Flo misses her visit. So, what gives? Relax, just because you missed your period doesn’t mean you’re destined for baby-town.
Reasons women miss their periods
There are plenty of reasons for a missed period, so before you go Googling your heart out, here are 10 solid reasons why not having your period doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having a baby.
#1 New birth control. If you’ve recently started taking a new form of birth control, then you can exhale those worries away, because going on a new form of birth control can actually cause you to miss your period!
In fact, starting a new birth control pill can do all sorts of wacky things to your cycle, such as cause you to miss your period, have a month long period *eek!*, have a late start or even a late finish to your period.
It’s all normal. Just sit back, and wait for your hormones to regulate themselves onto your new BC, and all should be well again. Crampy, but well!
#2 Going OFF birth control. As you just read, birth control regulates your hormones and creates a whole new balance inside your body. This is the same reason you’ll get your period around the same time every month, why your cramps lessen, and why you may feel a lowered sex drive while on the pill *and an extreme spike in horniness while off it!* It’s also for this reason that going off your regular birth control pill can throw your cycle out of whack.
For the first few months of being off of your birth control pill, you may find you will miss you period, possibly for months! It can take the body a while to readjust to your natural flow of things *no pun intended* and regenerate the natural amount of estrogen needed to ovulate, so just be patient and wait it out.
#3 Stress. After my first breakup, I didn’t get my period for months. One summer, I was depressed, and I didn’t get my period for months. The fact is, stress, depression, and emotions can do odd things to your body. If you’re experiencing anxiety over a breakup, stress over work, or general problems with your love or personal life, these can have a huge impact on whether or not you get your period. So instead of worrying, just consider this a hormonal freebie to eat chocolate without all the cramping and crying that usually goes along with getting your period.
#4 You let your guy come inside you. Can semen effect your menstrual cycle in other ways than simply baby making? You bet it can! Some even say letting your guy do the deed without a condom on can definitely have some funky effects on your period. For some, having a man ejaculate inside you during sex may actually jumpstart your period into early action, while others may experience a delay in menstruation.
#5 Rapid weight loss or gain. If you’ve had a sudden or rapid change in body weight, then you may have found the culprit for your late period! Eating disorders have a huge impact on the body, your organs, and how your hormones are running. Once your begin fussing around with that, there’s a high risk of missing your period.
#6 Exercise obsession. Are you one of the newfound cross-fit-obsessed gym goers? Well, just like with extreme dieting, an extreme obsession with exercising can also cause you to skip your periods. In fact, many athletes experience missed periods due to over-indulging in extreme exercise.
Why? Too much physical activity can actually put stress on the body and use up more of our body’s energy than we are consuming. Therefore, the body goes into shutdown mode to preserve energy, flipping your period right to the back burner.
#7 Polycystic ovary syndrome – PCOS. This hormonal disorder can definitely cause your periods to disappear from time to time. This is a condition wherein one or both of your ovaries develop cysts, which may then affect the production of hormones in your body. If you are concerned that you may have PCOS, contact your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
#8 Gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Gluten intolerance is really coming to light these days. The internet parades recipes for gluten-free meals as freely as it touts articles about how delicious avocados are! This unfortunate allergy is not only taking away your love for bread, it may also be responsible for throwing your hormones out of whack and causing you to miss your period.
#9 The flu and other illnesses. If you’ve been really sick lately, you may have your reason for skipping your period. Sicknesses such as the flu can cause an imbalance within your body and delay your period. Note that this really shouldn’t happen if you only have a simple head cold. Expect this if you’ve been feverish or have experienced vomiting and diarrhea associated with your sickness.
#10 Last but not least, just take a pregnancy test! Just because there are dozens of reasons for you to have missed your time of the month, doesn’t mean you won’t still spend days worrying about possibly being pregnant.
Admit it, you’ve been looking up Yahoo Answers and sexual health articles galore trying to convince yourself you don’t have a bun in the oven. If you find yourself obsessing over the possibility of pregnancy, you should probably march your patent leather pumps over to the drug store and pick up a pregnancy test.
At the end of the day, skipped periods are a totally common issue that almost every girl will face at one point in her hormonal life. Still, if you can’t help but picture dancing babies in your stomach, be sure to put your fears to rest by way of a good old fashioned pee stick. Trust us, you’ll feel 100 times better once you know definitively.