Exploring the Reasons Behind Delayed Periods

Delayed periods, also known as amenorrhea, can occur for a variety of causes, and knowing the scientific basis for them is critical for women's health.

Exploring the Reasons Behind Delayed Periods
Exploring the Reasons Behind Delayed Periods

The menstrual cycle is a vital aspect of a woman's reproductive health. However, many women experience irregularities in their periods, including delays. Delayed periods, also known as amenorrhea, can be a source of concern and anxiety for women. In this blog, we will delve into the various reasons behind delayed periods and explore the scientific evidence supporting these causes.

Factors influencing delayed periods:

1.Stress and Emotional Factors: Stress and emotional factors can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance in a woman's body, leading to delayed periods. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can interfere with the normal functioning of the reproductive system.

Studies have shown that psychological stress can affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis, disrupting the menstrual cycle. Examples of emotional stressors include work pressure, relationship issues, and traumatic events.

2. Weight Fluctuations and Eating Disorders: Significant weight fluctuations, such as rapid weight loss or gain, can disrupt the menstrual cycle. Both underweight and overweight conditions can impact hormonal levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone.

Low body weight can lead to anovulation (lack of ovulation), while excess body fat can result in increased estrogen levels and disrupted menstrual cycles. Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia can significantly affect hormone production and delay periods.

3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. It is characterized by an imbalance in reproductive hormones, including increased levels of androgens (male hormones). This hormonal imbalance can interfere with ovulation and lead to delayed or irregular periods.

Scientific studies have highlighted the association between PCOS and menstrual irregularities, demonstrating the impact of hormonal dysregulation on the menstrual cycle.

4. Thyroid Disorders: The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism and hormone production. Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), can disrupt the menstrual cycle.

Hypothyroidism can lead to longer and irregular cycles, while hyperthyroidism can cause shorter and lighter periods. Research suggests that the thyroid hormone levels directly influence the reproductive hormones, impacting menstruation.

5. Medications and Hormonal Birth Control: Certain medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and chemotherapy drugs, can affect the menstrual cycle and cause delays.

Additionally, hormonal birth control methods like oral contraceptives, patches, or intrauterine devices (IUDs) can influence the regularity of periods. These contraceptives alter hormone levels in the body, which can lead to changes in menstrual patterns.


Delayed periods, or amenorrhea, can occur due to various reasons, and understanding the scientific basis behind them is crucial for women's health. This blog explored several factors contributing to delayed periods, backed by scientific research.

Stress, emotional issues, and weight fluctuations can disrupt hormonal balance and the menstrual cycle. Hormonal disorders like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid illnesses also interfere with regular ovulation and periods. Certain medications and hormonal birth control methods might additionally contribute to missed periods by causing further hormonal imbalances.

Jayti Shah is a Clinical Nutritionist with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). Over the last 9 years, she has helped 400 clients in their clinical and weight loss journeys. She works with SocialBoat as a nutrition consultant.

At SocialBoat, we offer custom diet plans and guided workouts to help you achieve your goals in a 360-degree approach. Our gamified experience ensures that you don’t find workouts boring and we reward you for being consistent with your efforts.


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