If menstruation is absent for three consecutive months, and the result of a pregnancy test is negative, then be sure to consult a doctor. There are several reasons for the delay, including diseases that require treatment. And remember: for the reliability of the result of a pregnancy test, follow the instructions on the packaging and wait at least a week after the first day of delay.
Not always the reason for the delay of menstruation is pregnancy. Very often, irregular periods are an indicator of health problems. There can be many reasons that can lead to menstrual irregularities.
Is there a delay without pregnancy?
The ovaries release an egg during ovulation approximately every 28 days. If the sperm does not fertilize the egg, menstruation begins after about 14 days. Despite the fact that the delay is one of the first signs of pregnancy, there are many other reasons why it can occur.
If menstruation is absent for 3 consecutive months, this is called amenorrhea. This condition affects 3-4 percent of women worldwide. Amenorrhea usually occurs when the ovaries stop producing enough female hormone estrogen. A number of factors, including those listed below, can cause a lack of this hormone.
Abrupt gain or loss of a significant amount of weight can lead to hormonal imbalance. Very often this leads to a delay, but over time, the menstrual cycle resumes.
Prolonged or intense stress can affect the part of the brain that controls reproductive hormones. This can cancel ovulation and menstruation. As soon as the cause of stress disappears or the woman learns to deal with stress, the cycle resumes.
Excessive physical activity can cause a delay, especially in thin girls with a very low percentage of fat. The absence of menstruation due to physical stress is called amenorrhea associated with physical activity.
Prolactin Too High
Prolactin is a hormone that the body normally produces during breastfeeding. It can stop menstruation and is the reason why most lactating women do not have menstruation.
If you are not breastfeeding, milky discharge from the nipples may indicate that the body is producing an excessively large amount of prolactin. In this case, you must consult a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate treatment.
The thyroid gland is the gland that produces hormones that control the body’s metabolism.
Hypothyroidism, or insufficient thyroid activity, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of these hormones. Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, on the contrary, leads to too high levels of thyroid hormones in the body.
Both conditions can affect the frequency of menstruation.
Other signs worth paying attention to:
- Hair loss.
- Unexplained weight gain or loss.
- Always cold or hot.
Doctors usually diagnose thyroid problems with a simple blood test.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
In women with PCOS, hormonal failure occurs, which can affect overall health and appearance, as well as cause the formation of cysts on the ovaries. Up to 10 percent of women of childbearing age have PCOS, which is often accompanied by ovarian enlargement.
Symptoms of PCOS also include:
- Irregular menstruation or its absence.
- Too weak, too profuse or unpredictable bleeding during menstruation.
- Skin problems: acne or dark spots.
- Overweight or obese.
- Thinning hair.
- Sleep apnea.
- Problems conceiving a baby.
- Excess hair on the face, back, or hips.
Eating disorders, especially anorexia, can lead to a lack of menstruation. This occurs when body fat is not enough for ovulation.
Menopause occurs if menstruation is absent for at least 12 months. The average age of women entering menopause is 52 years. However, the transition to menopause, known as perimenopause, can cause symptoms that manifest at a younger age.
Symptoms of perimenopause include:
- Irregular menstruation.
- More abundant or weaker menstruation.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Mood swings or irritability.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Decreased libido.
Can you trust pregnancy tests?
Home pregnancy tests can sometimes give a false negative result. The accuracy of a home pregnancy test varies depending on how and when it was done.
Here are some reasons why the test may give a false negative result:
- The test is done too soon. Home pregnancy tests determine the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the urine. Despite the fact that some tests can detect hCG from the first day of the delay, for the most accurate result it is better not to do the test so early.
- Low hormone levels. Tests are usually more accurate in the morning because at this time the urine is less diluted and this makes it easier to detect hCG.