For most woman, the first thing which comes to mind, when a period is missed is nothing but a pregnancy. Although pregnancy is a common cause of missed periods, there are many other factors that can cause a woman not to menstruate (amenorrhea).
Stress, being very overweight or weight, birth control pills, regular exercise, and the approach of menopause are all common causes of amenorrhea. Menstrual periods may not resume for several months after a woman gives birth or while she is breastfeeding.
Peiods usually begin between the ages of 11 and 14, although some girls begin earlier and others later. But if a girl has not started to menstruate by age 16, she may have one type of amenorrhea. Hormone imbalances or problems with the ovaries, or vagina may be at fault. If menstruationn has not begun by age 16, it is wise for the girl to see a physician.
Although birth control pills are prescribed sometimesto regulate irregular periods, and at times they can also have the opposite effect, causing no periods. If your periods stop while you are taking one type of pill, switching to another birth control pill may solve the problem. If you are on the pill and your periods stop, talk with your medical provider. Going off the pill after being on it for a while may also disrupt your menstrual cycle for a few months while your body adjusts to the change in hormones.
The first thing to rule out if you miss a period is pregnancy. Home pregnancy tests on the market today are quite accurate beginning the first day after the missed period was supposed to begin.
If you are in your 40s or 50s, a missed period can mean that you are starting your menopause. Before your periods stops completely, they may be irregular for sometime.
In some women, a good bout of the flu or stress at work or home can throw their menstrual cycles off. If you are under stress, find relieve it. Take time out daily to meditate to soothing music, or read a book. Regular exercise and getting enough sleep also reduce stress.
Sudden weight loss or being very overweight or underweight can also cause amenorrhea. If you are trying to lose weight, make sure you are eating atleast 1,200 calories a day from a well balanced variety of foods. If you are underweight, eat a well-balanced diet that about 2,000 calories a day. Whether you are overweight, underweight, your medical provider may be able to help you set up a healthy diet and exercise plan.
Very hard training and exercise can be another cause of amenorrhea. If you are in training and missing periods, easing up may return your periods to normal. If you are an endurance athlete, ask your medical provider if hormone therapy or calcium supplements might be right for you to help prevent osteoporosis.
Signs and Symptoms that needs immediate care
Missed one or two periods, not pregnant, but under stress, dieting, near menopause, or exercising heavily.
Missed two or more periods, not pregnant, and no obvious cause.
Missed two or more periods, not pregnant, and on birth control pills.
Age 16 or older and have never had a period.
Missing periods and having irregular spotting or pain in lower abdomen.
Occasional missed period.