Many women feel worried when menstruation is late, because it could be related to pregnancy or certain health problems. However, it should be known that there is a striking difference between delayed menstruation due to hormonal changes and signs of pregnancy. To understand further, let's look at the explanation below!
The Causes of Late Menstruation
Each woman's menstrual cycle tends to be different. Usually, the normal period of menstruation ranges from 21 to 35 days, calculated from the last day of the previous menstruation to the date of the next menstruation. Delayed menstruation is sometimes a sign of early pregnancy, but hormonal imbalance can actually be the cause.
It should not be taken lightly, hormonal imbalances can trigger certain medical problems that result in delayed menstruation. There are several factors that can influence this condition.
High stress levels can cause delayed menstruation. Stress affects the production of gonadotropin hormones and the performance of the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates the menstrual cycle, so it can disrupt the menstrual cycle.
2. Body Weight
Body weight also plays a role. Being overweight or obese can affect a woman's hormones, while being underweight can stop ovulation and result in delayed menstruation.
Some lifestyle factors, such as smoking, can interfere with the hormones estrogen and progesterone which are important in a woman's menstrual cycle. The smoking habit has a negative impact on the health of this hormone.
4. Medical Condition
Some medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, or chronic illnesses, can cause missed periods.
Breastfeeding can also affect the menstrual cycle because the hormone prolactin which increases during breastfeeding can affect the hormones estrogen and progesterone which play a role in menstruation.
The Difference Between Late Menstruation Due to Hormones and Signs of Pregnancy
Late menstruation, apart from being a result of hormonal imbalance, can also be an early indication of pregnancy. However, it is important to understand the difference between late menstruation due to hormonal factors and signs of pregnancy.
1. Breast Changes in the Nipple Area
Breast pain when menstruation is late can indicate pregnancy. These symptoms are different because pregnancy breast pain is more persistent and is accompanied by increased sensitivity and changes in breast size.
2. Stomach Cramps
If late menstruation is accompanied by stomach cramps, this may be an early sign of pregnancy. Although similar to premenstrual symptoms, pregnancy stomach cramps are felt in the lower part or back and last until the first to fourth week after conception.
3. Frequency of Urination Increases
Increased frequency of urination is a sign of pregnancy because the kidneys process more fluid. If your period is late due to hormones, you probably won't experience this.
4. Changes in Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus is thicker in pregnant women, occurring after fertilization and during pregnancy. If you don't experience this, it's probably just a late period due to a hormonal imbalance.
5. Increase in Basal Body Temperature
Late menstruation with an increase in basal body temperature can indicate pregnancy. Basal body temperature is the temperature during sleep or rest. This occurs over several months of pregnancy. However, if your period is only late due to hormones, the increase in basal body temperature occurs due to exercise or hot weather conditions, and does not last long.
Apart from late menstruation, common symptoms of pregnancy include morning sickness, fatigue, and dizziness. If you experience these symptoms, a pregnancy test can be done after 7 days of late menstruation.
Before we find out the causes of late menstruation, it is important to understand the difference between late menstruation due to hormonal factors and signs of pregnancy. If you feel worried because your menstrual cycle is not coming, you should consult a medical professional. Through this consultation, you can understand the cause of the delay in menstruation that you are experiencing, which will help you in undergoing appropriate treatment. This will in turn improve your overall reproductive health.