Faced with delayed menstruation, every woman begins to worry: is she not pregnant? Naturally, the first thing she does in this case is that she runs to the pharmacy and buys a pregnancy test. Suppose the test showed a negative result. First, the woman will calm down: there is no pregnancy. And then? Then, for sure, one wonders what the reasons for the delay of menstruation, besides pregnancy.
Before proceeding to the study of the possible causes of delay, it is worth considering the mechanism of the occurrence of menstruation, as well as find out what the menstrual cycle is. Unfortunately, many girls and women do not know well enough the structure of their own body. We will eliminate illiteracy.
What is the menstrual cycle
The menstrual cycle is a continuous process in a woman’s body that provides reproductive functions. This process starts, oddly enough, in my head. For the menstruation meets the cerebral cortex. Unfortunately, scientists still have not managed to find out exactly which part of it controls the process. However, for us now it is not so important. It is important that the cerebral cortex transmits information to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Both produce important hormones that regulate the functioning of the uterus and ovaries. In addition, it is the pituitary and hypothalamus that are responsible for the work of many other secretion glands, which are also involved in the menstrual cycle.
The cycle traditionally begins to count from the first day of menstruation. Its average duration is 28 days, although, as you know, each organism is individual, and the norm is considered cycle time from 21 to 35 days. The most important factor in this matter is, after all, cycle regularity, not its duration. The first half of the cycle is devoted to the maturation of the next egg and the preparation of the body for conception: a burst follicle forms a yellow body that produces progesterone. Together with tarragon, progesterone prepares the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg: there is a thickening of the endometrium – the mucous layer of the uterus.
If fertilization occurs and the ovum is implanted in the mucous layer, completely natural menstruation delay, which continues until the end of the pregnancy, and if the woman is breastfeeding, then a little longer. And if the egg is not fertilized, then the corpus luteum stops producing progesterone and begins to gradually decrease, the mucous layer of the uterus is rejected and goes out in the form of menstruation. Exfoliation of excess mucus inevitably damages blood vessels, which causes bleeding.
The first menstruation – menarche – begins in a girl at about 12-14 years old. Since teenagers have not yet established hormonal levels, in the first 1-2 years, the girl’s cycle is usually not regular. However, after 2 years it should be settled, and later the delay of menstruation, apart from pregnancy, should cause anxiety in the girl. A delay is considered a situation when the monthly delay is more than 5 days. 1-2 times a year, such delays are quite normal, but if they bother you more often, then you should consult a doctor and find out what is their reason.
Causes of delayed menstruation other than pregnancy
When a woman comes to the doctor with a complaint of an irregular cycle, many doctors diagnose her as having ovarian dysfunction .. However, it should be understood that ovarian dysfunction is the irregular cycle and the constant delay of menstruation, except for pregnancy. That is, with this diagnosis, the doctor merely states the situation. And the causes of dysfunction can be very different, and it is very important to determine the specific cause of delays.
Stress and Exercise
The most common causes of delayed menstruation, besides pregnancy, are a variety of nervous tension, stress, and the like. Difficult work environment, exams, problems in the family – all this can cause a delay. A woman’s body perceives stress as a difficult life situation in which a woman should not give birth yet. It is necessary to take care of changing the situation: contact a family psychologist, change jobs or learn how to relate to the situation, and the like. Keep in mind that overwork and lack of sleep is also a strong stress for the body.
Excessive physical activity also does not contribute to the regularity of the menstrual cycle. It is known that professional athletes often experience problems with the delay of menstruation and even with childbirth. The same problems pursue women who have threatened physically difficult work. It is better to leave it to men.
But do not think that moderate fitness or morning jogging can affect the situation. An active lifestyle has not disturbed anyone yet. We are talking about excessive loads under which the body works for wear.
Often, menstruation is experienced by women who are on leave from home. Sharp climate change is also a stressful situation for the body. In addition, the reason for the delay may be excessive sun exposure or the abuse of a tanning bed. By the way, an excessive amount of ultraviolet in the life of a woman can cause even more unpleasant consequences, including skin cancer.
Scientists have long found that adipose tissue is directly involved in all hormonal processes. In this regard, it is easy to understand that the reasons for the delay of menstruation, besides pregnancy, may also lie in problems with weight. Moreover, both excess and lack of weight can provoke a delay.
The fat layer, in case of overweight, will accumulate estrogen, which negatively affects the regularity of the cycle. Being underweight is much more complicated. Prolonged fasting, as well as weight loss below 45 kg, is perceived by the body as an extreme situation. Survival mode is activated, and in this state pregnancy is extremely undesirable. In this case, it is possible not only delayed menstruation, but also its complete absence – amenorrhea. Naturally, problems with menstruation disappear with the normalization of weight.
That is, fat women need to lose weight, skinny – to gain weight. The main thing is to do this very carefully. A woman’s diet must be balanced: there must be protein in the food, and proteins, and fats, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and trace elements. Any diet should be moderate, not exhausting. It is better to combine them with moderate exercise.
Acute intoxication of the body also provokes a delay in menstruation. Alcohol, tobacco, drug addiction – all this has an extremely negative impact on the state of the reproductive system. The same reaction of the body can cause long-term work in hazardous chemical plants.
If the doctor calls intoxication as the cause of the delay in menstruation, then the stimulating substances will have to be abandoned, or you should think about a change of work.
It makes sense to check with mom and grandmother if they had similar problems. If there were, then perhaps the whole thing is in heredity. Unfortunately, the exact cause of hereditary problems with the menstrual cycle is not always possible to establish.
Gynecological causes of delayed menstruation
Often the reasons for the delay of menstruation, except for pregnancy, are rooted in various gynecological diseases. Thus, menstruation is caused by various tumor formation: uterine fibroids, cysts, cervical cancer. In addition, a variety of enameriosis and endometritis, adenomyosis, infectious and inflammatory processes in the urinary-genital system. Can cause a delay and incorrectly installed spiral.
It is especially important to diagnose tumors in time, both benign and cancerous, as they need urgent examination and treatment. Otherwise, the outcome can even be fatal. However, inflammatory processes need timely treatment, as they can also have the most deplorable consequences. Including infertility.
Miscarriages and abortions also affect the menstrual cycle. First, the termination of pregnancy causes a stormy and sharp restructuring in the body, especially in the hormonal background. In addition, curettage inevitably damages the uterine lining. Both that and another entails a delay of menstruation. Within a few months after an abortion or miscarriage, the menstrual cycle returns to normal. If there are any strange discharge or the cycle is not established over time, it makes sense to consult a doctor again.
Another factor affecting the menstrual cycle are hormonal contraceptives. Due to the hormones contained in them, they regulate the menstrual cycle, subjecting it to the rhythm of taking the pills. After the woman refuses the pills, for several months, there may be some violations of the cycle due to changes in hormonal levels.
Emergency hormonal contraceptives – this is usually a forced measure. However, it should not be abused. After all, we are again talking about a sharp change in the hormonal background, which never passes without a trace.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
In some cases, the reason for the delay of menstruation, except for pregnancy, can be such a pathology, as the Polyskystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Under this name hides serious hormonal disorders associated with disruption of the ovaries, increases the production of tarragon and androgens. In addition, the disease is characterized by dysfunction of the pancreas and adrenal cortex.
Often, this diagnosis can be made simply by the appearance of a woman. Due to the increased production of androgens, she is often overweight, she has male-pattern hair growth, that is, on the upper lip, on the legs, excessive hair growth in the groin area, and so on. However, the appearance is, after all, not a 100% indicator. So, in eastern women, facial hair is a consequence of their national characteristics, and not any violations. So, in any case, it is necessary to do analyzes.
Of course, PCOS can lead to infertility, but you should not worry, because this condition is quite easily treated with hormonal drugs. As a result, medication not only restores ovarian function, but also improves the appearance of the patient. Most often, women with polycystic ovary syndrome are prescribed a course of hormonal contraceptives. They restore the normal amount of female sex hormones in the body, which leads to the normalization of the cycle and the disappearance of other symptoms.
Non gynecological causes of delayed menstruation
The reasons for the delay of menstruation, except for pregnancy, can be covered and not in gynecological diseases. As you remember, the cerebral cortex, pituitary and hypothalamus are responsible for adjusting the cycle. Thus, disruption of the brain can also affect the menstrual cycle.
In addition, diabetes, diseases of the thyroid gland or adrenal glands and other diseases of the endocrine system. As a rule, in this case, the woman faces other unpleasant symptoms, from weight problems to deterioration of health.
Many drugs, especially anabolics, antidepressants, diuretics, tuberculosis and other drugs. Therefore, if the delay of the menstrual cycle arose against the background of taking new medications listed above or any other, it makes sense to consult with your doctor. If there is such an opportunity, it is worth replacing the drug with another that will not cause such effects.
Older women may suspect menopause as a cause of delayed menstruation, other than pregnancy. On average, at the age of about 50 years, women begin to feel changes in their body: menstruation becomes irregular, their intensity changes, and much more. All this suggests that the fertile (reproductive) period in the life of a woman is coming to an end. The production of progesterone and other female hormones is reduced, which causes all of the above changes.
Over time, the woman’s periods stop altogether. I would like to warn women who assume the onset of menopause: do not immediately abandon contraception, because before menstruation disappears completely, there is a certain period when the cycle in women is irregular. Sometimes the body misses 1-2 months, after which the monthly renewed. There is a risk of unwanted pregnancy. At such an age, a woman is rarely ready to give birth, and even now it can be dangerous for both mother and child.
Among other things, due to the fact that menopause is associated for women with serious changes, they often do not recognize the new pregnancy, linking all the symptoms with a new period in their lives. There were cases when women learned about their pregnancy directly during childbirth. In order to avoid such situations, it is necessary to remember that even after a woman has a menopause, she is still a woman, which means she should be attentive to her body, and follow everything that happens in it.
What are the risks of persistent menstruation?
By itself, the delay of menstruation, except for pregnancy, is not dangerous, much more dangerous are the reasons that cause this symptom. It is very important to track in the early stages many of the diseases whose symptom may be delayed. In addition, the woman herself is much more comfortable when her cycle is regular. This allows you to more reliably plan your own life, and, even earlier, to diagnose pregnancy. And in some cases it is very, very important.
As you can see, the reasons for the delay of menstruation, apart from pregnancy, can be a huge amount, and you can hardly determine what the actual reason is. It is better to consult a doctor so that he will conduct all the necessary tests and studies and make a diagnosis.
After that, the gynecologist will prescribe the treatment that best suits you or refer you to the appropriate specialist, depending on the causes of the disease: an endocrinologist, an oncologist, and so on. The main thing is not to worry ahead of time. In most cases, the situation is not so serious.