The possible causes that explain that menstruation does not appear when it should.
“I have a delay.” “It still hasn’t taken me down. ” These words can be a source of emotion and / or concern for a large number of people, who generally associate it with a possible pregnancy.
However, the truth is that although possible pregnancy is a possibility, in a vast majority of cases there are many other factors that can explain why you have not yet menstruated. In this article, we are going to review fifteen possible causes of why this has not happened yet.
What is menstruation?
The name of period or menstruation is the biological and natural process in which the woman’s body expels the remains of the unfertilized eggs and the mucous lining of the uterus (or endometrium) is expelled through the vagina in the form of blood flow.
This process usually occurs once a month and lasts up to about a week, forming part of a continuous cycle from female puberty to climacteric, in which the female reproductive system loses its function to conceive.
Different reasons why the rule does not go down
The menstrual cycle generally follows a certain temporality that allows an approximate calculation of when the period will arrive, but this does not imply that it is identical and always appears on the same dates.
There are a large number of factors that can alter it and make the rule, period or menstruation not appear when in principle they should. Next we will see a fortnight of possible causes that can explain why a woman does not have periods.
This is the option that most people think of when menstruation does not appear in the usual period. And indeed it is one of the options to consider, despite the fact that a delay or even the absence of a rule does not have to imply being in good condition. To verify this, it will be necessary to take a pregnancy test at least fifteen days after the last sexual intercourse, since before that it could give a false positive.
2. Lactation period
Some women who have just given birth may think that since they have already given birth they will quickly start to menstruate again. But the truth is that this is not the case since during lactation hormones such as prolactin, which are very important when it comes to increasing and allowing the secretion of breast milk, inhibit estrogens and the rest of the hormones responsible for the menstrual cycle. It is not uncommon as there is no menstruation until the end of the lactation period.
3. Delayed puberty
Many young teens are very concerned that their periods have not yet dropped, even though most people their age have started having their periods for some time. It is necessary to remember that each person has their evolutionary rhythm and some girls have a late puberty, with which the menarche or first menstruation can appear even after the age of 15.
This does not have to imply anything bad, although in some cases there could be a basic problem. In general, and unless there is some type of organic cause, this does not require any treatment, although if the doctor considers it necessary, hormonal therapy may be used.
4. First rules
It is also important to bear in mind that having the first period does not necessarily imply a totally regular cycle: it is not impossible that during the first years, due to the fact that the reproductive system is still developing, there are alterations in the menstrual cycle.
5. Menopause (normative or premature)
Another reason why the period stops coming is due to the possible arrival of menarche and climacteric. In other words, the arrival of menopause. This usually occurs after the age of 45 (in fact, it usually appears after 50), but in some cases the so-called premature or early menopause can occur in which the end of the menstrual cycle comes before 45.
Generally, before the imminent cessation of menstruation, there is usually a period in which the menstrual cycle acts irregularly. It is a normative biological process, which does not require any treatment.
6. Feeding problems and / or starvation
Menstruation is strongly linked to the state of health of the body, and is profoundly altered by aspects such as the presence of sufficient nutrients in the body. If the human body is in a situation where it does not have enough nutrients, the rule will not appear. An example of this is found in women with eating disorders, especially anorexia (in which amenorrhea is one of the most frequent symptoms).
In addition, other circumstances or diseases in which the body cannot adequately process nutrients and enters a state of anemia can cause a woman to stop having menstruation or to delay it. Menstruation also stops appearing in people in a situation of extreme starvation due to lack of food resources.
7. Sudden weight changes
Not only the presence or absence of nutrients in the body can affect menstruation, but also the fact of gaining or losing a lot of weight suddenly. This is due to the fact that although it has enough nutrients, a sudden change in weight and especially in body fat can cause changes in the body’s estrogen levels, varying the menstrual cycle.
8. Hormonal imbalances
The rule or menstruation is a biological process that depends on the hormones present in the woman’s body. Alterations in these hormones or the presence of others that inhibit or alter them can generate changes in the menstrual cycle including its advancement, delay or even cessation. These imbalances can be normative, related to psychosocial stress, or linked to hormonal, thyroid, ovarian, or brain problems. Treating these problems will return the cycle to its normal operation.
9. Taking or stopping contraceptives
As we have said and being something deeply related to the previous point, hormones are the key to the existence and maintenance of the menstrual cycle. In this sense, the taking of certain contraceptives or the cessation of their consumption can cause that the rule does not lower in the usual period.
10. Consumption of other drugs or medical treatments
The consumption of different drugs, not necessarily contraceptives, can cause the presence of an altered or delayed menstrual cycle. Examples of them are some psychotropic drugs. If this effect occurs, it is advisable to go to the doctor first to see if it is really a possible side effect of the drug and if so, to assess (depending on the case) possible alternatives.
A problem with menstruation could also appear with certain non-pharmacological medical treatments, such as surgical interventions in some areas of the brain or in the reproductive system or the application of radiotherapy.
11. Stress and anxiety
So far we have talked about mainly organic elements, but we cannot forget the importance of psychosocial factors in menstruation. The presence of continued stress or anxiety is another of the main reasons why the period can be delayed. An example would be job stress. Another example may be somewhat paradoxical, but more common than it appears: it is common for the anxiety experienced by the delay in the period to generate even greater delay.
Given this, it is advisable to use relaxation techniques, such as breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, and avoid becoming obsessed with the subject.
12. Extreme physical activity
Athletes, especially high-performance women, may have irregular or delayed menstrual cycles due to the high level of physical activity they perform. This is due to the fact that very intense physical exercise causes a drop in estrogen levels. In this case, it may be advisable to go to doctors specialized in sports.
13. Ovarian disorders
Another of the main causes of a delay in the arrival of the rule is the presence of problems in the reproductive system, one of the most frequent parts being the ovary. Polycystic ovarian syndrome or endometriosis are examples of this, and treating these causes (for example with contraceptives) can make the cycle more regular.
14. Medical conditions
Not only gynecological problems can cause delays in the rule, but also other medical problems such as different infections (both genital and other types), metabolic problems such as diabetes, obesity or thyroid disorders. Also certain tumors could affect. A specific treatment of the cause will be required, so that symptomatic improvement can generate a recovery from the usual cycle (although it depends on the cause, it will not always be possible).
15. Psychological pregnancy
One reason that makes menstruation disappear in a woman is the alteration known as pseudocyesis or psychological pregnancy. In this case we are facing a person who begins to manifest all the typical symptoms of pregnancy, including the cessation of menstruation, despite the fact that there is not really a developing fetus. It can appear in depressed women, with great desire to be a mother or extreme fear of becoming pregnant, in people who have suffered abuse or in various types of situations. The treatment of this type of condition is usually delicate and complex, requiring psychological treatment in most cases.
Conclusion: why doesn’t my period lower?
Like any other biological process, menstruation depends on many factors and processes carried out by the body in a relatively parallel way. There is no single reason why the rule should not be lowered, but knowing the main ones is useful to know what to do depending on the symptoms and the clues that we obtain through our habits and through the characteristics of the body itself.