Skip to content

    Announcements

    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!


    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Includes Expert Content
    Reasons for a late/missed period besides pregnancy?
    avatar
    Anon_174962 posted:
    I'm 21 years old and have somewhat regular periods, usually 38-40 days apart. I have only missed my period once and that was due to exreme stress. My last period started on August 26. I was due for one in the first week of October and it has yet to come. I haven't had sex in this period of time, so pregnancy is out of the question. I have no symptoms of PMS or pregnancy, I feel completely normal. However, my last period was absolutely miserable. Very heavy bleeding, vomiting, migraines, fatigue, everything you could imagine. Is it possible that I'm late/missing this one because the last one was so unusual, or could it be something else?
    Reply
     
    avatar
    Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
    Dear Anon: As you may have read, the most common reason for a menstrual pattern like you have described is not having an ovulation every month. In a normal cycle, estrogen is produced all month. Estrogen is responsible for building up the lining of your uterus so you have something to shed each month. The good news is that you have enough estrogen to make a lining that does usually shed.

    In a normal cycle, progesterone production increases following ovulation and release of an egg.. Progesterone "stabilizes" the uterine lining in preparation for a possible implantation of a new pregnancy. If you are not pregnant that month the levels of estrogen and progesterone fall, triggering the release of the uterine lining—your period.

    So, if you do not ovulate, the estrogen build up of the lining continues, but without the usual ovulation associated progesterone. Thus, the hormone levels don't decline, and the lining stays up inside the uterus—your missed period. Alternatively, the built up lining can begin to shed on its own creating erratic bleeding patterns which are usually "too-light" or super heavy and prolonged.

    There can be many causes for not ovulating: low thyroid problems, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting), emotional stressors (as you have already noted), increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc.

    It is unlikely that your last, miserable period "caused" this current missed flow. However, that super heavy flow may have also been a result of an ovulation disturbance. The vomiting and flu like symptoms MIGHT have been due to increased prostaglandins from the heavier flow. Conversely, a migraine itself can provoke vomiting and fatigue.

    If you have been several months without a period (eg by Thanksgiving), a gynecologist can give you some progesterone in a pill form (eg Provera 10 mg for 5 days). Within 48-72 hours after stopping the progesterone your "progesterone blood level" will fall, triggering the release of the lining that has been building up. Many women report that these periods are very heavy-- as though several months of lining are shed.

    Hopefully your own, natural cycle will reset itself---as it did before. If it does not, or you develop pelvic pain (eg ovarian cyst), see your GYN or local family planning clinic.

    Yours,
    Jane


    Helpful Tips

    Be the first to post a Tip!

    Expert Blog

    Below the Belt: Women's Health - Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, RNP

    From HPV to irregular periods to PMS to fibroids, Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, is here to share her knowledge and insight...Read More

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.