Women experience late periods for various reasons. However, if someone were to tell you, "My period is 10 days late," the obvious thought that comes to mind is the possibility of pregnancy. However, there are many other possibilities for a late period. Knowing these possible causes can reduce anxiety over late periods since stressing over a late period can delay it even further. If you are hoping to conceive, you may be eager to test for confirmation when your period does not occur when expected. However, there are other scenarios of being 10 days late for a period with a negative pregnancy test, which point out that a late period is not always a sure sign of pregnancy.
Causes for a Late Period
There are various factors that cause late periods in women, and some of them can be permanent while others are temporary. Below are some of the main causes that can affect the regularity of the menstrual cycle:
- Pregnancy - One of the obvious causes of a late period, or even a case of a missed period, is pregnancy. Women who experience a delayed period of 10 or more days should take a pregnancy test to clear this possibility. By 10 -12 days past a missed period, most women carry enough h-GCG in the blood stream to test positive if they have, in fact, conceived.
- Stress - Although not realized by many women, stress plays a crucial role with the hormone levels. If a person is overly stressed or has experienced emotional trauma, there is a good chance for a delayed period. So, if you were to stress over and keep wondering why my period is 10 days late, chances are that your anxiety will delay it even further.
- Changes in Life - Our bodies work as per a biological clock, and if any extreme changes in schedule, climate, or lifestyle take place, these can throw your period cycle off its normal course.
- Contraceptives - Certain contraceptives, such as hormone implants, suppress the release of an egg and cause period delays or even completely stop it for the duration of the use of the contraceptive method.
- Weight - If there are dramatic weight changes, this too can cause a delayed period. Women who are overweight or underweight suffer from irregular menstrual cycles and should seek help from a doctor to resolve this issue.
- Menopause - Women approaching menopause will experience peri-menopausal symptoms which cause irregularities with the menstrual cycle.
What to Do When Your Period Is Late
If you have missed your period for over 10 days, then it is advisable to consider a pregnancy test, provided you are sexually active. It is quite possible to receive a negative pregnancy test result while being 10 days late for a period, which can mislead a woman to think they are not pregnant, yet later turn out positive. This is because most pregnancy test kits are not sensitive enough to detect early pregnancy hormone levels. However, if you have not conceived, or have not been sexually active within the time frame of this ovulation cycle, then any one of the above mentioned causes may be behind your delayed period. If the condition continues and you cannot pinpoint a cause, seek the advice of your gynecologist to rule out any complications.