"My period is usually on time, but this month I am two weeks late. I tested for pregnancy and the report came out negative. Now I am worried even more, although I am relieved that I am not pregnant as I have not planned for that. What could be the cause of a two week delay in a period occurring? Please let me know whether this is normal or when should I be thinking of booking an appointment with my doctor."
For some women the monthly menstrual cycle is very regular and appears on the dot, while for some others it is never on time. There are variances in this due to many underlying factors that control the menstrual cycle. For example, the period can be delayed due to weight change, extreme stress, change in schedule and environment, over-exercising, etc. There are also reasons such as pregnancy and disorders in the reproductive system that cause a delayed period. Most women suffer much anxiety when their period is delayed. The main cause of worry is that it may be an unplanned pregnancy. However, a period two weeks late and a negative pregnancy test can mean other causes than pregnancy. It is always beneficial to seek medical advice in this regard.
Causes of a Delayed Period
A negative pregnancy test after two weeks provides almost an 80% guarantee that a woman is not pregnant. Implantation of a fertilized egg causes the production of the HCG hormone. This hormone is usually present in the bloodstream within six to twelve days of conception. Unless you have counted from the last date of your period, a period two weeks late with negative blood test results can be quite reliable. In such a situation the cause of the delayed period could be due to other causes such as those below:
The thyroid gland controls metabolism. A malfunction in the thyroid gland affects the menstrual cycle. The thyroid gland produces hormones and triiodothyronine. The thyroid gland produces these hormones in the right amounts for proper body function. Lack of hormones causes many other problems including delayed menstruation. Symptoms such as a delay in menstruation, a change in frequency and flow of menstruation and the absence of menstruation can all be due to a thyroid problem. Medication can help thyroid problems thus regularizing menstruation.
Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. This hormone plays a significant role in pregnancy and menstruation. Prolactin stimulates milk production in pregnant women. Prolactin stops two essential hormones necessary for menstruation. These are the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). These hormones are vital for the development and maturing of eggs in the ovaries in order for them to be released. Excess prolactin in the bloodstream prevents ovulation. An irregularity in the prolactin hormone affects menstruation. A period, more than two weeks late, could be due to prolactin irregularities. Medication is available to treat prolactin irregularities and regulate periods delayed by this problem.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
An imbalance in the sex hormones delaying menstruation can be due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. Normally functioning ovaries release one or more mature eggs during a menstrual cycle. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome do not release mature eggs from the ovaries. These eggs form small cysts in the ovaries. Polycystic ovarian syndrome leads to infertility. Medications help treat this condition.
Common Cause of a Delayed Period
There are also extremely common causes for a period two weeks late with a negative pregnancy test. Stress is one of the most dominant causes to consider when there is a delay in a period. Stress causes a decrease in GnRH production. As this hormone is essential for pregnancy and ovulation, the decrease in GnRH delays a period. Learning to relax and take life as it comes helps manage stress. An illness can cause a period to be more than two weeks late. However, this remedies on its own once the body heals and gets over the illness. A change in medications such as birth control tablets also delays menstruation. This is a side effect of the medication. This can be remedied by consulting the doctor and adjusting the dosages or the birth control method itself. Being overweight and underweight also delays menstruation. It can also stop menstruation. Sometimes, a period two weeks late could be due to a miscalculation of the ovulation dates. This could be the reason the blood tests were negative. A subsequent test may be positive for pregnancy which then explains the delayed period.
Whatever the cause for the delayed period, it is always beneficial to seek medical attention if a woman is more than two weeks late in getting her period. Irregularity in the menstrual cycle should not be ignored.