Delayed menstruation: what can it be? Know the causes

There are several factors that can delay menstruation, as well as this can occur for no specific reason. In fact, it is worth remembering that menstrual delay, when not caused by a pregnancy, is closely linked to a delay in ovulation!

Some factors that can delay ovulation and, consequently, menstruation, are:


Discontinuation after prolonged use of the contraceptive pill

Prolonged use of the contraceptive pill can directly interfere with the menstrual cycle’s “clock”. When the use of this medication is stopped after years, the woman’s body needs to readjust to its hormonal production process and this can take up to 6 months.

Breastfeeding stage

In breastfeeding, menstruation can also be delayed.

During this phase, the body releases hormones that can block the ovulation process and also, later, the menstrual cycle.

Prolactin, the hormone that produces breast milk, suppresses ovulation, and there are cases of women who do not menstruate for up to a year.

Remembering that when menstruation does not happen, it does not mean that the woman can no longer get pregnant. After the baby is weaned, the cycle returns to normal.

Chronic anovulation

Chronic anovulation is a condition in which a woman does not ovulate for a long time. In this condition, the eggs simply do not mature and are not released into the fallopian tubes.

One of its main causes is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but it can also be caused by genetic changes,  hyperthyroidism ,  stress ,  obesity , increased insulin and failure of the pituitary or hypothalamus.

Deregulation of the menstrual cycle

Sometimes, a dysregulated cycle can be mistaken for menstrual delay. This is because women can predict the date based on the past few months, but every woman is at risk of having her cycle unregulated for no apparent reason – even those who have always had a very regular cycle.

Drastic weight changes

Fat cells contribute to the production of the female hormone (estrogen). Therefore, when there is a change in weight, estrogen levels can interfere with the ovulatory process.

Therefore, whenever there is a sudden and intense weight gain or loss, a hormonal change can occur. Hormones need to adapt to this change for the cycle to return to normal.

Read more: How to lose weight healthily: diet, exercise, medicine, menu


Chronic stress releases cortisol, a substance that influences female sex hormones, causing changes in the menstrual cycle.

Excessive physical exercise

Fertility can be affected by excessive physical exercise. This practice results in a neuroendocrine imbalance, causing a failure in the pituitary gland (gland responsible for regulating hormonal functions) and not releasing hormones that instigate the production of  progesterone  and estrogen.

Because of these factors, as a result, there are hormonal dysfunctions that delay ovulation.


The  menopause  is a stage where the woman’s body ends the production of progesterone and estrogen hormones, ending their fertile years. In this phase, the body gradually decreases the amount and duration of menstruation.

Menopause usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. After that age, menopause is classified as late.

Read more: What are the signs and symptoms of menopause? Learn how to recognize

Thyroid problems

The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones to help control metabolism and female fertility. Problems in this organ cause physical tiredness , muscle pain,  depression ,  fatigue , irritability,  fever , cold and swelling in the neck.

Pill of the next day

The  morning after pill  is a contraceptive used only as a last resort, in an emergency situation, such as when a  condom  breaks or in cases of rape, among others.

The delay occurs because this pill slows the release of the egg in the fallopian tubes, making the fertile period take longer to happen and, therefore, menstruation can occur later.


The menstrual cycle is not the same for all women. It varies depending on each organism. In short, the average duration is 28 days, but this should not be seen as a rule for the cycle of all women, as each has a different system and cycle.

Because there is no specific time for the menstrual cycle, the forecast calculation for the next menstruation can be done wrong, thus, the woman may have a false impression that her menstruation has been delayed.

Read more: Menstrual Calendar (table): how to calculate fertile period, apps


Amenorrhea is a condition in which the menstrual cycle simply does not exist. It can be primary, when the girl’s first period is slow to arrive, or secondary, when the woman is already menstruating and suddenly goes 3 months without menstruating.

It is a symptom of other disorders and the cause should always be investigated.


Some medications can deregulate the menstrual cycle, as is the case with corticosteroids, antidepressants and chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy is even one of the main causes of early menopause, that is, when menopause begins before age 45.

Imperforated hymen

Especially for girls who have never menstruated, one of the causes of delayed first menstruation is the perforated hymen. In this case, the vaginal canal is closed and the blood simply cannot get out, causing the absence of menstruation.

Some symptoms related to this condition are cramps and difficulties in eliminating urine and feces.

The treatment for an imperforate hymen is surgical. During the procedure, there is total removal of the hymen, a simple process with low risk of complications.