“Can you miss your period and not be pregnant?” Is one of the typical questions a woman may have in mind when she suddenly misses her monthly period. After all a missed monthly menstrual visit is one of the first strong signs of pregnancy.
The answer to this question though is a yes. You can definitely miss your period and not be pregnant.
Here is a list of possible reasons why you missed your period and yet you are not pregnant:
- Plummeting weight.
Losing an excessive amount of weight can give way to ammenorhea or absence menstruation. Excessive weight loss can definitely cause irregular periods because inadequate calorie intake interferes with hormonal production that is linked to ovulation. If losing weight is not deliberate in your part, then you might want to see a general practitioner for a health check-up to determine what is causing your rapid weight loss.
- Obesity or rapid increase in weight gain.
Gaining too much weight can also interfere with the menstrual cycle as obesity may also affect the makeup of female hormones in the body. Obesity for instance increases the amount of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is the female hormone that helps control the menstrual cycle. Consult your health practitioner to help you address this health concern.
- Anorexia or Bulimia.
These two eating disorders depletes nutrient stores in the body. When nutrition is depleted, hormones affecting the menstrual cycle are altered causing missed or very irregular menstrual periods. Consult your general practitioner about this.
Emotions play a role in menstrual periods such that when a woman is under so much emotional and mental fatigue, her menstrual cycle may be altered. Manage your stress levels by exercising regularly, going out in the sun once in a while, and doing breathing exercises.
- Extra-strenuous exercise regime.
When a woman engages into a more strenuous physical activity, she may experience problems with her menstrual cycle. Endurance Athletes experience this a lot especially when going into more rigid training exercises. What happens is that intense physical activity can affect the female bodily hormones responsible for menstruation. Super strenuous exercise also lowers body fat, which in turn causes the body to stop ovulating. If you are concerned about your missed periods, a doctor that specializes in sports medicine may be able to help you with it.
- Birth control.
Some birth control methods affect the menstrual cycle as it alters the female hormone production. Contraceptive Pills, Intra-Uterine birth control devices, and injectable contraceptives are some of the methods that interfere with female hormonal production subsequently affecting menstrual periods. If you are uncomfortable with this, see your obstetrician gynecologist and talk about other birth control options that will not disrupt your menstrual cycle.
- Other health conditions
Health problems can also cause a woman to skip menstrual periods. This include Asherman’s Syndrome, Hypertension, uncontrolled Diabetes, Premature Ovarian Failure, and over-active Thyroid Glands. Get in touch with your health practitioner to see if you have any of these conditions, or if you already know that you have one, ensure that you take all the necessary medications, and that you see your physician for your regular check-up.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS
Apart from pregnancy, PCOS is said to be one of the most common causes of missed menstrual periods. When a woman has PCOS, she tends to have underdeveloped sacs of egg cells that fail to fully-develop and cause ovulation. All these affect the normal menstrual cycle causing very irregular menstrual periods. See your health practitioner for a possible diagnosis, or if you are aware that you have PCOS, seek medical treatment.
- Medicinal intake.
Intake of prescription medications may cause a woman to miss her monthly periods. Check with your healthcare provider if the prescriptions she gave you may have such an effect. If it is a possibility, ask if there are alternative prescription drugs that she can prescribe to you which will not alter your menstrual cycle.
Nursing women may skip their periods in because of the alteration of hormones that help them produce milk. Some women in fact experience amenorrhea or the absence of monthly periods up until they wean their nurslings, which may take up to more than a year or almost two years for some.
If you are anywhere between 45 to 55 years old, and suddenly you are skipping a period, then it might just be the onset of menopause. Menopause is when women stop menstruating due to lower estrogen levels and the slowing down of ovulation. Menstruation will stop at one point. If you are not near this age, know that about 1 out of 100 women experience an early onset of menopause before the age of forty. Consult your doctor to be sure, and you may want to manage some of your symptoms.
- Use of illegal drugs.
Drug abuse and use of illegal substance can cause missed periods because of the altering in the chemical makeup of the body.
Missing a monthly period does not necessarily mean pregnancy or grave illness. Take a home pregnancy test and if it turns out negative, wait till next month and observe. Ask your health practitioner about the possible reason that applies to you and ask him or her what can be done. Also, be cautious about birth control because not having periods does not necessarily translate to being infertile at that moment. Use appropriate birth control if you are sexually active and seek your health practitioner’s advice.