There can be several explanations for why your period may be late. From pregnancy to menopause as well as interference with glands that regulate hormone levels and problems with your reproductive organs.
The brain produces a hormone known as Follicle Stimulating Hormone. It helps the ovaries produce follicles and facilitates ovulation. As the follicles become large they secrete oestrogen which in turn thickens the lining of the uterus (womb) in preparation for pregnancy.
In the absence of pregnancy, the ovaries stop producing hormones. Hence the lining of the womb has no more hormonal support – a bit like grass not being watered and fertilised. As a result, the lining of the womb sheds with a mixture of blood; coming out of the uterus, via the cervix into the vagina – a period.
Women who have missed at least three periods in a row are diagnosed with a condition called amenorrhea. This is the medical term for the absence of menstruation. It is recommended women seek advice from their GP or gynaecologist if they experience this issue. When amenorrhea is properly identified and treated a period will usually return.
If other women in your family have experienced amenorrhea, you may have inherited a predisposition for the problem.
If a woman’s periods are becoming irregular or absent, it is important to see a gynaecologist to establish the cause and help reverse it. In some cases, this may be a simple as dietary and lifestyle changes, through to medication or surgery.