A Thyroid Irregularity
The thyroid gland, located in your neck, regulates your metabolism. It also interacts with many other systems in your body to keep things running smoothly. “If you’re dealing with any type of thyroid imbalance, whether it’s hypo- or hyperthyroidism, that can have implications for your period,” says Dweck. If you notice other symptoms of a thyroid disorder, check in with your doctor for an official diagnosis.
Polycystic Ovary Symptom
PCOS is a hormone imbalance that comes down to a lack of ovulation, so you have altered levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. "We’re seeing a lot more of this, although there are varying degrees. It can cause you to completely miss your period or just not menstruate regularly," says Dweck. Other PCOS symptoms include hair growth in places like the face and chest, difficulty losing weight, and potential fertility issues. Your doctor can help you come up with a treatment plan to manage the condition.
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Chronic Diseases Like Coeliac
"I know coeliac disease is on everyone's mind right now," says Dweck, referring to the disease that's characterized by gluten intolerance. "Any chronic disease that’s left untreated or undiagnosed is a stressor to your general system and can result in missed periods." Think coeliac may be the cause of your late period or missed period? Here’s how to figure out if you should get tested.
Your Birth Control
A missed period or late period can actually be a harmless byproduct of the measures you take to avoid pregnancy. "Some low-dose pills will cause a lack of menses that isn’t dangerous and is many times a welcome side effect," says Dweck. The same goes for methods like hormonal IUDs, implants, or shots. It can also take some time for your period to come back if you've stopped birth control, but it will usually resume without issue in a few months.
When women under 40 have hormones misfiring in a significant way, they can go through premature menopause, also known as premature ovarian failure. Along with a missed period, signs of it include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. "This isn’t very common, so you shouldn’t immediately worry about it," says Dweck. If your gyno rules out the many other potential causes and thinks this may be the culprit, she’ll clue you in.
Pretty enlightening—and fascinating—stuff.