Anyone with a vagina knows the feeling: an anxious sense of dread creeping in as you realize mother nature should have visited today. In an instant, your future flashes before your eyes: a mother, with 14 babies, and the constant finger-wagging of your disappointed parents.
“I can’t even schedule my dentist appointments yet! How can I be responsible for someone’s life?”
Take a deep breath! Though I am no doctor, here are five completely rationalized and normal reasons you might have missed your period:
1. Weight Loss and Exercise
Getting your period depends on if you’re receiving adequate nutrition and staying healthy, which is why you may notice your period typically arrives shortly after you’ve eaten. Recent rapid weight loss and excessive exercise can often cause you to miss a period while your body adjusts to the new developments.
This can be totally normal, but it can be a sign that your body isn’t getting some of the nutrients and calories it needs. It would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about safe ways for weight loss and exercises that don’t influence your reproductive health.
Stress is probably the most common explanation out there for why you’ve missed your period. Not limited to physically stressing yourself out (through exercise or even recent travel), emotional stress can also influence your period – like during finals week or a personal crisis. All of our body’s systems work together and rely on one another, so it’s natural to see a problem in one area causing an effect in another.
Though you’re bound to have stress of some kind, and missing your period because of stress is totally normal, it is useful to take a step back and analyze why your stress has escalated to the point of altering your health. Missing your period can be a warning sign of overworking yourself and a bright signal that you may need a break!
3. Another Medical Condition
Because of our body’s interconnected systems, missing your period can often be a sign of a medical condition elsewhere. Common reasons involve thyroid or hormone imbalances, both of which require medical attention, but are 100% manageable with a drug treatment, so no need to freak out. If you miss more than one period, or if you’re experiencing other symptoms, it would be best to see a doctor and let them help determine the cause.
4. Your Birth Control
Taking a hormonal birth control can really put your mind at ease – when things are going well. Yet, the risky part about messing with your body chemistry means it sometimes does things you don’t want it to! It is common to have lighter or even skipped periods when on a birth control regimen, though that is something your doctor should have notified you of from the start.
Forgetting to take your birth control or intentionally skipping your period while on it can complicate matters, causing you to miss a cycle or to become irregular. Though it is dangerous to mess with your birth control often, an occasional slip won’t hurt you – especially if you’re using backup contraceptives.
5. A Fluke
That all being said, sometimes your body just misses a month! It happens to all of us. The important thing to remember is: if you know you aren’t pregnant (from either taking a pregnancy test or just not having sex), then there is no need to worry.
If you miss more than one period, and you know you aren’t pregnant, you should definitely see a doctor. Not getting your period (though it’s AWESOME) can really mess with your body, and it’s best to let a professional diagnose the cause.
Not every missed period is a crisis, ladies, but it often causes us to check in with our bodies (which is never a bad thing). Let your missed period be a blessing in disguise and gather some insight on what else may be going on with your body. Take a deep breath, ditch the parenting nightmares, and assure your boy toy that he won’t be building a crib any time soon!