Nothing strikes as much fear into women than a missed period, unless she is trying to get pregnant. There are several things that can determine how late can a period be. However, a late period does not necessarily mean that a woman is pregnant. An average woman has a menstrual cycle of between 24 to 28 days. However there are some women who have irregular menstrual cycles. Some even go for months without having a period.
The first thing that can determine how late can a period be is when ovulation took place. Menstrual cycles are divided into two phases. The first Phase known as follicular phase, lasts from the first day of menstruation until ovulation. The second phase is called luteal phase and it starts from ovulation until the next menstruation. The first phase determines the length of the second phase. For instance, if ovulation of a 28 day cycle occurs at 18th day then the periods can be expected to come late at least 4 to 6 days.
Some emergency pills are also known to determine how late can a period be. For example, if a woman takes a morning after pill, after having unprotected sex during her unsafe days, then she can expect a late period. Most of these pills have a side effect of delaying periods even up to six days. It is advisable to ask your doctor and read the manufacturers' leaflets to know how many days that the emergency pill can delay your period. After that you can do a pregnancy test. Some pills can even alter your periods to an extent that you miss a period for a month. In addition to this, birth control pills are known to make periods disappear, even for years.
Stress can also determine how late can a period be. It interferes with the hormonal signals in the brain and can block ovulation. When a woman has relationship problems, diseases that make her stressed for long, or just other situations that cause stress much of her time, it may delay periods or even cause a missed period. In addition to that if a women gains a lot of weight within her cycle this may also cause a delay in periods.
Some chronic illness can cause the egg not to be released from the ovary. If this happens, then there will be no ovulation during that particular cycle. In this case the woman should not be worried of how late can a period be, but rather the disease that has caused the ovary not to be released. This can be serious because some illness can even make future efforts to get pregnant very futile. This can also be an indication of underlying serious diseases such a pituitary tumor or ovarian cancer.
Lastly, pregnancy leads to missed periods. If conception occurs during the ovulation period then the woman is definitely going to miss her period. Sometimes, blood spotting may occur when you are a few days late. The blood is usually discharged in small quantities and usually lasts for a day. This should not be confused with normal periods since it is just a normal occurrence during pregnancy. In this case, you shouldn't be worried about how late can a period be, but rather, it is important that you do a pregnancy test to confirm if you are indeed pregnant. If you experience late periods regularly, then you should consult professional help so that the main cause can be determined and treated.
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