Tuesday, June 13, 2023

6 Causes of a Missed Menstrual Cycle

Mr. Monthly knocks at the door each month, delivering an unwelcomed but necessary gift: the menstrual cycle. It’s a monthly reminder of your body’s natural rhythms and plays a significant role in a woman’s reproductive health. Every 21 - 28 days, women get their menstrual cycle, often preceded by cramping pains, moodiness, and other symptoms. When Mr. Monthly doesn’t knock on the pelvic floor door, women become concerned about serious health issues. While a missed menstrual cycle certainly can indicate a serious health concern, more often than not, it's caused by one of the six minor issues we’ll discuss in the following blog post.

Factors That Can Disrupt Your Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is a natural process occurring in women of reproductive age. Girls generally begin menstruation around age 12, stopping at the onset of menopause, which occurs between ages 45 and 55 for most women. During those years, menstruation may not occur for a month or two due to many different reasons.

Pregnancy is one of the most common reasons for a missed menstrual cycle. If you are not pregnant, do not automatically assume the worst.  Ten days past ovulation also known as 10 dpo symptoms marks a crucial point in the two-week wait. At this stage, you might already be pregnant or could be just a day or two away from it. Menstruation may not occur due to any of the six causes below in addition to pregnancy and more serious concerns. If you continue missing monthly cycles, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN to rule out any serious problems.


Stress disrupts the natural hormonal balance in the body. This disruption may affect your menstrual cycle by shortening the number of days or stopping it altogether. Learn how to manage stress so menstruation is not affected. Stress can significantly impact other areas of our health, giving us even more reason to practice self-care activities that help us relax, unwind, and find balance.

Try these stress-relievers:
  • Meditate or practice yoga
  • Participate in activities that you enjoy
  • Surround yourself with a group of positive friends
  • Practice mindfulness
Birth Control

Women use birth control from Hello Wisp to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Hormonal contraceptives, however, alter the hormone levels in the body, which can impact the menstrual cycle. Some women may experience irregular periods, while others do not meet Mr. Monthly whatsoever. Lighter periods can also occur.

Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills, injections, and patches contain synthetic hormones that prevent ovulation, thin the uterine lining, and alter the cervical mucus. However, missed periods most commonly happen when using progestin-only pills and long-acting reversible contraceptives such as IUDs.

The first few months after starting hormonal birth control pose the greatest risk of menstrual problems. Discuss any concerns with menstrual cycle irregularity with your healthcare provider.

Poor Diet & Nutrition

How often have you heard the phrase, “You are what you eat?” Turns out, it is much more than a phrase. The food we consume impacts our health, overall well-being, and yes, even our menstrual cycles. Poor food choices lead to poor health and more frequent problems. 

Nutritional deficiencies can impact the menstrual cycle, as can overconsumption of processed food and caffeine. Alcohol may even disrupt menstrual cycles when consumed excessively. Ensure you consume a diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean meats to support a healthy menstrual cycle.

Include the following foods in your diet:
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Oranges
  • Cucumbers
  • Fatty fish
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes/nuts
Healthy eating impacts your health and well-being and promotes a healthy menstrual cycle. You’ll notice an incredible difference when your diet includes choices from the list above.

Excessive Exercise

Exercise is beneficial to our health. It keeps our hearts healthy and keeps our weight in check. It can also pose serious risks to our health if we exercise too much. Bodybuilders and athletes involved in training are especially at risk for missed menstrual cycles due to excessive exercise.

Excessive exercise can do more damage than good. Your body needs time to recover. Without this necessary time, building lean muscle and eliminating fat is not easy. Find a balance between exercise and rest. it is critical to your well-being and can keep your menstrual cycle healthy. Give your body time to recover if missed or irregular periods concern you.

Medical Conditions and Certain Medications

We mentioned how birth control pills can impact the menstrual cycle. Other medications prescribed by your doctor for certain medical conditions can also affect meeting Mr. Monthly or result in menstrual abnormalities.

Uterine fibroids, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID,) thyroid disorders, and other medical conditions may contribute to menstrual problems. Medications like anti-depressants and chemotherapy drugs can also impact the monthly cycle.

Age and its Effects on the Menstrual Cycle

When a woman reaches her 40s, changes in her menstrual cycle may occur as she experiences a decline in estrogen production. The changes generally result in lighter cycles that last fewer days. Other symptoms can also occur with age-related menstrual cycle changes, including hot flashes, sleep disruptions, mood swings, and night sweats. This is a transitional period to perimenopause and menopause by her early 50s.

How to Support a Healthy Menstrual Cycle

Mr. Monthly is not a welcomed guest in a woman’s life, but without him, we fear the worst. Keep him around by taking a holistic approach to life. We offer the following tips to help.

  • Eat a well-balanced diet and shy away from processed foods
  • Exercise regularly, with proper recovery time taken
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be mindful of the medications prescribed to you and their potential impact on your menstrual cycle
  • Visit your OB/GYN regularly. Exams can help detect medical problems early, giving you the best chance of successful treatment. You should also schedule an appointment to discuss any concerns you might have.
The Last Word

It's scary when Mr. Monthly doesn’t visit us for a month or two, although this happens to many women. It is reassuring to know the six causes above are most likely responsible rather than some horrific disease. If you want to support a healthy menstrual cycle, use the advice provided in this blog and keep Mr. Monthly a regular visitor at your pelvic floor door.

This is a guest blog entry. 

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