It's important to remember you're not alone
Variation in your cycle is totally normal. Even if you're usually like clockwork, there are a number of reasons why your period could be late – from pregnancy to stress, or sudden weight loss or gain. If you've recently had unprotected sex, or if there's a chance your contraception hasn't worked as it should, here are some things to consider.
What to do Next
If You're Usually Regular
If you know when you should be ovulating, it's easier to decide how likely it is that your period is late because you're pregnant. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as you realise that your period is late, but it's important to remember that early tests can be unreliable and a negative result is less reliable than a positive one.
If Your Cycle is Usually Irregular
The earliest to take a pregnancy test is 3 weeks after you had unprotected or potentially unprotected sex. A negative result may not be accurate, so wait a week and take another test, and seek advice from your doctor or nurse.
If You Still Have Concerns
If you're still getting negative pregnancy test results and you've missed 2 or more periods, consult your doctor or nurse for more advice.
OTHER CAUSES OF LATE PERIODSThere are many reasons other than pregnancy for your period to be late. Consider these factors, and consult your doctor or nurse if you think one or more applies to you:
Periods can become longer, shorter, or stop altogether because of stress. If you think stress is the reason for a disrupted cycle, try some relaxation techniques and consult your doctor or nurse if your period doesn’t start.
An extreme amount of exercise can disrupt the levels of hormones in your body that trigger a period. If you think your period has stopped because of your workout regime, consult your doctor or nurse.
Weight Loss or Gain
Sudden loss or gain of weight can disrupt the levels of hormones in your body that trigger a period. If your weight has changed suddenly, it’s worth checking in with your doctor or nurse.
Using Long-Acting Contraception
If you are a user of long-acting contraception, this may have an impact on your bleeding pattern. For example, some methods may lead to shorter and lighter bleeding or could stop your periods altogether. This may be the reason for irregularities but is no cause for concern. In any case it is worth checking in with your doctor or nurse if you have questions.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Speak to a healthcare professional for advice and support on your contraceptive needs.