It is possible for menstruation to start late in any cycle. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and if your period doesn’t start on the day that your cycle is predicted to begin, this doesn’t always immediately mean that you are pregnant. If your period doesn’t show at all, stress could be the cause or stopping the pill, i.e. post-pill syndrome. But there are also other reasons, some of which need medical attention.
What other reasons can cause a missed period?
If you have only recently stopped the pill, it is not unusual to miss a period. After the first withdrawal bleeding, many women wait three to twelve months for their first period. The entire endocrine system, i.e. the hormonal balance, first has to adjust to working on its own. Over the years, the ovaries have been prescribed a certain rhythm and first have to learn to work by themselves again. Time, patience, and supporting your body through healthy nutrition and exercise help your cycle revert back to normal.
Other reasons for the absence of menstruation can include hormonal imbalances like PCOS, endometriosis, hypothyroidism, or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (chronic inflammation of the thyroid). In rare cases, changes in the brain or to the adrenal glands can also be responsible for amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). With polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the ovaries form lots of small cysts. These are underdeveloped follicles that prevent the other egg cells from reaching maturity.
But an absence of menstruation can even occur in healthy women: a diet, significant weight loss, weight fluctuations or being overweight can cause a missed period.
If you miss your period for an unknown reason, you should consult your doctor.
When should my period start?
To keep good track of your cycle and to know when menstruation should start, you can follow it using the symptothermal method.
This can be done with the Ovy app, a cycle-tracking device or, non-digitally, using a printed out cycle-tracking sheet. In the following section, we will explain in full how you can track your cycle.
A “normal” cycle is between 21 and 35 days long. The first day of menstruation is the first day of your cycle. Between day 11 and day 16 is when ovulation normally takes place. But don’t worry, slightly longer or shorter cycles are not uncommon.