Delayed menstruation (days or months): understand what it can be

Delayed menstruation (days or months): understand what it can be

Most women who suffer from delayed menstruation wonder why this event.

Delayed menstruation can happen for several reasons and, for each of them, there is an appropriate treatment or medication, depending on the situation or severity of the case.

Therefore, this text aims to resolve any doubts and give tips on how to deal with this type of situation! Read on to learn more:

In this article you will find the following information:

  1. What is delayed menstruation?
  2. The menstrual cycle
  3. Delayed menstruation: what can it be?
  4. At what age does menstruation begin?
  5. When to look for a gynecologist?
  6. Delayed menstruation and negative pregnancy test
  7. Delayed menstruation for more than 2 months
  8. I took the morning after pill and my period doesn’t go down anymore. What to do?
  9. How to regulate late menstruation?
  10. What can be menstrual cramps without menstruation?
  11. Common questions


What is delayed menstruation?

Menstruation is what marks the end and beginning of a woman’s new reproductive cycle. Therefore, she has planned dates to happen. However, there are several factors that can influence this cycle and delay the start of menstruation.

Characterized by the flow of blood through the vaginal canal, menstruation is due to the shedding of the endometrium, a layer of blood that forms in the uterus for the reception of a fertilized egg.

If a woman becomes pregnant, the endometrium does not flake off and she does not menstruate. Otherwise, if she doesn’t get pregnant, shedding occurs and menstruation goes down.

As it is a cycle, it is possible to predict the date of the next menstruation. Even so, menstruation can be delayed for no apparent reason.

The menstrual cycle lasts, on average, 28 days. However, for many women, this time varies from 23 to 35 days.

This is when they have a regular cycle, since there are women whose fertile period does not seem to obey a certain cycle and menstruation, thus, lives “delayed” or arriving “early”.

If, by chance, menstruation is delayed for 1 or 2 months, it is recommended to seek a doctor to help and resolve any doubts.

The menstrual cycle

Menstruation follows a cycle that is divided into three periods, in addition to the menstrual phase, which are:

Preovulatory stage

At this moment, there are several hormones working to mature an egg, making it able to leave the ovary and go to the fallopian tubes, where fertilization occurs.


Ovulation is a unique moment throughout the menstrual cycle. It happens when the egg is released and goes to the fallopian tubes, where it spends about 24 hours waiting for a sperm to fertilize it.

It usually happens in the second half of the menstrual cycle, between the 13th and 15th day, 14 days before the menstrual cycle starts, and this second phase is usually fixed.

Post-ovulatory phase

In case of pregnancy, the fertilized egg travels to the uterus and fixes itself in the endometrium. Otherwise, the egg disintegrates and the endometrium begins to flake off, preparing to be released.

Taking into account that the journey of the fertilized egg takes up to 7 days to reach the uterus, this whole process can take a long time until menstruation is, in fact, released to descend.

Delayed menstruation: what can it be?

There are several factors that can delay menstruation, as well as this can occur for no specific reason. By the way, it is worth remembering that menstrual delay, when not caused by a pregnancy, is closely linked to a delay in ovulation!

Some factors that can delay ovulation and, consequently, menstruation, are:

Discontinuation after prolonged use of the contraceptive pill

Long-term use of the contraceptive pill can directly interfere with the “clock” of the menstrual cycle. When the use of this medication is discontinued after years, the woman’s body needs to readjust to its hormone production process and this can take up to 6 months (with the most common being up to 3 months after stopping the pill).

Breastfeeding phase

In breastfeeding, menstruation can also be delayed.

During this phase, the body releases hormones that can block the ovulation process and, later, the menstrual cycle.

Prolactin, the hormone that produces breast milk, suppresses ovulation, and there are cases of women who do not menstruate for up to a year.

Remembering that when menstruation does not happen, it does not mean that the woman can no longer become pregnant. After the baby has weaned, the cycle returns to normal.

Chronic anovulation

Chronic anovulation is a condition in which a woman does not have ovulation for a long time. In this condition, the eggs simply do not mature and are not released into the fallopian tubes.

One of its main causes is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but it can also be caused by genetic alterations, hyperthyroidism, stress, obesity, increased insulin and failure in the pituitary or hypothalamus.

Menstrual cycle dysregulation

Sometimes an unregulated cycle can be confused with menstrual delay. That’s because a woman can predict the date based on the past few months, but every woman is at risk of having her cycle deregulated for no apparent reason—even those who’ve always had a pretty regular cycle.

Drastic changes in weight

Fat cells contribute to the production of the female hormone (estrogen). Therefore, when there is any change in weight, estrogen levels can interfere with the ovulation process.

Therefore, whenever there is sudden and intense weight gain or loss, a hormonal change can occur. Hormones must adapt to this change so that the cycle returns to normal.


Stress influences the release of hypothalamic and pituitary sex hormones, which influences ovulation, causing alterations in the menstrual cycle.

Excessive physical exercise

Fertility can be affected by excessive physical exercise.

This practice results in a neuroendocrine imbalance, causing a failure in the pituitary gland (the gland responsible for regulating hormonal functions) and not releasing hormones that instigate ovulation and, consequently, the production of progesterone and estrogen.

Because of these factors, as a result, hormonal dysfunctions that delay ovulation occur.


Menopause is a phase in which a woman’s body shuts down the production of the hormones progesterone and estrogen, putting an end to her childbearing years.

In this phase, gradually, the body decreases the amount and duration of menstruation.

Menopause usually happens between 45 and 55 years old. After that age, menopause is classified as late.

Thyroid problems

The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones to help control metabolism and female fertility.

Problems in this organ cause physical fatigue, muscle pain, depression, fatigue, irritability, fever, cold and swollen sensations in the neck region.

Pill of the next day

The morning-after pill is a contraceptive used only as a last resort, in emergency situations, such as when a condom breaks or in cases of rape, among others.

The delay occurs because this pill delays the release of the egg in the fallopian tubes, making the fertile period take longer to happen and, therefore, menstruation can occur later.


The menstrual cycle is not the same for all women. It varies depending on each organism.

In short, the average duration is 28 days, but this should not be seen as a rule for the cycle of all women, as each one has a different system and cycle.

Because there is no specific time for the menstrual cycle, the forecast calculation for the next period can be done wrong, so the woman can have a false impression that her period has been delayed.


Amenorrhea is a condition in which the menstrual cycle simply does not exist.

It can be primary, when the girl’s first period is late in coming, or secondary, when the woman is already menstruating and suddenly goes 3 months without menstruating.

It is a symptom of other disorders and the cause should always be investigated.


Some medications can disrupt the menstrual cycle, such as steroids, antidepressants and chemotherapy drugs.

Chemotherapy is even one of the main causes of premature menopause, that is, when menopause starts before 45 years of age.

Imperforate hymen

Especially for girls who have never menstruated, one of the causes of delayed first menstruation is an imperforate hymen.

In this case, the birth canal is closed and the blood simply cannot get out, causing menstruation to miss.

Some symptoms related to this condition are cramps and difficulties in passing urine and feces.

Treatment for an imperforate hymen is surgical. During the procedure, the hymen is completely removed, a simple process with low risk of complications.

At what age does menstruation begin?

Menarche (first menstruation) appears in girls between 10 and 14 years old, usually during the developmental phase of the body in which breast growth occurs, the appearance of hair in the armpits and intimate region, weight gain, appearance of pimples and changes in the mood.

In some cases, menarche may take longer to arrive. There are reports in which the first menstruation occurred only at 15 years of age.

However, delays up to age 16 are normal and do not require medical treatment.

When to look for a gynecologist?

If your period is a few days late, there’s no need to worry. Delays of up to 5 days are normal and do not necessarily indicate a condition.

However, if your delay is more than 15 days, it is essential to take a pregnancy test to verify that there is, in fact, a pregnancy.

If the result is positive, it is necessary to contact your gynecologist so that you can take the necessary measures and ensure the health of the mother and baby.

If the result is negative, the gynecologist should be sought to verify that there is no pathological condition causing this delay.

It is worth remembering that, for teenage girls, it is recommended to go to the gynecologist right after the first periods to learn more about the process that takes place in the body and to discuss the possibility of using contraceptive methods.

Women who are embarrassed by the male presence can choose a female gynecologist and feel more comfortable.

Delayed menstruation and negative pregnancy test

When menstruation is delayed, most women, out of fear or insecurity, take the pharmacy pregnancy test, a test performed with urine.

This test can detect pregnancy around 14 days after ovulation and is classified into two types: qualitative or quantitative.

The qualitative test reveals whether the woman is pregnant or not, while the quantitative test shows the concentration of hCG in the blood.

If menstruation is delayed and the woman has had at least 2 tests that were negative in the past month, it is unlikely that she is pregnant.

Therefore, it is necessary to seek help from a gynecologist, who will investigate the cause of the lack of menstruation.

What is hCG?

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone produced by the female body only when there is a pregnancy. This hormone is a signal that the embryo sends to the woman’s body to know that she is pregnant and that she will become a mother.

Delayed menstruation for more than 2 months

It can happen that menstruation is delayed for more than 2 months, due to external and hormonal factors, without the woman being pregnant.

If this happens, it can be a symptom of several pathologies of the female reproductive system, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

In addition to menstrual delay, hormonal imbalance and delayed ovulation may also occur due to stress, anxiety, among others.

I took the morning after pill and my period doesn’t go down anymore. What to do?

It is important to remember that, among the adverse effects, the morning-after pill delays menstruation for some women.

As she has a large amount of hormones, it is quite common that the cycle occurs and that it takes a few months to get back to normal.

It is necessary for the body to stabilize hormonal levels again. Therefore, it is important to avoid frequent or misuse of the drug.

If the cycle takes too long to stabilize again, it is important to seek medical advice to assess the causes and possibilities.

Because only exams and face-to-face evaluation can determine the correct conduction.

How to regulate late menstruation?

The first step is to see a doctor. The delay may be due to defects in the reproductive system, which need to be examined by a gynecologist.

Some tips to regulate menstruation are to avoid very restrictive diets, maintain the ideal weight for your body type, have a healthy and regulated life and diet, and practice physical activities regularly, avoiding any excess.

What can be menstrual cramps without menstruation?

Menstrual cramps without menstruation can result from problems or illnesses in the female reproductive organs, gastrointestinal tract, or ovulatory problems.

Constant cramps without menstruation for 1 or 2 months

Constant cramps can be signs of endometriosis, a disease that affects about 80% of women.

In this condition, menstrual blood cannot leave the vaginal canal and ends up returning inside the uterus, entering the fallopian tubes and settling in places outside the reproductive system, such as the intestinal walls, which causes severe cramps.

Common questions

Is it normal for menstruation to be delayed?

Yes! In addition to being normal, the delay is also natural. There are common factors that contribute to delays, such as stress and emotional disturbances that can interfere with the menstrual cycle.

However, if it lasts a long time, this delay can be a sign of a possible pregnancy or more serious problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, thyroid problems, anorexia, obesity, among others.

Can menstrual delay be psychological?

Yes, even the desire to get pregnant can lead to a psychological pregnancy!

Anxiety, nervousness and excessive emotions generate a hormonal imbalance and, as a result, the results are symptoms of pregnancy, including missed periods.

Could menstrual delay be a cyst?

Yes, the delay could be a sign of an ovarian cyst.

Cysts can form in the inner, outer or even on the ovary, and cancerous cysts are rare.

The development of a cyst is closely linked to sex hormones.

They can prevent ovulation and the fertile period and therefore end up delaying menstruation.

Menstruation does not happen in the pool and in the sea. Myth or truth?

Myth. Water can make it difficult for the blood to flow out, but it doesn’t block it completely. This is because the water constricts the vessels, making it difficult for the blood to evacuate.

Is it possible to get pregnant during menstruation?

It is rare, but yes, it is possible to get pregnant during your menstrual period. Some women have cycles of 28 days, but others only 22.

There is the possibility of ovulation just a few days after starting menstruation. The sperm, after entering the uterus, can remain alive for up to 5 days.

Do pregnant women menstruate?

Pregnant women do not menstruate, however, they may bleed during pregnancy.

There is no menstruation because a woman’s body releases human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy, which prevents the endometrium from desquamating, a determining factor for menstruation.

Bleeding can happen with sex, transvaginal ultrasound or touch exam, fibroids and polyps, clotting drugs, beginning of labor, uterine rupture, miscarriage, among others.

I feel cramps but the period doesn’t come. Can I be pregnant?

He can! It is common to have cramps in early pregnancy. Along with delayed menstruation, it can be a sign of pregnancy.

They are usually located below the belly and are of mild intensity. But every sign or symptom must be evaluated by a professional.

If pregnancy is suspected, the best way to confirm or rule out is to get tested.

Delayed periods can make a lot of women’s stomachs go cold, but there’s nothing to worry about. It’s important not to despair or gloat over the likelihood of being pregnant.

If your period has been late for many days, talk to your gynecologist! He will know how to guide you on what must be done.