How Many Days Your Period Can Be Late For?

You have every right to be confused and upset if you are trying to conceive but keep seeing a negative pregnancy test even when your period gets late. Under normal circumstances, the ovaries release an egg per month, around two weeks after the beginning of the period. The uterus’s inner lining sheds if the egg remains unfertilized, marking the beginning of the period. But how late can your period be? How can you know if it’s a pregnancy or a just an irregular period?

How Many Days Late Can Your Period Be?

I had my period late by 6 days….. Can I be pregnant? A pregnancy test is the first option to use to be certain of this because many factors can lead to late periods and every menstrual cycle is different. Generally speaking, if you usually have a regular menstrual cycle, a period up to 10 days late can be normal.

Having a late period can be because of a number of reasons:

  • Delayed ovulation can be caused because of anxiety or stress which can result in a late period.
  • You can miss your period if you have gained or lost a lot of weight as well.
  • Other factors like hormonal imbalance, effects of drugs can all lead to late period.

It is also important to ensure accurate counting of your cycles or you will wrongly assume that you have had a late period. The first day of the cycle is the first day bleeding occurs. Begin counting the cycle from this first day to the 28th day to get the estimated arrival time of your period. However, if you find out that you are having irregular periods without being pregnant then consult a health care professional to know its cause. 

Ask Yourself These Questions

1. What type of medication are you taking at the moment?

Contraceptives either in the form of injections, oral or implanted, certain chemotherapy drugs, antipsychotics antidepressants and thyroid medications can all cause amenorrhea in certain women.  

2. What kind of workout routine do you follow?

Do you play a sport or dance? Amenorrhea can be caused by doing athletic training or vigorous exercising. 

3. Has your thyroid been checked before?

Thyroid diseases are often left undiagnosed and are one of the possibilities that your doctor must check you for.

4. Are you chronically ill?

People who have been sick for a long time or suffer from a chronic illness have temporarily delayed menstrual cycles. Periods can return to normal when they are healthy again.

How Many Days Late Can Your Period Be? What Others Say

I didn’t have my period for two whole months but I wasn’t pregnant, never had a baby before, didn’t have any health issues and wasn’t even on the pill. I had regular periods before that but it was stress that did it for me. This past year, I have had two late periods but otherwise my periods are very regular. 

If you ask me, changes in the routine or stress can delay the ovulation sometimes so it is highly likely that you aren’t pregnant if you have a late period. However, I think it is best to get a pregnancy test just to be sure.

In my opinion, the answer to the questionhow many days late can you period be depends on your ovulation timings. Your period will be late if your ovulation starts late. Thus, unless you are tracking ovulation, there is no way to find out if your period is late or not. I haven’t had a period in 4 months after my miscarriage. I have just begun to ovulate again and I know that I will have my period in the next few days.

I have always had irregular periods so I just wait and see what happens, if it happens at all. However, when I did get pregnant, I knew about my pregnancy way before I missed my period. My point is that everyone is different and it is better to have a pregnancy test to be sure.   

Late Period: Other Things to Consider

Your doctor must examine you if you test negative for pregnancy even after missing three periods or more in succession. There can be two reasons for this:    

You might have polycystic ovaries

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is caused because of high amount of follicle production by the ovaries on the stimulation of abnormal levels of certain hormones. The follicles aren’t mature so they don’t release an egg and since your ovulation hasn’t begun, your period doesn’t occur too. Acne, excessive hair growth on lower abdomen, chest and face and putting on excess weight around your waist are some other indications of PCOS.     

You might have high levels of prolactin hormone in your body

There is a chance of you missing more than one period if you have high levels of prolactin in your body. Women produce this hormone only when they are breastfeeding and it is because of this that no periods occur during this time. Prolactin is most definitely the cause if your nipples are producing a milky discharge even if you aren’t breastfeeding or pregnant.  

The reason for the absence or lateness of menstruation determines which treatment plan is to be used. Medications, hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle changes like stress reduction, exercise and diet are some of the treatment plans that can be used for dealing with this issue. 

How Soon to Take a Pregnancy Test to Know If You Are Pregnant or Not?

The level of human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) otherwise known as the pregnancy hormone in the body is measured by all pregnancy tests to determine pregnancy. Urine has hCG present in it too which is detected by home pregnancy tests.  Not all pregnancy tests are equally sensitive. Detection of even the lowest amounts of hCG is possible with highly sensitive tests even after a week of conception or four days before the due date of your period.

The unit mIU/ml is used for describing the sensitivity of pregnancy tests. 10-40 mIU/ml is the sensitivity range of pregnancy tests. Tests with lower value of mIU/ml are more sensitive and can detect pregnancy at an earlier stage than others.   

Accurate results from home pregnancy tests can be expected if the test is done two weeks after ovulation, which is when your period becomes due. 

A negative pregnancy test can mean that you are not pregnant or that your ovulation occurred later and your pregnancy hasn’t begun yet. 10% women can have low amounts of hCG when they have missed a period. So, if your period doesn’t occur even after a negative result, test again some days later. In case of pregnancy, the levels would be up and the test would be able to detect them.

Blood tests can detect hCG too. You can detect pregnancies much earlier with blood tests as their sensitivity is higher than that of urine tests. However, blood tests for pregnancy aren’t done unless they are medically needed.  

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