11 Things Besides a Pregnancy that Cause a Delayed Period
A missed period does not always mean you’re pregnant
A missed period does not always mean you’re pregnant(Photo: iStock)

11 Things Besides a Pregnancy that Cause a Delayed Period

On Tuesday, 7 March, the US state of Georgia signed one of the most restrictive abortion bills in recent history – the ‘ Fetal Heartbeat Bill’ bans abortions beyond 6 weeks will go into effect from 2020.

6 weeks, let that number sink in.

Here in India, the law says that you can get an abortion up to 20 weeks. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2014 recommends extending it up to 24 weeks and the courts in the past have made exceptions for a select few cases till as long as 24 weeks of a pregnancy.

US politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the absurdity of the bill that served to essentially ban abortions with its severely limited legal time-frame.

‘That’s Not How Women’s Bodies Work’

Ocasio-Cortez argued that this bill reeked of being formulated by men who "don’t know the first thing about a woman’s body outside of the things they want from it.”

Also Read : Where Does India Stand When It Comes to Safe Access to Abortions?

Here's why you could be six weeks late on your menstruation cycle and still not be pregnant. And also why, six week pregnant women might not think they’re pregnant and instead chalk it up to the reasons listed below.

  1. You are on new medication that has affected your cycle – including birth control medication.
  2. You are under stress that has affected your hormones and even your hypothalamus that regulates your period, says Healthline.
  3. Eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia that affect your weight can delay or even stop your period, which is called amenorrhea.
  4. Breastfeeding may be another reason your period is out of sync – this is called lactational amenorrhea.
  5. Hardcore exercise and training can jumble up your period cycle as the physical strain could lead to a hormonal imbalance. Excessive exercise could also alter your weight and being underweight creates hormonal changes.
  6. You may have an irregular cycle due to PCOS which is a genetic, metabolic disorder that creates a hormone imbalance and affects about 1 in 5 women in India.
  7. Hypo and hyperthyroidism relate to issues in the functioning of your thyroid gland, and this can cause also irregular periods. The thyroid regulates your body's metabolism, and like PCOS, this affects your hormones, hence the connect.
  8. Travel and the ensuing jet lag can disrupt your cycle too. Traveling affects the relationship between your circadian rhythm (your body’s natural cycle relating to your sleep, appetite, immunity, temperature etc.) and your hormones.
  9. Chronic diseases like diabetes can also cause changes in your cycle, meaning you could experience a delay and still not be pregnant.
  10. It’s common to have an irregular period for the first few years after you start menstruating for the first time.
  11. Women nearing menopausal age experience perimenopause wherein your cycle may become irregular – but according to WebMD it is still possible to get pregnant in this phase. Of course here it would be harder to determine pregnancy solely on the basis of your irregular periods.

Clearly, there are many reasons for a delayed period, and a 6 week blanket ban makes no scientific sense as a woman’s body does not work like clockwork – and this is completely normal.

So the problem lies when people with no medical awareness of women’s bodies make laws that govern our bodies and our lives.

Also Read : This 22-Week Pregnancy Case Shows Why Abortion Laws Must Change

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