Many people assume they’re pregnant when their period is late. But that’s not always the case. The slightest hormonal changes can throw off your menstrual cycle and there are a number of other reasons why your period might be delayed.
Some forms of birth control can delay your period by altering hormone levels and preventing ovulation. This includes the pill, the patch, the shot, and the implant.
Your body has many hormones that control various functions, including your menstrual cycle and fertility. When these hormones are out of balance, it can cause problems like a delayed period. It’s important to track your periods so that you know when they are supposed to happen. It’s also a good idea to use protection during sexual activity, as this will help prevent pregnancy. If you’re worried that you might be pregnant, a home pregnancy test is a good option.
A missed period could be a sign of pregnancy, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, hormonal changes or stress can affect your menstrual cycle and lead to a delay. In some cases, a late period can last up to 2 months. If this is the case for you, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor.
A few days of variation in your menstrual cycle is nothing to worry about, especially if you have used protection and had sex during your fertile window. However, unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy even if you are using reliable birth control methods and ovulating during your fertile window. Pregnancy is rare when sex is used as birth control, but it’s still worth taking a test just to be sure. If you do get a positive result, your doctor will likely recommend that you start taking birth control.
Many women experience a heightened sense of libido just before and during their periods, thanks to the rush of oestrogen and testosterone. While unprotected sex during this fertile window is very unlikely to cause pregnancy, using condoms can make your experience more comfortable and reduce the risk of infection.
If you’re taking the combined contraceptive pill, you can delay your period by missing out one pack of tablets (and starting a new packet straight away). You can also buy “period delay” pills in some high-street pharmacies that contain an artificial hormone that mimics progesterone to delay the end of your natural cycle and therefore your period. These are only suitable for women who are not already taking the pill.
There’s almost no evidence that the progestogen-only contraceptive pill – like Microgynon ED and Lorynon ED – can delay your period. However, switching from the pill to a non-hormonal contraceptive – such as the NuvaRing (eluryng) or copper IUD – can lead to missed and late periods for a few weeks as your body adjusts to the new hormone levels.
Barrier methods like condoms, lube and cervical caps can be used to delay your period as they stop sperm from reaching the egg. However, they’re not 100% effective and require vigilance and good technique to work effectively. If you have a latex allergy, it’s important to use a different type of barrier method that does not contain latex.
As you probably know, orgasms are an amazing feeling that can occur during a variety of situations, and they can give both men and women a sense of sexual satisfaction. Some people have even reported that orgasms can help them to overcome depression and anxiety. However, there is no evidence that orgasms can delay your period in any way.
Having sex during your period is also perfectly safe, provided that both partners have had clear STI tests and both are fully immunised. It’s common for people to feel ‘period shame’ about having sex during their period, but this is unfounded. Menstrual fluid is a completely natural substance and there’s nothing in it that could harm you, provided that you are fully immunised.
The main reason your periods may be delayed is if you’re pregnant, but hormonal changes from sex can have an impact on the length of your monthly menstrual cycle. It’s a good idea to keep track of your menstrual cycle with a calendar or a period tracking app, like Flo, to see how different hormone levels affect the length of your periods.
Having sex can cause your period to start early or later, but only if it happens in the window when your uterus is ready for an egg to be released. That means that solo sex and non-penetrative sex can start your period, but sexual penetration won’t jump-start it if it’s due to start in a few days.
Stress is a huge factor that can throw off your period. Stress can make you sick, cause weight gain or loss, and even mess with the way your body functions — including how your menstrual cycle works. The reason is that it causes the hypothalamus in your brain to release cortisol. This can affect the pituitary gland and ovary, which can delay your period. This is why it’s so important to take steps to reduce your stress levels. That includes getting enough sleep, prioritizing relaxation and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
The good news is that your period won’t be delayed by sex, but you should still use protection because it can impact your hormonal balance. It can also impact your ovulation schedule if you’re using hormonal birth control. It’s also normal for your period to be irregular every once in a while, especially if you’re a teenager.
But there are other reasons your period could be late besides being pregnant, such as hormones changes, exercise, weight fluctuations, being sick or using different types of birth control. If your period is late and you’re not pregnant, it’s best to see a doctor to get checked out to rule out any health issues. Depending on what is causing it, your doctor may recommend different ways to help your period come back on track.