For many women, premenstrual syndrome is a monthly occurrence. Despite the common misconception, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) does not happen when you have your period. As its name suggests, it actually occurs for the week prior to your period starting. If you are experiencing PMS now and have not had your period yet, you may only need to wait a few days.
The only time you have to be worried about PMS symptoms but no period is if you have been experiencing PMS for more than a week and still do not have your period. For some women, this could be an indication that you are pregnant. Many PMS symptoms are the same as early pregnancy symptoms, so it can be easy to mix up the two causes. Other than pregnancy, you may be experiencing climate changes, hormonal imbalances or a premenopausal period that is causing PMS symptoms without an actual period.
What Is PMS?
PMS is a syndrome that causes a number of common symptoms. Roughly 90 percent of women experience some PMS symptoms before their period begins. These symptoms include:
– Swelling or bloating
– Constipation or diarrhea
– Painful, engorged breasts
– Weight gain
– Mood swings
In most cases, premenstrual syndrome will be followed soon by your normal period. In some cases, you may not experience a period because you are pregnant. After the egg is fertilized, it implants itself on the wall of the uterus. When this happens, it stimulates the body to create pregnancy hormones that can cause symptoms. Early pregnancy symptoms are quite similar to some PMS symptoms. Women may experience fatigue, weight changes, mood swings, libido changes and food cravings.
The body will create pregnancy hormones regardless of having a successful pregnancy. If the ovum develops in the fallopian tubes or there is a hydatidiform mole, the individual may still experience early pregnancy symptoms and a delayed period. The only way to make sure that your symptoms are not caused by a pregnancy or a similar pathology is to take a pregnancy test after you have missed your period.
Non-Pregnancy-Related Causes of a Delayed Period
Other than pregnancy, there are some conditions that can cause your period to be delayed. Keep in mind that your period could also just be late. Lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can delay your period. In addition, lack of sleep, illness or stress can also cause a delayed menstrual cycle.
If you are iron deficient, then you have anemia. This can cause your period to be delayed on one or more menstrual cycles.
2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Women who suffer from PCOS may develop irregular periods that are heavier or lighter than normal. Other symptoms of PCOS include excess hair in places like the breasts, face or bottom. Symptoms also include light periods, obesity and periods without blood. To get a diagnosis, you must go to your doctor for an ultrasound and you may be given oral contraceptives to regulate your cycles. There is also a risk of developing diabetes from PCOS, so your doctor may give you a medication to prevent this from happening.
3. Corpus Luteum Cyst
After ovulation, the follicle may swell and turn into a cyst. This can cause a delayed period and significant pain. The cyst can break or twist, which is the source of the pain. Often, doctors prescribe hormonal medication to help with this condition.
4. Adhesive Processes in the Uterus
Conditions like endometritis, cervitis, a past abortion or a Cesarean operation can cause scarring in the endometrial lining. These can cause adhesive processes in the uterus that prevent a pregnancy from happening. This can lead to a lack of a period when you are supposed to have a period. If the adhesion is in the cervix, it can block your menstrual blood from leaving the body and can be painful. In these cases, surgical interventions may be necessary.
5. Rapid Weight Loss
If you lose weight rapidly, it can cause your period to be delayed. The fat cells in your body are responsible for endocrine regulation. They are the place where your hormones are deposited, and you need these hormones to have a normal cycle. If you lose weight rapidly, it can cause your hormone levels to fall so low that you experience PMS symptoms but no period.
If you are physically or psychologically stressed, it can mess with your body’s hormonal activities. This is a common reason for a delayed or missed period when pregnancy is not the cause. In these cases, the easiest treatment is to reduce the amount of stress in your life and get plenty of rest.
7. Contraceptive Complications
Certain types of contraceptive methods like intrauterine devices have been known to cause delayed periods and complications. If this is what you are suffering from, it is important to talk to your gynecologist about your options.