We've all been through that fear. You hear stories of how ineffective condoms can be (Friends anyone?) or maybe you missed a pill. You definitely had sex, with a condom (hopefully) but you may or may not have told him to pull out (if that even helps). Your period was due to arrive yesterday, but it never came. So obviously, you're freaking the feck out. But fear not. If you've just noticed that your period is taking its time to come, all might not be lost. There are loads of reasons why your period could be late. If your period is late and you definitely didn't have sex during the past month, then you're totally in the clear. Sex is needed for pregnancy. No sex, no unplanned baby. If you had sex and you're seriously concerned, don't freak out just yet.
College is a festering pool of stress. You can experience anxiety in relation to social situations, assignments, deadlines, boy drama, and girl drama; all these things feed into each other and that does weird things to your body. Plus the fear you get when you notice your period is late only increases stress. So calm down, distract yourself, have a cup of tea and relax...it will come.
2) Change in regular schedule
Taking on new classes or extra curricular activities, like joining a society? Discovered a new show on Netflix and spend every night binging on that until 3am? Agreed to take more shifts at your part-time job? Have you been away travelling or maybe experiencing jet-lag? Even short trips away can disrupt your cycle. All that disruption in your usual day-to-day life affects you on a chemical level, especially if that change started around the time you'd usually ovulate. If you don't get enough sleep your hormones can be all over the place and that can sometimes mean that your cycle will be a couple days off, or not appear entirely. It can take your body a little time to adjust to a change in your regular routine and that can impact your cycle. Maybe it's natures way of telling you to slow the feck down and look after yourself. Thanks nature!
3) Being Sick
Illnesses are everywhere even the common cold can affect your cycle. Again it's affecting your sleep schedule and that has a knock-on effect on your cycle. Like a change in your routine, it can delay ovulation which will delay your period. Think back a couple weeks, did you have a cold, digestive problems, food poisoning? Anything that required a few days in bed that wasn't the result of extreme alcohol consumption? If so, then maybe that's why your crimson tide hasn't reached the port yet. Plus there's also the possibility that there may be something more serious like overactive thyroid problems. If you're super concerned. Check in with your college campus nurse or G.P. and keep in mind that stress will make it worse, so try to keep it chill.
4) Change in Medication or Drug Use
If you have a long-term illness that requires you to take medication, like anti-depressants or steroids, if your dosage is changed that too can affect your whole body's homeostasis. That's why doctors or gynecologists always ask if you're on any other medication because different medicines react to each other in different ways. Side effects of a change in your drug use can be to delay or skip a period. If you think your late period might be related to this, talk to your doctor.
5) Change in Weight
Either losing or gaining weight. Especially in a short period of time. A huge change to your weight will put pressure on your body to regulate itself and get used to its new dimensions. Don't be surprised if this affects your period. Sometimes people who are severely over-weight or under-weight don't have a period at all because their system is fried trying to keep them moving their limbs and keeping their heart beating. Maintaining a healthy weight and diet will not only make you feel majorly better all the time, your periods will be more regular. Don't freak out if your weight fluctuates a few pounds a week. I'm talking severe weight loss or gain.
6) Exercising More
Not only are the side-effects of this sore muscles and toned abs, a late period is also a result of increased exercising. Again your body is going through enormous change and that can delay the release of certain hormones to begin your period. So don't worry, keep exercising and it will show up, just give it a few days.
No offence, but it could happen. If you're not taking the pill, it can get confusing. You might not take note of when your periods arrived in the previous months or maybe don't realise that most cycles are 28 days long instead of a strict monthly timeline they can vary slightly too. Why not download a period tracker app onto your smartphone or tablet. Most are manufactured with women who want to get pregnant in mind, but they are an invaluable resource to give you an idea when your period will come and how long it will last. They're surprisingly accurate and most are free.
8) Birth Control working over-time
Birth control pills affect every person differently. We all have a unique genetic make-up and react differently to different medication. That's why there are different types of birth control. Often if you have heavy painful periods your G.P. will recommend a birth control pill to lighten up your flow. So if you don't usually have a heavy flow and are on the same pill as someone who generally does, that could mean you could skip a period or it could be so light that you don't notice it. Check it out with your G.P if you're unsure. Wait a few days though, because as you can see from this list, a number of things can contribute to a late period.
So don't freak out. Wait a couple days and it'll probably arrive. Then you get to forget about the stress and get to enjoy all those wonderful cramps and cravings. Fantastic!