It's important to remember you're not alone

Variation in your cycle is totally normal. Even if you're usually like clockwork, there are a number of reasons why your period could be late – from pregnancy to stress, or sudden weight loss or gain. If you've recently had unprotected sex, or if there's a chance your contraception hasn't worked as it should, here are some things to consider.

What to do Next

It’s natural to be thinking about pregnancy after a late period, so here’s what to do if that’s a possibility for you.
LATE PERIOD? PLAYING THE WAITING GAME IS HARD
LATE PERIOD? PLAYING THE WAITING GAME IS HARD

If You're Usually Regular

If you know when you should be ovulating, it's easier to decide how likely it is that your period is late because you're pregnant. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as you realize that your period is late, but it's important to remember that early tests can be unreliable and a negative result is less reliable than a positive one.

If Your Cycle is Usually Irregular

The earliest to take a pregnancy test is 3 weeks after you had unprotected or potentially unprotected sex. A negative result may not be accurate, so wait a week and take another test, or seek advice from your doctor or nurse.

If You Still Have Concerns

If you're still getting negative pregnancy test results and you've missed 3 periods, consult your doctor or nurse for more advice.

OTHER CAUSES OF LATE PERIODS

There are many reasons other than pregnancy for your period to be late. Consider these factors, and consult your doctor or nurse if you think one or more applies to you:

Stress

Periods can become longer, shorter, or stop altogether because of stress. If you think stress is the reason for a disrupted cycle, try some relaxation techniques and consult your doctor or nurse if your period doesn’t start.

Exercise

An extreme amount of exercise can disrupt the levels of hormones in your body that trigger a period. If you think your period has stopped because of your workout regime, consult your doctor or nurse.

Weight Loss or Gain

Sudden loss or gain of weight can disrupt the levels of hormones in your body that trigger a period. If your weight has changed suddenly, it’s worth checking in with your doctor or nurse.

Using Long-Acting Contraception

If you are a user of long-acting contraception, this may have an impact on your bleeding pattern. For example, some methods may lead to shorter and lighter bleeding or could stop your periods altogether. This may be the reason for irregularities but is no cause for concern. In any case it is worth checking in with your doctor or nurse if you have questions.

ALTERNATIVE CONTRACEPTION METHODS

If your usual contraception recently let you down, if a late period has caused you concern, or if your current method doesn’t fit your lifestyle, consider these contraception methods:

THE HORMONAL COIL

The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestogen hormone for up to 3 - 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.

THE COPPER COIL

The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. It is available with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 - 10 years.

THE CONTRACEPTIVE IMPLANT

A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.

THE CONTRACEPTIVE INJECTION

An injection containing a hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 12-13 weeks.

NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.

Doctor CTA
doctor CTA