Absent periods

The menstrual cycle can be disrupted by physical and non-physical reasons. Absent periods is one of the most common menstrual disorders. An alternative name for the missed periods is amenorrhea, and is also the most common medical term for the phenomenon.

Even if your menstruation does not come when you expect it, there is no reason to panic. It doesn’t have to mean that you are pregnant or that it is a symptom of a medical condition. It is not necessarily a symptom of something serious if you experience missing menstruation one or a few times.

If you period does not come as expected one or two times, take a pregnancy test. After pregnancy is ruled out, there are a variety of possible reasons.

Why does it happen?
Periods may go missing due to a number of reasons. Underlying causes can be physical, as a result of diseases, and non-physical such as psychological reasons. The most common reason to miss a period is pregnancy.


Physical conditions that put the body through stress and strain can cause absent menstruations. What usually happen is that strain or stress makes the body prioritise survival and shut down reproductive abilities. A couple of reasons which may cause severe stress or strain :

  • Severe weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity or weight loss
  • Tough excercise
  • Abuse of drugs
  • Hormonal disorders

Diseases and conditions can be the reason behind missing periods. It is however fairly uncommon and often associated with other symptoms. Examples of gynecological diseases where absent menstruations may occur are:

  • Endometriosis
  • Myoma
  • PCO (polycystic ovaries)

There is also a non-physical factors that may affect the menstrual cycle. Psychological challenges such as don’t felling well, depression, severe stress or anxiety can trigger responses in a womans body which causes missing periods. Menstruation will usually resume as normal the next time it is expected. Some women may experience up to three missing periods because of non-physical factors. If you have more than three missing periods, consult a doctor.

Furthermore, even contraception and HRT affect menstruation. A common example of this is women who just recently changed, started to use or stopped using hormonal contraceptives. Although it is relatively rare, changes in diet or lifestyle habits can interfere with the regularity of women’s menstruation.

When should you seek help?
When it is time to consult with a doctor depends on a lot of factors. Overall it is definitely advisable to consult a doctor if your period has not returned within six months and pregnancy is excluded. If you are worried after missing two or more menstruations, there may be reason to examine why. If other symptoms can be observed in connection with a missed period, it is a good idea to consult a doctor.