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GLAMOUR MAGAZINE – If your period doesn’t arrive when it’s supposed to, your first instinct may be to wonder if you’re pregnant. But while you’ll want to eliminate that possibility first, it’s not uncommon for women to stop getting their periods or get them very infrequently for other reasons. According to reproductive health researcher Robyn Charlery White, Ph.D., these are some possible explanations for why Aunt Flo missed a visit:
1. Your diet is off. Amenorrhea, or the ceasing of periods, is linked to poor nutrition. Eating too much or not enough of a particular food group can cause your periods to stop, as can eating too much or not enough in general, regardless of your weight. Basically, if you haven’t been getting your period and you know you haven’t been eating all that well lately, revamping your diet is probably a good place to start.
2. You’re overdoing it at the gym. The right amount of exercise depends on your size and fitness goals, but in general, unless you’re overweight, burning more calories than you consume can lead to missed periods.
3. You’re totally stressed out. When you’re under stress, your body can go into shut-down mode. While the exact amount of stress necessary for periods to stop is difficult to measure, Charlery White says some events that can cause amenorrhea are moving, a serious breakup, or death of a loved one.
4. Your medication is messing with you. Certain illnesses and medications, like antidepressants and even some birth control pills, can cause your periods to stop. Diabetes can also affect the menstrual cycle, since insulin can influence the regulation of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. And, though not likely and not worth panicking over, there’s a small possibility that not getting your period could be related to ovarian or uterine cancer. (But again, this shouldn’t be your first thought.)