All about each symptom of menopause
women going through menopause

Late Menstrual Cycles

Women who have late cycles may worry that they are pregnant or that their cycles are a sign of a medical problem. However, late periods are rarely a cause for concern. There are many reasons why women have late menstrual cycles and they can often be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Why Do Late Menstrual Cycles Occur?


Women have late cycles for a variety of reasons. A hormonal imbalance is often the biggest cause of late cycles. There are many reasons why hormone levels can become imbalanced.

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Excessive weight loss or weight gain
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Contraceptive methods
  • Breastfeeding

How to Avoid Late Menstrual Cycles

Although late cycles are often not anything to be concerned about they can be unpleasant and inconvenient. There are many things that women can do, however; to prevent and help manage their cycles. Eating a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, fiber, protein, and dairy, is essential for keeping a healthy body and preventing late menstrual cycles. This is because people who are under or over weight may find that they have late cycles. However, women with healthy bodies who regularly eat a balanced diet are less likely to develop late cycles.

Cut back on excessive exercise

Although exercising regularly is important, too much can cause an irregular menstrual cycle. Endurance athletes may find that they regularly have late cycles. If you exercise too much, cut back and monitor your routine to see how it affects your body.

Be consistent with birth control


Women who are not consistent with their birth control will find that they regularly have late cycles. Contraceptive pills change hormone levels in a woman's body. When they are not taken correctly, the body's hormone levels become imbalanced and late menstrual cycles can occur.

Learn and practice relaxation exercises

Late cycles often occur when a woman is stressed. Learning to relax and reduce stress and anxiety can help regulate menstrual cycles. Exercises like yoga, Pilates, and meditation are all great for helping women relax.

More Information

Talk to your doctor to determine the cause of your late menstrual cycle and determine how it can be treated. A medical practitioner will first be able to rule out pregnancy before investigating what the other causes of late menstrual cycles may be. Often, menstrual cycles arrive late for no apparent reason. The simplest way to manage and regulate cycles is by making small lifestyle changes. Explore the articles below for further information on how to deal with irregular periods.

Irregular Periods and Birth Control Pills

The hormonal changes brought by birth control pills can sometimes cause irregular periods. Click here to learn more about managing irregular periods.

Heavy and Constant Menstrual Periods

It is normal for women to experience heavier menstrual flow at certain points of their life, such as during menopause when hormone levels are in flux.

Menstrual Cycle Problems

Click here to learn more about menstrual cycle problems, including what causes them and how to handle them, as you transition out of reproductive years.

  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007