How Late Can a Period Be? Plus, Why It’s Late

How Late Can a Period Be?

The average time of menarche varies from girl to girl. Some girls start their menses at age 7 or 8 while others begin around 12 years old. For some girls, they don’t have any menstrual bleeding until after puberty. But most girls will experience spotting between ages 11 and 14, then they’ll get heavier periods starting in their teens and continue through adulthood.

For many women, the first period comes during puberty. That’s when estrogen levels are high and your body is producing eggs. Your ovaries produce hormones called oestrogens which cause the lining of your uterus (womb) to thicken and become more elastic. These changes allow for a woman to menstruate later than she would otherwise be able to.

However, there are other factors that can affect the timing of your period. There are two main ones:

Your age When you started having sexual activity While you were having those activities

Age Affects Menstrual Timing

As mentioned above, the average age of menarche is around 10 years old for girls and 9 years old for boys. However, some girls may begin their periods earlier or later than this average.

There isn’t a specific age when a girl should get her period. It’s based on the maturity level of an individual girl. The average age of menarche in girls is usually around 12, but it can happen as early as age 8 or as late as age 15. The variation is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

While most girls begin their periods between the ages of 10 and 14, there are several factors that can affect your daughter’s menstrual cycle. These include:

Your height and weight

Your family’s weight history

The number of older brothers your mother had before you were born

If you’ve been under a lot of stress or not

Diet and nutrition

When You Started Having Sexual Intercourse Can Also Matter

You can get your first period at any point in life. However, there are certain factors that can affect when you get it. These factors include:


If you had a period before it stopped

Your race

Your weight

Why Did My Period Stop?

When a girl ceases menstruating, this is known as amenorrhea. There are several reasons why this can occur. The most common reasons are:

Amenorrhea can also be caused by hormonal problems. These problems may require the assistance of a physician or endocrinologist. A girl could also experience this condition due to extreme weight loss. A girl who has an eating disorder or is significantly underweight may stop having her period.

If Your Menstrual Period Is Delayed Consider These Factors:

If your period is more than 7 days late it’s time to take a pregnancy test, however, there are many factors that can delay menstruation. Consider these before making any judgment.


Stress can cause your periods to stop, or come late. If you have been going through a difficult time in your life and have noticed changes in your menstrual cycle, this could be the cause. You should try to manage your stress level by taking time for yourself. Get plenty of rest, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and schedule time to do things you enjoy.

If you find that your period is continually late due to stress, let your doctor know.

Changes in Weight

If you have recently changed your weight significantly, your periods may begin to show these changes. If you have been losing weight, this can cause your periods to become infrequent or stop altogether. This is known as crash dieting, and it causes a drop in the hormones that control your menstrual cycle. The same thing occurs if you have been gaining weight at a rapid pace.

If you have gained or lost 10 percent of your body weight in six months or less, this can cause a delay in your periods. It can take several months for your hormones to stabilize again. If you think that this may be the cause of your late periods, discuss this with your doctor.


If you have traveled to a different time zone and suddenly find yourself with a missed period or late period, it could be due to the time change. It can take up to three weeks for your body to get used to a new time zone. Until it does, you may find that your periods are irregular or stop altogether until you readjust.

Some girls find that their periods are late when they travel by plane, train, or bus for long distances. The constant movement of the vehicle can cause a slight change in your biological clock. Until your body adjusts to the new time zone, you may have a late period.

Gynecological Problems

If you are experiencing other gynecological problems such as vaginal discharge or pain during sexual activity or urination, these could be signs of a more serious condition. Let your doctor know right away if you are experiencing anything out of the ordinary. It’s important that any medical conditions are identified and treated immediately.

Sources & references used in this article:

Are they still called late? The effect of notice period on calls of convertible bonds by ZA Altintig, AW Butler – Journal of Corporate Finance, 2005 – Elsevier

Phosphorylation of Epstein-Barr virus ZEBRA protein at its casein kinase 2 sites mediates its ability to repress activation of a viral lytic cycle late gene by Rta by AS El-Guindy, G Miller – Journal of virology, 2004 – Am Soc Microbiol

Maternal treadmill exercise during pregnancy decreases anxiety and increases prefrontal cortex VEGF and BDNF levels of rat pups in early and late periods of life by I Aksu, B Baykara, S Ozbal, F Cetin, AR Sisman… – Neuroscience …, 2012 – Elsevier

The 7 hidden reasons employees leave: How to recognize the subtle signs and act before it’s too late by L Branham – 2012 –

Requirement of a critical period of transcription for induction of a late phase of LTP by PV Nguyen, T Abel, ER Kandel – Science, 1994 –

Performance effects of early and late Six Sigma adoptions by BW Jacobs, M Swink, K Linderman – Journal of Operations Management, 2015 – Elsevier