After 40 years in the body of a woman begin natural age-related changes. The reproductive system first responds to changes in the hormonal balance occurring on the threshold of menopause. This is often manifested as a delay in menstruation, despite the fact that the pregnancy test is negative. What could be the causes of delayed menstruation after the age of 40? They are much more than it might seem at first glance.
What is menstruation and why can it linger?
The menstrual cycle is a periodic change in the body of a woman of childbearing age, aimed at preparing for conception. For most, the cycle is equal to the duration of one lunar month - 28 days. The minimum duration is 21 days, the maximum is 35 days.
The cycle includes 4 phases:
- Menstrual. The first day of the menstrual cycle corresponds to the first day of monthly discharge. During menstruation, the uterus rejects the upper layer of the endometrium. The process lasts up to 7 days.
- Follicular This phase begins simultaneously with the previous one, but its duration is about 2 weeks. During this period, the follicle from which the new egg comes out will mature. The second half of the phase is also devoted to updating the endometrium.
- Ovulatory Short-term phase, lasting about two days. At this time, the follicle matured in the ovary is torn and releases the egg cell. The ovulatory stage can be accompanied by painful sensations.
- Luteal. The luteal phase lasts from the middle to the end of the cycle. During this period, the body prepares for a possible conception, producing all the necessary hormones. The completion of the phase may be accompanied by PMS due to the high concentration of hormones in the blood.
If the monthly does not come in time, then the reasons for this may be mass:
- reproductive system diseases
- somatic diseases
- hormonal imbalance
- overweight or underweight,
- excessive exercise
- improper nutrition.
First of all, it is necessary to exclude or confirm the pregnancy: donate blood to determine the level of hCG or do a pregnancy test. It is important to know that the analysis of hCG will show the presence or absence of pregnancy even with a slight delay in menstruation, and the test strip will “distinguish” the presence of the embryo only after a few days. If the test is negative, you need to contact a gynecologist. The specialist will schedule an examination and be able to find out the causes of dysfunction.
Delay of menstruation after 40 years: is it a climax?
One of the reasons for the delay in menstruation with a negative test may be the onset of menopause. Usually, his first symptoms are noted at the age of 45, however, some women notice characteristic signs much earlier - at 41–43 and sometimes up to 40 years, or later - after 47. There are many factors that provoke the early extinction of the functions of the female reproductive system.
Early menopause and its causes
Premature suppression of ovarian function can be due to many causes. They may be obvious, but sometimes a woman is not even aware of what might have affected the onset of menopause.
At the age of about 40 years, menopause occurs under the influence of the following factors, accompanied by a delay of menstruation:
- Genetic abnormalities. Such disorders are associated with the suppression of follicle-stimulating hormone, which leads to problems with ovulation. Genetic pathologies are often also observed in female relatives.
- Consequences of radiation or chemotherapy. If the tumor has arisen in the reproductive system or in organs nearby, this affects the functioning of the ovaries. Often, the sex glands completely cease to function due to the death of the eggs.
- The consequences of operations on the reproductive organs. As a result of surgery, scars are formed, tissue with follicles can be damaged, spikes can occur.
- Chronic inflammation of the genital glands. Regardless of the presence of a bacterial infection, inflammatory processes in the ovaries can cause a delay in menstruation and problems with ovulation.
- Autoimmune diseases, especially those related to the endocrine glands. Inflammation in any part of the body can go to the ovaries, which contributes to the transformation of follicles into connective tissue.
Also, early menopause contributes to long-term medication. Acceleration (accelerated sexual development) also affects the development of premature menopause: the sooner the first menstruation occurs, the earlier the menopause will come. In some cases, maintaining or restoring reproductive function is possible, but in some situations (removal of the ovaries, chemotherapy), menstruation delay or its absence becomes the norm.
Cycle Violation - A Sign Of Premenopause
Menopause is divided into several stages, which correspond to certain symptoms and changes in the body. There are only three of them:
- Pre-climatic period, or premenopause. This stage is accompanied by manifestations in the form of hot flashes, menstruation disorders, failures in the cardiovascular system, decreased concentration, memory loss, fatigue, decreased sexual desire, mastopathy, and headaches. The list may be supplemented by other symptoms, but many women experience only some manifestations of premenopause. It is worth noting that the listed symptoms may indicate not only the onset of menopause, but also on the existing pathology. That is why it is recommended to go to the gynecologist regularly, especially if something is bothering you. Women over 44 years old should preferably visit the specialist’s office more than twice a year.
- Menopause. At this time, menstruation finally terminated due to the cessation of hormone production by the sex glands. Menopause is often accompanied by symptoms such as sweating, insomnia, flushing, arrhythmia. Pregnancy during this period cannot occur, since there are no monthly periods, ovulation does not occur. Menopause lasts about 5 years - from the last menstrual period to the onset of postmenopause.
- Postmenopause. The early phase lasts from 4 to 6 years after the cessation of menstruation, the late - up to 65-70 years. In the case of early menopause, postmenopause can begin at 47, 48, and 49 years. At this time, the presence of menstrual bleeding is excluded, therefore, when detecting bleeding should immediately contact a specialist.
With severe symptoms of menopause, causing serious discomfort, you can and must fight. It is worth contacting a specialist who will select individual methods of therapy, taking into account the patient's history. In addition to taking medications, attention should be paid to lifestyle habits: the quality of life affects health at any age. The only thing that is inevitable in a given period is the violation of periodicity, and then the cessation of menstruation.
Other causes of delay, except pregnancy
All systems of the body are interconnected, and disruption of the activity of one organ can lead to destabilization of the functions of another. The delay of menstruation at 45 years of age has many different reasons: hormonal imbalance, taking various drugs, emotional turmoil, diseases of the reproductive and other systems, etc. Often there is a combination of factors causing deviations in the menstrual cycle.
Hormonal disorders not related to menopause
Hormonal imbalance can occur at any age. Young people also often suffer from this as a result of diseases of the ovaries, thyroid gland, and neoplasms in the brain. The operation to remove the organs of the endocrine or reproductive system entails a delay in menstruation, a violation of cyclicity.
Another reason for the delay in menstruation may be an excess of androgens or prolactin. Heredity, hormonal preparations, polycystic ovary, abortion, diabetes, kidney problems provoke such a situation.
Medication (hormonal and non-hormonal)
Many 45-year-old women regularly take drugs that act positively on some organs, but negatively affect others. Hormonal drugs have a direct effect on the endocrine system and often cause imbalances. However, non-hormonal drugs may have a similar effect. Side effects from the endocrine system can cause sedatives, opiates. Drugs prescribed after removal of a malignant tumor on the organs of the reproductive system can also lead to delayed menstruation.
Stress and its effect on menstruation
Emotional state affects the menstrual cycle. Stress and depression are accompanied by increased production of some hormones and suppression of others. This happens in cases where a woman is experiencing due to difficulties in her personal life, career, dissatisfaction with her appearance, etc. In this situation, it is worth solving psychological problems, and the hormonal balance stabilizes.
Overweight or underweight
With increased body mass in large quantities, the hormone estrogen is produced, which is processed in the body into androgen. The latter not only prevents the normal onset of menstruation and ovulation, but also contributes to the development of hyperandrogenism.
Sharp weight loss can cause amenorrhea (a situation where there are no menses for six months or more). Why it happens? When fasting, the body loses nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so it stops menstruation to save its own resources. In addition, the lack of body weight affects the body as a whole.
The cause of late menstruation at the age of 42 and at another age may be a gynecological disease. Most often, such a violation causes polycystic ovarian cancer, malignant tumors of the uterus or cervix, benign adenomas. If, in addition to the failure of the menstrual cycle, a woman is worried about a feeling of heaviness and pain in the pelvic area, an increase in the abdomen with a negative test, spotting during sexual intercourse, you should visit the gynecologist as soon as possible.
The cause of irregular menstruation may be a somatic disease, especially associated with the endocrine system. These include diabetes, thyroid gland dysfunction, and others. Gastritis, influenza, and ARVI can also cause a monthly delay. The most likely impact on the cycle of these pathologies in the event that they were not subjected to full therapy.
External factors: climate change, time zone
The body obeys biological rhythms, and the menstrual cycle is closely associated with them. With a sudden change of climate or time zone, the reproductive system may need time to adapt, which leads to a delay in menstruation. The same thing happens if a woman is forced to stay awake at night for some time. If the new lifestyle becomes habitual, the menstrual cycle is normalized within 2 months.
What if monthly periods are delayed?
With delayed menstruation and at 45 years of age, and at any other age, it is necessary to do a pregnancy test (test strips, blood test for hCG). If the result is negative, it is worth going to an appointment with a gynecologist. It is necessary to undergo a series of procedures (ultrasound, testing, etc.) to establish the diagnosis. May need the help of other professionals. Independently solve the problem is unlikely.