• Nancy L. Hancock, M.D.

I haven’t had a period in several months and my pregnancy test is negative. What does that mean? Sho


Missing your period can be due to pregnancy, but there are other reasons why you might miss your cycle. In some cases, you skip cycles due to medical problems that affects her brain or reproductive system.

Absent or irregular periods can be caused by:

• Pregnancy

• PCOS (which stands for "polycystic ovary syndrome"). In women with this condition, the ovaries make too much male hormone. This can disrupt a woman's periods and cause excess facial hair, acne, and problems with weight. PCOS is the most common cause of absent or irregular periods.

• Being too thin or having too little body fat

• Exercising too much

• Too much prolactin – Prolactin is a hormone made in the "pituitary gland", which is a small organ at the base of the brain.

• Early menopause – Menopause is the time in a woman's life when she naturally stops having periods. Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. But in some women, menopause comes early – before the age of 40. Early menopause happens when the ovaries run out of eggs earlier than normal.

• Some medicines, including birth control pills

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You should schedule an appointment if you used to get periods regularly, but you have not had a period for more than 3 months. You should also schedule an appointment if your periods consistently happen more than 45 days apart.

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