Often when periods are late, women wonder whether they are pregnant. Many times, women planning pregnancy become happy after knowing this, while many others get scared due to the fear of unwanted pregnancy. In both the situations you do not need to panic. Here we will tell you what are the reasons for missing periods and how long you should wait before doing a pregnancy test. 

Late periods can be a sign of pregnancy but it can also be caused by many other things, such as stress, illness, and use of certain medications. In such a situation, if you are not able to understand anything then it would be better to talk to a doctor. 

Your menstrual cycle is the time from the first day of your period to the day before your next period starts. This average cycle is of 28 days, the pattern of which is something like this.

Day 1 – The tissues lining your uterus break down and begin to pass out of your body through the vagina. This bleeding is your period and for most women, it lasts 4 to 8 days.

Day 8 – The lining of the uterus begins to rebuild to nourish a fertilized egg. Your body does this every month to prepare for a possible pregnancy.

Day 14 – An egg is released from your ovary in a process called ovulation. If you have sex on the day of ovulation or three days before that, your chances of getting pregnant are highest. While a man's sperm can live inside you for 3 to 5 days, your egg can only live for 1 day if it is not fertilized by sperm.

Days 15 to 24 – The egg moves through the fallopian tube toward the uterus. If the egg combines with the sperm, the fertilized egg will attach to the lining of your uterus. This is called implantation and this is the moment when pregnancy begins.

Day 24 – If the egg is not attached to the sperm, it begins to break down. Your hormone levels drop, which signals your uterus that pregnancy cannot occur this month. 

Some women's menstrual cycle lasts the same number of days every month. These women can accurately predict on which day their menstruation will start. Other women's menstrual cycles vary slightly from month to month. Your menstruation is considered regular as long as it comes every 24 to 38 days.

Late periods and signs of pregnancy

Symptoms of late periods will be evident in many women whose periods are completely regular. Periods do not come from time to time in all women and it is very normal for the dates of periods to increase or decrease. Pregnancy is not the only thing that can cause menstruation to be delayed or stopped. But if you are thinking that missing your menstruation could mean pregnancy, then you can look at other early symptoms of pregnancy. Many women experience these symptoms during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy-

1. Fatigue

2. Breast changes

3. Headache

4. Missed period

5. Nausea

6. Frequent urination

Pregnancy due to late periods
occurs when an egg is fertilized by a sperm. But pregnancy is not the only reason for missed or delayed periods. There are some other possible reasons for this also.

Excessive weight loss or gain
Changes in your sleep schedule (shift work, travel)
Drug use
Excessive exercise