A delay in your period can immediately spark off a pregnancy scare. But, that’s not always the case. Here are seven reasons why your period may be late, even when you are not pregnant.

1. Stress
This is often the biggest culprit. Getting overly stressed about something can lead to a condition known as hypothalamic amenorrhea. The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that regulates the hormones that cause your period. Stress affects the hypothalamus to a great extent, leading to a delay.

2. Thyroid Issues
Both hyper and hypothyroidism can lead to disruption in your regular monthly cycle. The thyroid gland regulates your metabolism and keeps your system running smoothly. Check with your doctor to see if you need a thyroid test.

3. Birth Control
Sometimes, you could be missing your period as a side effect of taking birth control. Some birth control pills, as well as the IUD, shots and implants, can cause a delayed or missing period, which is not harmful for your health. This can also happen if you’ve suddenly gone off birth control.

4. Excessive & Sudden Weight Loss
If you’ve lost weight all of a sudden, chances are your period will be delayed or even absent.

5. PCOS
If you suffer from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels are greatly fluctuating. This can lead to delay or absence of your period.

6. Change In Medication
Sometimes a change in medication or dosage can also have an effect on your period. If you have recently gone on a new medication or have changed your dosage, speak to your doctor to find out if it could be causing the delay.

7. Premature Menopause
Sometimes, women who are not yet 40 may experience premature menopause as a result of hormonal inconsistency. This can lead to delayed or no periods. Other signs of premature menopause are hot flashes, vaginal dryness and night sweats.

In most cases your period will be back to normal by the following month. If it doesn’t, speak to your doctor for a possible checkup.