Aunt Vadge: my period is late but I’m not pregnant – what’s going on?

Hi Aunt Vadge,

Ok so my period usually runs like clockwork every month, sometimes one day early or one day late… but this time it’s five days late and still hasn’t come. I’m not sexually active, but what’s making it take so long? 

This year is my leaving cert and next month I have my orals, and I guess I’m stressed over them a lot lately and I’m just anxious about the exams. Every night I get that feeling that I think it’s going to come, but it hasn’t, so I’m just worried now and it’s stressing me out too. I have tenderness but no real cramps yet. 

Age: 18
Country/Area: Ireland

Hi there Late,

Your period is usually late because you ovulated late. Often if you’ve been travelling, had stressful things going on (which can include exciting stress), or ‘stuff’ has been happening in your life, you may ovulate late.

When you ovulate late, you get your period late. This is just because the number of days between ovulation and your period are always the same, but the number of days between when you get your period and when you ovulate can and do change. First two weeks after your period may turn into three or four, but the two weeks before your period are fixed, once you ovulate. It can be hard to know when you ovulate, but once you do, the number of days stays the same. It’s about two weeks.

How to tell if you are ovulating

There are other reasons your period may stop or be delayed, but the most obvious is stressful stuff or travel. You sound like you have a lot on, so don’t worry – what’s happening is really normal, so enjoy the long cycle, and get back to worrying about things that actually matter!

You’ll be fine. It’ll come.

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge