I am sorry that you have been concerned about the delay in your periods. There are various components to determining the cause of the irregular nature of your cycles, so you should follow up with your gynecologist to discuss your symptoms, for an exam, and to decide if further workup is required.
First, is this change in your menstrual cycles new or have your periods always been delayed? Have you even missed a period? If the change is relatively new, did anything change in your life around that time? Do you have any other symptoms? These are questions you should consider prior to your appointment with your gynecologist so that you are prepared for the visit. There are a variety of causes of irregular periods, including weight changes, eating disorders, excessive exercise, stress, systemic disease, and thyroid dysfunction. Your physician can help differentiate the potential etiologies based on your specific symptoms.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the main causes of abnormal ovulation and increased androgen symptoms in women. This syndrome is a spectrum of disease but the primary characteristics include hyperandrogenism (symptoms of increased testosterone such as increased hair and acne
), irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovaries
, obesity, and insulin resistance. Since PCOS is a syndrome, each patient will present differently with a varying combination of these primary characteristics. It is a fairly common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age, affecting about 4-12% of the population.
While PCOS is a possible diagnosis, your gynecologist will discuss all of your symptoms with you and evaluate for various causes of your delayed cycles. Please speak to your OBGYN soon.