It's really very stressful for any woman in case periods are not regular. If you have missed your periods, then there are many possibilities. Five common causes of missed periods are as follows:

1. Pregnancy - This is actually a dreadful condition if it is unplanned and unwanted. To be sure, just take a urine pregnancy test (preferably morning urine sample) as soon as your date is missed. It is a very sensitive test and usually comes positive even on the first day of missed periods in case pregnancy is there. If this test is positive or even doubtful ( i.e. second line is very light ), consult your gynaec immediately. Avoid self medication or intake of MTP pills without any supervised guidance of a registered medical practitioner. Such medicines without supervision can prove to be life threatening. There is a possibility of an abnormal pregnancy (ectopic) which can burst inside leading to life-threatening internal bleeding.

2. Hormonal Imbalance - In case the pregnancy test is clearly negative (i.e. only single line without any doubt of second line) then you can definitely wait for another 7 days. In case there are no periods even after 7 days or if you are having problems like weight gain, acne, unwanted hair, milky discharge from breasts etc, then its better to consult your gynaec without any delay. There are chances of hormonal imbalances which can be confirmed by undergoing various blood tests. There can be Thyroid abnormality, PCOS, Hyperprolactinemia (Increased levels of prolactin hormone). There are many treatment options available for all hormonal imbalances which can be easily corrected by medicines.

3. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) - If a woman has complete stoppage of periods before 40yrs of age, it is called as Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). In this condition periods may become irregular first, with decreased flow, followed by complete stoppage of periods. Urine pregnancy test will be negative and woman may continue to have absent periods for months. She may also notice decrease in breast size, vaginal dryness etc. For confirmation of POI, some blood tests are advised at certain intervals. In case there is no desire of childbearing then the only concern is prevention of osteoporosis and treatment of vaginal dryness and other symptoms etc. Such women are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis (brittle bones) over another 10-15 yrs, so medicines for its prevention are a must. In case woman desires for childbearing then she has an option of IVF with donor eggs.

4. Anorexia Nervosa - This is one of the common causes of missed periods in young girls, who are trying for drastic and excessive weight reduction. They usually opt for avoiding meals for very long period of time and indulge into deliberate vomiting etc to reduce their weight. With popularity and recent fashion of zero figure, this is becoming a major problem among teenagers. Such girls need parents reassurance and support. Sometimes psychological help is also needed.

5. Stress - This is one of common causes of menstrual irregularities and other hormonal abnormalities. Avoidance of smoking, abstaining from alcohol and adequate sleep helps in ensuring better health. Meditation and even a 20 min daily walk helps in relieving stress. Going for minimum one hour social media abstinence also helps in relaxing your mind. Gadget dependence and Social media addiction are becoming major health concerns now a days. With increasing abnormalities in semen parameters, cancer cases etc further studies are needed to prove any association.