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Ovulation with No Period – Can You Ovulate Without a Period?

no period no ovulationOvulation and periods go together. In a healthy woman, they go hand-in-hand. However, in some cases, you can still ovulate without having a period. This occurs in women who have irregular periods.

Technically speaking, you can still experience monthly bleeding without ovulating, but this bleeding is a result of an anovulatory cycle (which means you didn’t ovulate that month) and it’s not considered an actual menstrual period.

Confused? Let me explain. To answer this question, you have to understand how ovulation and menstrual periods work together.

Ovulation and a True Period

For the healthy woman who is not using hormonal birth control, she will ovulate on day 14 of her menstrual cycle. (This is assuming that she has the classic 28-day cycle.) During ovulation, her ovaries will release one mature egg, ready for fertilization. After the egg is released, it stays alive for 12 to 24 hours. If it’s not fertilized by a sperm, it will disintegrate and absorbed into the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium).

Immediately afterwards, the corpus luteum (the follicle that the egg burst out of during ovulation) will begin to produce the hormone progesterone, which significantly thickens the uterine lining in order to receive the fertilized egg. The corpus luteum produces progesterone for roughly 14 days after ovulation. If no egg is fertilized, the uterine lining will begin to break down and slough off.

Two weeks after ovulation, the uterine lining will be discharged through the vagina, and it’s known as your menstrual period. This is a true period. The menstrual bleeding that you experience is a combination of cervical mucus, the uterine lining, and varying amounts of blood.

Ovulation with No Period Can Happen

Because your menstrual period is the result of what happens during ovulation, it is not common for you to ovulate without a period. Common situations in which you ovulated without having a period are in the cases of pregnancy and uterine scarring.

When your uterus has been scarred – as a result of a reproductive disease, a C-section, D&C procedure, or another medical procedure – the normal thickening and buildup of the uterine lining (which should happen after ovulation) doesn’t occur. If this is the case, you may ovulate but have no period. (In some cases, you may have a very light period.)

When Do Women Ovulate?

For all women with healthy reproductive systems (who have regular periods), they will ovulate 14 days (2 weeks) before the start of their menstrual period.

So, that’s why women with the average 28-day menstrual cycle, a woman will ovulate on day 14 (two weeks after the first day of her last period). If you have a longer menstrual cycle, for example 35 days between periods, you will ovulate on day 21 of your cycle. (35 minus 14 = 21). And if you have a shorter cycle, for example 21-day menstrual cycles, you will ovulate on day 7 (immediately following your period.)

However, you should keep in mind that there are many factors that can affect the timing of your ovulation – such as stress, illness, certain medications, jetlag, disruption of your regular routines, and other things. Because of these external factors, ovulation doesn’t always occur when it should. It can arrive earlier than expected; or later than normal.

Because the timing of your ovulation can fluctuate, it’s very important that you pay attention to the signs of ovulation – including cervical mucus that is slippery, wet and similar to “egg whites.”

Learn more about the Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation.

Anovulatory Cycle and Estrogen Breakthrough Bleeding

So, we understand that ovulation with no period can occur in certain circumstances, but can a woman have her period without ovulating that month?

The answer is no.

But a woman who does not ovulate can experience monthly bleeding. This bleeding isn’t the result of the normal shedding of the uterine lining (as with the case of a true period), but it’s the result of estrogen breakthrough bleeding.

With estrogen breakthrough bleeding, you have excess estrogen that causes your endometrium (lining of uterus) to thicken over an extended period of time. But because you have an anovulatory cycle (you didn’t ovulate that month), there is no progesterone to offer structural support to the growing endometrium. As a result, the uterine lining will begin to slough off, and you’ll experience vaginal bleeding. Estrogen breakthrough bleeding can occur at irregular intervals.

If you’re not charting your menstrual cycle, you can easily mistake this breakthrough bleeding as a regular period.

Anovulatory cycles typically affect women in the teen years and during perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause). However, it can also affect women occasionally throughout their reproductive years. When you have estrogen breakthrough bleeding, it’s a result of a hormonal imbalance.

You May Also Enjoy Reading:

Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period?
Which Birth Control Method is Right for You?
How to Delay Your Period

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

{ 65 comments… add one }
  • kunda damales May 26, 2016, 3:45 am

    i have been having irregular periods and for the past two months i hvnt rxperience any .i have symptoms of pregnancy but when i checked it was negative.what could be the proble?

  • Juliet Tsaminya May 4, 2016, 4:08 am

    Hi I am 27 years, I have use some birth control pills and for four to five months now my ovulation is not regular. I also feel something moving through my abdomen and stomach, sometimes like it’s breaths or slight shake.
    Please help me Doctor

  • surbhi April 28, 2016, 2:13 am

    my period was come in 25 april 2016 and after 15 days again started my period…i went to my dr she said for u/s.in ultra sound foun a cyst4.4 cm and still i dont have period… can i ovulate and get pregnant..??? how can i get pregnant with this problem

  • Opeyemi March 25, 2016, 4:16 pm

    My wife has missed her period for 2 months now but she ovulate. Pls what can u advice? We av done both urine and blood test but reads negative. Pls come to our aid.

  • Cathy March 8, 2016, 6:50 pm

    I have irregular periods. I was not aware I was pregnant until mid May 2014. I was due in 01 December 2014. When would be the likely time I ovulated?

  • Mia March 8, 2016, 1:15 am

    I have very irregular menstrual cycles always have, and about the beginning of April 2015 I got pregnant even tho I hadn’t had my menstrual cycle for about 6 or 7 months prior . I didn’t actually find out I was pregnant till I was about almost 4 1/2 months because I was so use to not getting my period if it wasn’t for the every day morning sickness I would of never took a test . I had a healthy pregnancy my son is now 14 months and I’m thankful because I didn’t think I was able to get pregnant . What I’m trying to say is to those of you who are experiencing the same things I was don’t give up hope. It seems that the less you try or even think about trying to get pregnant the more chances of it happening are bigger , well at least in my case. Goodluck to you guys

    • June March 16, 2016, 6:06 pm

      This gave me some hope! My husband and I have been trying for A few years now. I was on Bc for A while to help regulate my periods cause I’ve always had irregular periods. July I stopped birth control hoping I would have a chance. That’s been 9 months now! 2 months prior before this say around November my Doctor informed me I have PCOS so she perscribed me medication that should help me get pregnant Metformin witch is also used to treat diabetics. Still No period and still no baby!

  • vivian February 12, 2016, 12:32 am

    I have very irregular periods… I can stay for even a year… My husband and I are deadly in need of a baby. We went for medical check up and said all was fine with me despite small cysts. I was put under hyponnide for a month. No change up to date since neither did I get pregnant nor did I get my periods back. Pls help. As I close kindly Advse if gynoside makes me fertile as it brings back my periods instantly once I take them by for the hyponnide…. No

    • viola February 20, 2016, 8:11 am

      I had my last period august last year but uptill now I have not seen my period again BT as I am talking to you now I am ovulating, will it be possible for me to conceive. thanks

  • M Lazaga January 14, 2016, 8:34 pm

    Hi Iam 15 years old. And I had my firt sex. Jan.10 2015. Iam very conscious about what happened but though the semen comes out near my vagina. But Im still uncomfortable. I just want to clarify and to prove that I will not get pregnant cause it seems difficult.. I think so.. I didnt have my last month mens. And I dont feel something changes as symbolizes that Im on getting pregnant these past 5days.. My menstruation is irregularly sometimes I skip 1 month or 3 months before having a mestruation. Is there a high possibility for me to get pregnant after my first sex?

  • Meher January 14, 2016, 6:48 am

    Hi, Can you please help me in providing some information regarding my case. Im 32 years old and have been married for last 4 years. we start start trying for kids from last 2 years my hubby is at home for one month and back to work for one month. we have gone through all tests which was okay except doctor told me that I have PCOs although my period cycle was normal and all. she started our treatment and mainly providing me Ferti M injections, so I had 18 injections in my period cycle of November (which started on 18th November, 2015) but still cant get pregnant. I started my periods/bleeding on day 22 which was 8th December, 2015(early as normally I have a cycle of 28 to 30 days). Pregnancy tests are negative and I’m still not having my periods on. Im really confuse whats happening as my husband is due to come again. but I dont understand still no periods. Further i just finished my medicition of infections which includes few antibiotic tablets. Can you plz look at my case and let me know the reason and if its safe to be injected this much? thanks and waiting for your reply.

  • Kimberley Lewis December 26, 2015, 12:42 pm

    I hve not been see any period almost 1year now but I went to the doctor sometime and the tell me tht I hve hormone problem I hve 2 hormone male and female. I am 27 years old soon to be 28 nxt month and from I knw my self having sex I hve never hve a come and I want a bby so bad can u help me plsssss

  • DP December 14, 2015, 10:57 am

    Hi..I m planning to get pregnant but my periods are irregular. ..I had my last period on 24th Oct n it stayed only for few hours…after that I never had periods till now. ..so how can I find out when I m ovulating. ?

  • Boitumelo November 14, 2015, 7:56 am

    Can i get pregnant without my period?

    • Shana Shaw January 22, 2016, 11:24 am

      That’s what I wanted to know I am 41 and I don’t have a period at all so can I get pregnant?

    • Mia March 8, 2016, 1:17 am

      Yes! I did

  • Gabby November 12, 2015, 10:15 am

    Hi, I suspect to be pregant (around 11 weeks). Last month I had spotting and no period, this month I skipped my period. Did pregnancy test two days ago, shows negative. Today started ovulation pain. Don’t have any preganancy symptoms. I am 47. Do you suggest I go to a gynae to check this out?

  • T.baby November 4, 2015, 8:29 am

    I’ve try to get pregnat for the past 3years all test said we’re ok, so my doc started me on dexamethasone comply with flagy & proscopan for 3months i’m just in my one month on them he started me on clomid on my 4 to 9 day of my cycle 2 days had gone on my next cycle but there’s no any pregnacy symptoms like i used to when i’m usualy pregnat only cramping in my left leg i don’t understand myself

  • Grace October 21, 2015, 6:20 am

    Throughout diz yr i av seen my period just three times and now 4 ova 2months i av not seen my period bt i was confirmed pregnant through blood pt…

    • sandra lephogole April 14, 2016, 11:11 pm

      am 48 my husband want a baby and i last see my periods 2015 september

  • LaRa October 21, 2015, 12:06 am

    I have always had regular period but suddenly missed it for 2 mos now. I feel pregnant, but hpt says negative, ultrasound says uterus and ovaries are normal/clear. Confused here..any inputs please..?

  • Neethu August 31, 2015, 11:30 am

    Hi, my wife last period was 3 month before, but now she is one month pregnent as per blood test (HCG) & Scanning, pls give your openion regarding this to my mail only.

  • Queen August 6, 2015, 1:29 am

    Hy Me my self and I ,I just stopped 2 see my period on 6june until now so I haven’t go 2 the doc to chuck that I’m pregnant or not so what I need to know is that it is possible 4 a lady to not go to her period for that long and still not be pregnant?

  • Wangeci mwangi July 28, 2015, 10:22 am

    Iam 20yrs old and my periods have not been that normal…i mean i can stay for about 3 months or even more without undergoin menstruation but there is signs…so i want tu know does that have anything to do with hormanal imbalance and is it possible for me to get pregnant please help

  • Wangeci mwangi July 28, 2015, 10:22 am

    Iam 20yrs old and my periods have not been that normal…i mean i can stay for about 3 months or even more without undergoin menstruation but there is signs…so i want tu know doe that have something to do with hormanal imbalance and is it possible for me to get pregnant please help

    • Assata December 30, 2015, 6:38 pm

      Same here and I want to get pregnant

  • Dia July 24, 2015, 6:53 am

    Hi,
    I wonder if anyone can help. I came off the pill in February and had my first periods in March, since then I have not had any period, but have ovulated three times ( one each month) but a bit inconsistent. I have got my hormones checked and all seems to be ok. Doc says there is probably one hormone that is blocking probably the periods related to the brain. I have always had my periods before taking the pill. Doc says its wierd to ovulate and have no periods. After reading this forum I am confused and really stressed. I am now taking progestoren vaginal pills to provoke the periods. Is having periods really necessary to show that we are ovulating properly. Doc says that I may be doing fake ovulations in my body which dont result to periods.

  • tryinghOping June 15, 2015, 1:23 pm

    I am 27 married and have been trying to fall pregnant for the past 5 years.. I skip periods for 5 months or even more at a time I’ve been to specialist and they found my eggs being smaller than the average female size which is 8mm… Please help what do I do????

  • Chidinma May 24, 2015, 7:30 pm

    She missed her period for 2moths and the doctor said she is not pregnant what might b d cause.

  • Ijea May 8, 2015, 1:47 am

    Thank u alot 4d help u render….In my own case,i’ve never mis my period but since four mnths now i’ve not seen my ovulation,please what do i do,pls?

  • Cemens April 20, 2015, 3:29 am

    Yea its true you can ovulate without normal periods

  • Ana April 10, 2015, 3:47 am

    I stopped ovulating 3 days ago, my period isn’t due for another 2 weeks, I’ve been nauseous for 3 days and I threw up for about 2 days. I had sex 3 times while ovulating right before these signs started. I don’t want to go get a home pregnancy test yet, I just want to know if this is normal.

  • ritika April 9, 2015, 1:00 pm

    I have pcos n irregular cycles presently on metformin but missed periods for 2 months was not sexually active in dese days so can’t be pregnancy..how do I know that if I’m ovulating or not plz help

  • tryinghoping January 15, 2015, 8:17 pm

    I actually have a question I have an irregular period, I am trying to get pregnant. I had a period twice in one month. Then missed my period for 6weeks, three neg hpt, so I continued to check my ovulation date, I had intercourse at this time, then started my period six days after ovulating. Can I still be pregnant? Because, most people say you start your period 14-16 days after ovulation, but my period is irregular , im just going to go through another month of false hope

  • TORIA December 13, 2014, 10:24 am

    Most of u agree wit her whereas u fil u disagree. wat she meant is.. u can raise a building with out roofing(can ovulate witout period)… but u cant roof without raising a buildin(cant have a real period wit out ovulating)

  • Elizabeth November 30, 2014, 11:19 am

    You ladies who are saying this article is false, not accurate, or a lie need to reread this. The author clearly stated you CAN ovulate WITHOUT having a period, but you CANNOT have a period without ovulating. You are stating the author is wrong, but your comments are agreeing with what the article said.

  • prao November 19, 2014, 11:57 am

    i am 20yrs old… i didn’t have my periods since last 8 months…i have pcos.. and i am already on medication…my ovaries seem to have enlarged (when compared to my past scans) my endometrial layers are forming… but still i don’t bleed monthly…. i have albuminous secretions every now and then…. and am worried whats happening with in my body…

  • neisha September 30, 2014, 10:58 pm

    I haven’t see my period for 2 months now and am not pregnant ,but I when to doctor before and he said I have hormone problem , in April i remove a polyps and open my fallopian tube one was block .may ,June and July I have a period but for august and September I didn’t see my period am worried would like to get a response please

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  • Jessi April 27, 2014, 11:34 am

    I agree that you can ovulate without a period as it’s happened to myself and many people here. However, I think some of you should re-read the article. It says “…ovulation with no period can occur.” But that a period without ovulation can not occur, however break thru bleeding due to estrogen is possible. I think maybe the author could explain that a little more clearly because the way she puts it is confusing. She did not say that you can’t ovulate without a period, just the opposite.

    • Amber February 28, 2015, 12:51 am

      I completely agree. I have PCOS and have had 10 “periods” in 11 years. I have 3 children and have had two miscarriages in a total of 15 years. I have achieved 2 pregnancies without a period. 1 resulted in birth and the other a miscarriage in January this year at 9 weeks.

  • Susan February 9, 2014, 6:50 am

    Hi .
    I had bin tryin 2get pregnant 4d past 8yrs now.I’ve not seen my menstrual period 4d past 7 months.And,had bin experiencing dis pain & mucus like ovulation every month.
    So,do u think I cud get pregnant? Pls, help!

    • Chioma May 17, 2015, 9:47 am

      what can a woman wishing ro get pregnant not to see her period for over 7months

    • jun July 13, 2015, 3:21 pm

      I can only imagine what you are like in real life. Are you kidding me….4d. What the hell is wrong with you

  • Alicia October 15, 2013, 12:43 pm

    I havent had a perios since I was 17 and I am 25 and have a healthy 6yr and 2y old. So I would have to disagree with you.

  • Erin September 17, 2013, 3:55 pm

    This article is FALSE information. I have not had a period for over a year, due to breasfeeding and a low weight. I AM ovulating. All of my hormone levels confirm this, and my physician agrees. She actually advices me to go on birth control so I do not become pregnant again.

    • Julie Paz October 3, 2013, 9:24 pm

      I agree with you 10000%…
      By the way my sister didnt get her menstrual cycles for 6 months and dhe got pregnant my nephew is now 2yrs old.

      Julie

    • Des June 3, 2014, 6:01 am

      This article doesn’t support the idea that “you can not ovulate without a period.” It’s saying, “you can not have a period if you DO NOT OVULATE.” With that said, you can most certainly ovulate and have no menstraul period. It’s not a false article, you’re just not understanding the concept of the information provided that’s all.

      • Betty September 11, 2014, 11:40 pm

        Thanks alot this article helped cos now i understand perfectly well why i have not been seeing my period although i ovulate every month.its because i had D&C 3 tiimes this year…but what drug can be recommended for scarred uterine?

  • favi villa August 5, 2013, 11:35 pm

    I want to say thank you to you ladies that say you can ovulate with no cycle. My sister and I happen to be hanging out and I happen to start having extremely bad cramps. I’m currently on the pill because I gave up hope with my ex fertility doc he said since I couldn’t conceive with the third try he stop his service. I’m on the pill since I haven’t had a cycle for over roughly 3 months. I’m hoping that the pill is helping me with a regular cycle and maybe later ovulate. As I said my sister shocked me when she informed me I can ovulate without a cycle. Its amazing how much nurses and doctors think they know it all. Again thank you all!

  • Chloe June 3, 2013, 4:52 pm

    This page is bullsh*t! My periods stopped completely when I started the pill, even when I went off the pill, and started on a contraceptive needle, I still haven’t had a period for over 2 years. I asked my doctor when I was trying for our baby and she said Ill still ovulate without my period. I defiantly ovulated because I have a baby now…

  • samantha May 22, 2013, 10:27 pm

    where it says you cant ovulate without a period, lie. it’s extremely rare but I conceived without any periods and no ovulation, but apparently I popped out an egg.

    • Yo June 18, 2015, 9:21 pm

      You have no period and still conceived?? How long had you tried and how long have you not had a period. Sorry to be nosey, I’m just hoping you can tell me something good for my situation lol

  • Denise May 10, 2013, 9:14 pm

    I think saying something is impossible is incorrect unless you’ve experienced it! I got pregnant in December 2011. I had gotten off Depo in June and my period had not returned at all! not even light bleeding…so when I was told I was pregnant, I was a bit surprised! I even asked the doctor how did I ovulate without a period for the past year?? She told me it happens. But I had an ectopic pregnancy :-( probably because of the thick lining of my uterus from not having periods (from being on depo for 3 years).

  • Breane May 9, 2013, 2:47 am

    Please be advised that sometimes nurse practitioners can also give you d wrong info to a degree to cause disapointments. For instance, they told my friend that she doesnt ovulate since she had irregular periods,therefore she ‘ll have a hard time getting pregnant In future. She got pregnant even though she had missed her period for a month.According to the doctor she shouldnt have been pregnant since she didnt ovulate. Always research your answers with a help of a professional, but Trust your body as well. No one knows your body better than you.

  • Breane May 9, 2013, 2:38 am

    I totally agree. This information is totally wrong since a woman can ovulate without having a period in some cases like pcos where d egg doesnt pass through d tube and becomes a small cyst on d overies.

  • Mmomma April 11, 2013, 12:18 pm

    The information given is definitely NOT true- I’m breastfeeding and never got my period almost 5 months. Yesterday, I was having really bad pelvic pain on my right side- I thought I couldn’t ovulate since I never got my period but I tested last night and the ovulation test was positive instantly and that explain the pain, I have always had painful ovulation.
    After reading so much mixed info online, just wanted to write this so people know it actually happens.

    • haley August 3, 2013, 1:05 am

      Me

      • haley August 3, 2013, 1:10 am

        Ok Me and my husband is wanting to have a baby but I’ve never had a pierod ever but id when im ovulating so can you give me advice? Thanks

  • Nina Parr December 28, 2012, 11:03 am

    This is actually NOT true. My sister and I both ovulate but don’t have periods. We haven’t been thoroughly tested but the theory is that we just don’t go through the shedding of the lining. My sister has conceived twice with absolutely no problem.

  • L.Winlock January 23, 2012, 6:59 am

    Hi I am a 23 year old,I have had a problem with missing my period for years at end no
    I had it last,last year august 2011
    Currently I am experiencing the worst breast pains ever
    I stuggle to sleep at night,I suffer with yeast infection.I’m not even sexualy active right now as I am single born again lady
    Headaches trouble me all the time!I don’t know what to do anymore,I am so scared of what this might mean or end up at
    Please help Doctor

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