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

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

Preggie Baby Boutique Modern Pregnancy and Baby Products

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • 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

  • I’m not that much of a onliine reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your
    site to come back later. Cheers

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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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