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.
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I had the Mirena IUD for 7yrs (yes I know it’s only for 5) and was taken out 2 weeks ago. I had no periods while using it. We are trying to conceive and my question is how can I tell when I am ovulating without having my cycle to track it? Do women take a long time to conceive after removal or does it typically happen soon? And, when could I expect to start having my cycle again? I would normally start at the end of the month but nothing has happened
Hi, my frnd is married for 8 years and has no child. She has a problem of hormonal imbalance. She is taking medicines for that. She had her last periods on dec 30th 2017 and didn’t get periods after that. And she is not even pregnant. What should she do to get pregnant..? And how can she track her ovulation days..??
DP Nguyen says
She should start tracking her basal body temperature every day, so she can see when her temperature spikes (on day 14, when she ovulates). There are also period apps with thermometers that will help you figure out when you are ovulating. I think that would be the best way in her situation!
Its been 9years without my periods im 44 years,now I want to have a child,what must i do or what must i take to bring back my periods
Divya Rajesh says
Hi… I m planning for pregnancy I have pcod and under treatment this is my third follicular study and I ovulated on day 13 and doctor prescribed with susten 300 for 15 days …. And now its 43 days I haven’t get my period… I don’t want to make any pregnancy test as I didn’t feel any symptoms lik nausea and all just slight glittiness and lower back ache and much of white discharge daily… How long susten makes periods any idea of my pregnancy… Please help me out…
Hi Doc,I’m 20years old and I haven’t seen my period for the past 3 months,i was recently diagnosed with PCOS and was prescribed m2tone to be taken for 2 months, I sometimes have this white discharge but I havent seen any improvement with my menses..Do i have to change my diet or what foods to be precise? I’ll be glad if you could be of help to normalize my flow,waiting for your response thanks.
I have question
Today I started my period….but I just had my last period oct 6 2017…..I do get backache and cramps for couple days and my period will last no more than 6 days. I stop using birth control pills a month go…I know is not normal to have ur period twice in the months…what is wrong to stop my birth control pills and that reason my periods are coming twice a month?
Julia Morales says
Hi DP Nguyen,
Thanks for sharing this. As noted above, there are many reasons why you might have missed a period and there are extensive tests that a doctor can do to find out what those reasons are. Additionally, anovulation can be brought about by various factors that include but are not limited to stress and anxiety, extreme, extreme exercise and weight loss, drugs and medications, such as steroidal oral contraceptives, can also negatively influence ovulation and lastly hormonal balances such as estrogen and progesterone imbalances. Ultimately, I think if one is trying to fall pregnant then it is advised that you consult with your doctor to receive proper treatment and care.
jenny yang says
Hello I need help I am currently 8 months postpartum and have not had my period yet and I also do not breastfeed. I did breastfeed for 3 to 4 weeks including formula feed and stopped breastfeeding due to my lack of milk. I am a big girl too so i’m wondering if it is normal for me to not have my period yet?
For past two months I have not been seeing my period so I don’t know if i ovulat or not .Am I okay?
karen clark says
hi if you don’t have a period how can you tell if you are ovulating??? I’m 30 next month and I’m really wanting to start having kids…..some how…aka find a donor….. I saw my mom bring 5 kids up on her own cuz our dad was always at work “20 days in, 7-10 days out” but I haven’t had my period for 3-5 yrs except for the few times I was on the pill to help. so is there anyway except buying an ovulation test at the store??? TIA
D last time I saw my period was 4 months ago, I did home prey text sevrally shows negative. Whots d cause pls
I couldn’t get past the highly insulting and presumptive part of this article where the author kept referring to the cycles of a ‘healthy woman’. I do not have regular menstrual cycles because I have PCOS like so many other women in this world, but I don’t consider myself ‘unhealthy’ because of that. I am in perfect health and have had no other health issues or medical procedures in my life, thankfully.
I would recommend that the author makes a change to her verbiage and her idea of a ‘healthy woman’. Looks like there are also many other issues with accuracy in this article, so I would also suggest leaving the medial advice or opinions to medical professionals. False information online can be harmful and misleading, even if you have good intentions.
I quit reading after the insistence that *every* woman has a 14 day luteal phase.
Candy may says
Hi I’m candy I had a DNC done on me a little over 2 year and I had a small period for 8 day I was in jail well after that I had never had bleed again it’s been over 2 in a half year closes to 3 years I am wondering I do belive I still ovulate its kind like egg eights I do this almost every day through the month I want to try and conceive again so I am thinking about buying hotmail test and ovulating test along with test to see if the sperm my husband throughs are good if any one can pleases help i was 19 when this happened I never had a realugar pd I always bleed more or less I have alot of health problams but no I’m 23 going on 24 and still don’t have a pd and have had one in over 3 years I have a lot of surgery of DNC at least 27 of them since I was 15 years old when I first started my pd and had got pregnant then lost ever one since then I had 6 misscargey
OK guys I havent had a period since November of 2015 and now it’s 2017 I stopped taking birth control because it was making me sick every day and come to find out in every birth control has some kind of medicine I’m highly allergic to, but anyways I have not had a period in almost 2 years and it’s worrying me but I have gooey clear discharge and my Dr said it’s ovulation but can anyone else explain why this is? I’m 16 going to be 17 this year and still don’t have a “Period” I don’t know what going on and I’m afraid it’s going to harm me and I won’t be able to have children in the future please help me
Hi. This might be an odd one out here but here goes anyways. I’m 26 (27 years next month) and i was pregnant back in february 2016. I terminated because of my health at the time and the lack of being able to support a child comin into the world at that time. Since then I have not had any periods or vaginal bleeding of any sort… now as of October 2016 6 months after and still without any periods at all i am again pregnant (4months as of today) how did this happen if I was not ovulating? Im really trying to figure this out as i live with medical professionals who they are just as stumped. If you have any scientificly proven info that could help us better understand how a woman not ovulating for 6 months can get prego it would be awesome. Im posting more so out of curiosity than looking for help in the matter. Its just odd. Everything i know about pregnancy is that you must be ovulating to get pregnant which i was not for 6 months and all of a sudden during that time of no ovulation i somehow managed to get pregnant. Any takers?
You probably got pregnant the first time you ovulated then.
Hi I haven’t seen my period since on the 7th of Oct 2016 which I had my D&C.been going for scan and all they will see is PID.ban teating that also.but 3days ago I went back for scan and the same PID is still showing plus growth around my womb.pls what should I do cuz been have severe pains around my abdomen.
Hi all, please I haven’t missed my period or ovulation since I started seeing it at age 15, am 27 now and trying to get a baby…but after seeing my November period, I took some herbal medicines intended to cure normal infections but since then I have had 2 normal periods and no ovulation (28 days cycle and nothing has changed about d number of days, colour or anything except for d missed ovulation).. what could be d cause? help friends
Hi I have a question ?
I haven’t had my period since July 16 it is now January 17 me and my fiance have been trying to have a baby but no luck so for the past two months I’ve been taking ovulating tests hoping that would help with getting pregnant.they come out positive every week and pregnancy test negative.please help thank you
Hi, I usually have regular periods with 32 cycle. i’m now 17 days late and did a home pregnancy test at 13 days late but it turnout negative. I’m still waiting for my period and no symptom that it will come soon. I also don’t have any pregnancy symptom. I’m confuse what actually happening since I never missed my period. Could I be pregnant? Me and my partner are trying to have a baby though, and it’s stressful to be missing period but not pregnant! Your advice and opinion is much appreciated. Thanks!
Mina replying to Saira says
Hi Saira, i suggest having a pregnancy test through blood done. When i had my first child (he is now going to be 11 in November) i had the exact same happen to me. No period for weeks and each test i took came back negative for pregnancy hormones so for 6-7 months as i had no signs of being pregnant went on with my life. I began to show quite rapidly by the last 3 months and had a blood test done that showed i was in fact pregnant the whole time…. sometimes you can have pregnancies with no soreness fatigue and morning sickness. It happens. So get blood work done if you want a 100% accurate test if you still believe you may be pregnant. Currently i am 4 months prego now and not sure how as i have had no ovulation for 6 months before my suspected conception date so im currently trying to figure out what happened on that. Good luck. Get blood tested for pregnancy. There are more than just hormone markers that can tell you if you are actually pregnant.
my friend who hasn’t ever had a period can she get pregnant or suggest what she can do
Jayce Shoemaker says
Hello so i had a baby almost 8 months ago and have been exclusivly breastfeeding and was on the mini pill. My pills ran out and we resorted to condom use. I have not had a period senice before my daughter was born. I just took pregnancy test and it says positive, so i have no idea how far along i am. Help!?
Hi, I haven’t seen my period for two months(November and december)and January 1st I’m ovulating, is this normal?
Hi, I am 23, I have pcod, I took femilon for two months and I stopped last month.. my last period was on 19th November.. and on December 2 I have spottings for two days.. I still don’t get my periods.. and I checked I m not pregnant what can I do for that?? Pls reply me
Hilda Ramirez says
Hello I had my period since the being of this year till Aug. 27 and then it stop I haven’t had one since I also wasn’t having sex since july 15. 2015 . I recently start having sex on Dec 11 unprotected but he pulls out I wanna know is there anyway I can get pregnant
Absolutly, when not using ptrotection there is always chance.
I would like to know if your ovaries shut down what do that mean and will they come back
My last period was September 8th,2016…. I had started the 3rd of September…. It was extremely heavy and cloggy…. Since then I have not had a period…. Today is November 29th….. I have been having unprotected sex because me and my husband have been trying for almost 2 years to have a baby…. Please help
Rachel Berndt says
Did you have any symptoms that you are pregnant besides missing your period twice in a row?
Elisa B says
Pls doc I have a present problem I ovulated last month 17days after the first day of my previous period n had sex after my ovulation days but I’m worried cos my ovulation came again, a day after having sex, that is: I had sex on 16th and expected my period on the 17th of November, 2016 but i rather ovulated again making it two ovulations before my period which i dont know wen its coming again since its complicated. I’m worried that even my ovulation is now very painful n makes me very wet. Could I be pregnant? Or could it be ectoptic preg cos of pains on my left ovary/fallopian tube im worried if I’m ovulating twice before a menstral period pls help. Thanks
Rachel Berndt says
When you had sex the day before you expected your period to come, did you have sex prior to that day, but not as far back as before the start of the “previous period” that you mention? Because the second ovulation may be white vaginal discharge, a sign of pregnancy because the body is using the hormones to generate help for the lining of the uterus and white vaginal discharge is a sign of the hormones at work in a healthy manner. The basic consensus here? Chart your period from now on, which would include a handwritten analysis of when you 1.first bleed at the day #1 , 2. when you stop bleeding entirely, #3. when you experience blood ovulation (tiny bit of blood with stuff that happens naturally)–people call it spotting, but because spotting is an ambiguous term, I would avoid that term because it could mean several things. #4. When you ovulate, even if you are guessing when you are ovulating. Put a big star next to your best guest at your most vivid ovulation #5. AND CHART EVERY TIME YOU HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX, NO MATTER WHEN IT IS.
Elisa B says
Pls doc I have a present problem I ovulated last month 17days after my previous period n had sex after my ovulation days but I’m worried cos my ovulation came again a day after having sex on the first day my period would have started which was on the 17 of this month. I’m worried that even my ovulation is now very painful n makes me very wet. Could I be pregnant? Or could it be ectoptic preg cos of pains on my left ovary/fallopian tube im worried if I’m ovulating twice before a menstral period pls help. Thanks
That’s a crrkaecjack answer to an interesting question
Mr.Sailer, your borderline anti-Semitic innuendo may lead me to soon flip my Rolodex.What's next? Will you blame my holy coreligionists in in the of or for merely showing of children?
beste zinsen für kredit says
I can’t believe the crazy stuff that happens to you! Are you just a freak magnet or am I just not paying attention? Anyhow I love the way you relate your stories. Thank you so much for blogging!!
You cant breed if you cant bleed
Stop Spouting out complete utter Bull$hit Neesha!!!
Hi…my periods are typically regular however occasionally(once every 4-6 months) my period may not come….I’m not on any birth control …..I have had a c-section and was once told my uterus is turned backward….is it possible that I am still ovulating and get pregnant?
I have not seen my menses since eight months after giving birth to my baby, but had light spotting last two weeks which lasted for just two days with cramps. Right now I feel like am ovulating which my husband noticed as we had sex yes night. Pls what’s happening to me. This is my third child.
Can a lady who hasn’t ever had a period nor ovulation nor menstruation get pregnant
Hi no its not possible to get pregnant if you don’t ovulate when you ovulate your ovaries release an egg if you never ovulate there is no egg and without the egg pregnancy can not happen.
I’m 46 last see my periods Jan. 2015 can i get pregnant
I’m 46 last see my periods Jan. 2015 can i get pregnent
Hi I’m Renee I got my period when I was 13 had it toll about 15 1/2 then I had a bad one I bleed so much after that I haven’t had one sens I’m now 21 it’s been 6 years the doc told me that it’s bc my weight would go up and down it can mess with it well my weight has been the same no change. They can’t give me any answers. Wish I knew what was happening they told me everything loloks fine there’s nothing wrong that I’m a late bloomer. This is all I think about my soon to be husband are trying to have a baby soon and idk if I can have children I took a ovulating test the results came out unclear or just real faint I’ve taken one every week for 3 months and it dose all the same unclear or faint like someone help me please
Judy Hamilton says
Hi Renee my periods were roughly every 3 weeks I started age (14 1/2). After a few traumatic experiences my periods stopped for 7 years. I got tested and the Dr said there was nothing physically wrong with me – I had phsycologically turned them off. I was given chlomid tablets to bring them back so I could get pregnant and I fell within 2 months. I breast fed for 14 months but then my periods still didn’t come back. I wanted a second child so I was again given chlomid and again I fell pregnant I had my second child breastfed til 15 months but I moved away from the area while the baby was 8mths old. My periods came bak with a vengeance after finishing breastfeeding I have now had my periods every 2-3 weeks for 14 years! Ask the Dr for chlomid tablets they are free of charge and should bring back your periods. Good luck Renee!