WHY DO I HAVE PERIOD SYMPTOMS BUT NO PERIOD?

Whether you’ve been tracking your period for years or are just starting to pay attention to the nuances of your menstrual cycle, one of the biggest clues that your period is headed your way is the slew of period symptoms that can feel like they are taking over your life. Over 90 percent of women say they get some premenstrual symptoms, which can range in intensity from mild to severe and often include headaches, fatigue, cramps, moodiness, insomnia, and tender breasts.

But what happens when your period symptoms flare up, you’ve got your tampons ready to go, and then no period shows up? The reflex reaction for most women is to think that they must be pregnant. Even if you haven’t had sex in weeks, it’s easy to go straight to that thought.

While it can be alarming if you weren’t planning on having a baby, pregnancy is only one of the possible reasons that you could be having period symptoms but no blood. If you are pregnant, implantation occurs at roughly the same time your period would come normally. The symptoms? Almost identical to those you have right before you get your period. It can seem like a cruel joke, but the similarities are just your body’s way of processing fluctuating hormone levels.

But before you run to the store for a box of pregnancy tests, call your mom and your best friend, and figure out how you’re supposed to have a successful career and a baby (it can be done!), explore what else could be happening in your body. There are several reasons that periods go rogue.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, and is a disorder that causes hormonal imbalances. If you have PCOS, your ovaries produce more androgen (called a “male hormone,” even though females produce it too) than normal. Coupled with possible clusters of small, fluid-filled cysts on your ovaries, these high levels of androgens affect the release of eggs during ovulation and can make your period go MIA. If you think you might have PCOS, it’s important to talk to your doctor. While there aren’t any cures, a proper diet and fitness routine can ease some of the symptoms.

Other possible signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Abnormal periods, excessive hair growth, and rapid weight gain.

Anemia

Iron deficiency, or anemia, is common in women of reproductive age. This is often due to not consuming enough iron, heavy periods (ironically, since a side effect of anemia can be no period at all), or an inability to absorb iron properly. If your body doesn’t have enough iron, it can shut down your menstruation process.

Other possible signs of anemia: Fatigue, dizziness, headache, and irritability.

Physical or Psychological Stress

Though some stress can help you challenge yourself, too much can have a negative impact on your health. While we don’t know much about the relationship between stress and periods, we do know the hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland, which controls the thyroid, adrenal glands, and ovaries. All of these factors work together to manage the hormones that affect your menstrual cycle—estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone.

Stress can throw your hormone levels off and, as a result, leave you with period symptoms but no period. If you’re feeling stressed, take some time to learn coping mechanisms, rest, and reset your body and mind.

Other possible signs of stress: Fatigue, change in libido, upset stomach, insomnia.

Nutritional Imbalance

Too much junk food, caffeine, and alcohol can do more than just tempt you to miss your cycling class. It can also wreak havoc on your reproductive system. Experiencing period symptoms but no blood can happen when your hormones become imbalanced. This imbalance can be due to a poor diet, excessive caffeine consumption, or heavy drinking. Gaining weight or losing weight can be attributed to a lack of proper nutrition, which can also affect your menstrual cycle. To make sure you’re getting the nutrition your body needs to function properly, make sure you’re eating plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and whole carbohydrates.

Other possible signs of a nutritional imbalance: Unusual food cravings, constipation, sleepiness, poor concentration.

Rigorous Exercise

Naturally, women carry more fat than men do. While it can seem unfair, this fat is necessary to help regulate your hormones and support your reproductive system. An intense exercise program may throw your hormones off balance and cause you to miss your period. Unless you’re exercising too much and not getting enough nutrition, this is likely just temporary. Once your body adjusts to your new lifestyle, your period should return.

Other possible signs of too much exercise: Irritability, low energy, early onset muscle fatigue.

Birth Control

Whether you’re on the pill, have an IUD, or have chosen another form of birth control, the hormones present are very likely to affect your menstrual cycle—at least temporarily. With all birth control, there is a period of time where your body works to acclimate to the new hormones. This can happen for several months, causing you to miss periods while still having period symptoms. You may also miss your period is if you skip the sugar pill or are on seasonal birth control.

Other possible signs that birth control is causing your missed period: Extended use of birth control, changing contraception, and stopping birth control.

There are many reasons why you could be experiencing cramps, fatigue, cravings, and other period symptoms but no actual period present. Most of these causes are temporary and can be fixed with some simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier, allowing time for your body to adjust to new workout routines and contraception, and easing the stress in your life. It’s important to note that if you have any concerns about your missed period or if you don’t menstruate for a few months in a row, you should always talk to your doctor.

Featured image by Averie Woodard

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60 Comments

    • I just clocked 19 July and I saw my period last May 17 2020, and I haven’t seen it till now and this is the end of July, I’m worried, what is wrong in my system?

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      • I forgot to add, I’m not pregnant at all, and I just clocked 19 July 2020,and I last saw my period May 17 2020, and I’m really worried. What is wrong in my system

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        • Hey Sonia..I have had mine since July and I’m not pregnant I’m 19 too I’m scared asf

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        • Same problem here. I last had my period 20th August 2020 and up till now 23rd October I have still not seen my period though I got symptoms in September and now in October. I know I am not pregnant because I protected myself all the time and I even had a pregnancy text yesterday and it’s negative. I am stressed up asf.

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          • I’m having the same problem I got my period the 25th of September but haven’t seen it for October at all.

      • I’m having the same issue. My period should have came on the 11th of September and it’s October 5th. But I’ve been having really bad pms for 3 weeks. I’m not pregnant because my husband had gotten a vasectomy.

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      • I’ve missed my period for the past two months but am still a virgin and don’t know what’s wrong with me please help me

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    • I’m 56 and still have my period. This month I have cramps,but no bleeding. So annoying!!

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    • My period usually comes around the 20th to 22nd of each mont and it usually ends in 6-8 days. I started doing antidepressants, could that possibly be why I missed my period? I know I’m not pregnant because I’m only 15 and I’ve never had sex, so that isn’t even an option, right? Anyways, what could be causing this? I’m really worried. My period has been regular since it started when I was 12.

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  • I haven’t started my period in my life. I’m 12, and my mom started her period when she was 13, but I’m showing all the symptoms. Cramping, white discharge in my underwear (for about 4 months now, on and off), as well as increased acne on my chin. Am I going to start my period yet? I’ve had a false alarm before.

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    • > hey, i’m 28 years old now. I started my period when i was 13, and i had the symptoms for almost a full year before the actual bleeding happened. It’s normal for your period to be irregular in the beginning. Just keep your supplies with you and you should be fine when it does happen. Hope this helps!

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    • > no biggie,u didnt get mine till I was 16 and even now it’s only come 8-9 x in my life and Im 31 with 2 boys i carried no problems. Font b alarmed

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  • I guess it is a cause and effect… I got stressed, which made me not eat as much,which caused me anemia, and now I’m here with all three.

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  • I got my period when I was 11 and I’m 13 now and it comes every month on the 9th I’ve been having the symptoms ever since the 5th of this month which is when it normally starts happening, then it normally happens over night and in that night I get really emotional, so I knew that it was starting and this has happened like two night after the 9th and my period hasn’t come and I’m still having the symptoms and it’s like a week till the end of this month… help, everything hurts

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  • I am 22 and I haven’t had my period this month but have experience all my signs and I’ve been getting tired and dizzy. I also have swollen breasts and I’ve become white . I took a pregnancy test thinking am pregnant but its negative. What can wrong with me.

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    • You’re most likely anemic. I’m the same way and I really freak out when I don’t get it. But you should be fine >

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    • Same here. I am just 20 years but the funny thing is I keep on having the urge to urinate every 2 minutes. I just urinate and discharge during the day and in the night I am fine. My vagina really feels heavy but then I took a pregnancy test and it’s negative. I really need help to this because the same thing happened to me in june.

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  • I haven’t had a period in three months. Just started experiencing bad cramps but no other pregnancy symptoms. What can be going on?

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  • I just started taking long term antibiotics and I’m getting the symptoms I usually get before my period (tender boobs, pimples ) but my period is delayed . Could it be the antibiotics ?

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    • > Antibiotics can lower the effectiveness of birth control, did you make sure to use added protection while on the antibiotics?

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  • So i was expecting my period pretty, i had all the symptoms i normally have when my period is close. The swollen breast and so on but the symptoms just stopped and i havent had my period yet

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  • hi my name is leviah and i just recently been given iron and the doctors said i have anemia and now that ive been taking the iron i havent got my period my im getting the symtoms but theres no blood of any thing my my body is weird now and im wonder

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  • Hi,

    I was suppose to recieve my period which is irregular at times, but I did not receive it at all in April. It is now May 1st and my nerves are ticking with fear. Fear because I am not ready for children and my partner told me he was sterile.

    I have alot of feelings going on right now and im just not sure which ones are right. Of course, I would love for my period to just be late.. but what if it isnt.

    Signed,

    A worried girl

    Reply
  • I’m super nervous I can’t remember if my period was at the end of March or beginning of April, I have taken a pregnancy test and it came back negative, I’m having a lot of discharge but no period. I’ve been really stressed the past week with thinking I’m pregnant but Idk if that as a whole lot to do with it.

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  • I had a late period last month which late show after 6 days though due to taking strong antibiotics, but it’s late again this month and pregnancy test is negative. I’m really worried because i’m m hoping to get pregnant asap. What’s the cause

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  • So I am supposed to start my period yesterday and I have all the symptoms but nothing. Then this morning and all my symptoms disappeared. My breasts aren’t sore, i’m not nauseous, and I don’t feel the cramping anymore. What does that mean if I still haven’t had a period?? My husband and I have been trying for a baby for a year and nothing. We haven’t been able to go to the doctor to see what is wrong, but I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this before.

    Reply
  • So… this might sound crazy and I know what I did was probably the most dumbest thing… But I had unprotected sex while I was on my period. I let my boyfriend finish inside… I know… the dumbest idea. I took a plan B pill that same day. But now it’s been a month, and I’m late on my period. I think I’m getting period symptoms but I’m not sure if they’re pregnancy symptoms. I honestly cannot be pregnant! I can’t and don’t want to be. Am I stressing out for no reason? Are my hormones just really affected by the pill or could I be pregnant?

    Reply
  • I’ve been on more a for about a year and a half I’ve stopped having “periods” I still get moody and little cramps. But for the last week or so my breast have been super sore. Touch or just normal bounce during walking. I’ve been crampy along with the sore breast but not the same cramps as I usually get. Any ideas?

    Reply
  • I’ve been on more a for about a year and a half I’ve stopped having “periods” I still get moody and little cramps. But for the last week or so my breast have been super sore. Touch or just normal bounce during walking. I’ve been crampy along with the sore breast but not the same cramps as I usually get. Any ideas?

    Reply
  • I have had the symptoms for my period for two years: yellow and white discharge, breast tenderness, pubic and armpit hair. Then for the last week I have had other symptoms: Cramps, Headache, Bloated, Tired. But I still haven’t had my period. This would be my first so it is not “late” when is it going to come. I am very anxious.

    Reply
  • I didnt get my period last month but all the symptoms that shows am in my menstrual period showed up,Sam as this month my period hasn’t come but the symptoms showed up and even feel pain in lower abdomen ,have do pregnancy test several times but it showed negative .please help me find a solution to in so that I can flow

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  • I haven’t see my period for the past four months but am having all the symptom but no period

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  • I having trying to get pregnant for almost a year and my periods are always regular every month but can’t conceive any idea

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  • My period has been like clock work each month. I first got it at 9 1/2 now 40 nearly 41. I last had my period at the beginning of January since then I have only had symptoms but no period and there’s no chance pregnancy. I was recently stressed about my medical issues. A friend says it’s stress but I’ve never had this happen before.

    Reply
  • This information is really great and this made me realize that I often miss periods and my hands and feet get cold at night. I should really check if I have anemia.

    Reply
  • I have been experiencing period symptoms but no blood at all but i have had irregular periods in the past and could it be due to medications like antidepressants which also messes with my nutrition, such as only eating one full meal a day while having intense workouts. And i feel as if i am stressing so much at the thought of being possibly pregnant at such a young age considering I’m only 18 and that might also be a possibility of my delayed blood. can anyone help I need reassurance or something.

    Reply
  • I am about to turn 12 on the seventh of April and I still have not gotten my period my mom and big sis had it when they were 10 and I wonder why I haven’t had mine yet!?

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  • I’m Amiz I having experiencing pains in my abdomen as if I’m about to get my menses, but still is not coming although my menses has delayed for 2day and it hurts

    Reply
  • i am 11 and i am having symptoms of having my period and i just had the worse cramp. my friend has already started and she says that that you get the cramps in your lower stomach around the vaginal area but in the stomach and i keep having symptoms i have had a lot of headaches and tinder breasts please help me because i feel like i am going to explode

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  • by the way, i experience PMS like but after days no period at all. am i really pregnant? or how possible (percentage) i am pregnant or just effect of stopping Birth control

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  • I am seriously confuse right now.
    Am still s virgin. But my period is late. I was careless my boyfriend release on me but there was no penetration. Now I feel all systems of period but it’s not coming coming please help me out. Am not ready to be a mother.

    Reply
  • I am 35, going to be 36 on 28th June and have been feeling the symptoms of menstrual period but I haven’t menstruation at all for like 8 years. But I feel the pain every month especially my breast.
    What’s the problem……..Thanks

    Reply
  • Hey…I have got sm blood during my pee but then I used pad and now my pad is clear. ..simply white…I nvr got a dingle blood on that

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  • It’s stress! If you’re not pregnant and you know that don’t worry! Your period won’t come on the same exact day everytime. I’m 35 and have had one since i was 12. Less stress and you’ll notice it coming more regular! When you start feeling emotional find something to do to take mind off of it!💖

    Reply
  • Sorry if my comment was not needed I’m just wondering if anyone might know when abouts I might start as I have all symptoms of my period.
    There is probably not a know estimate but im just hopefully someone might know.
    As I have symptoms do u think I should start using pads or take some wit me.
    Thank u for your time byeXxx 😊

    Reply
  • I’m 11, and I have had dishcharge for over 6 months. Last night i had a really bad stomach ache and on and off cramping but I didn’t get my period. My sister had got her period when she was 10 and my mom got hers when she was 13. So I have no idea when i’ll get mine.

    Reply
  • I Just clocked 19, and I saw my period last May 17, and I’m not pregnant.. I’m worried now because I haven’t seen my period in June and also July. What is wrong in my system?

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  • I have been having feeling of my period but this is the fourth day and I have not seen anything

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  • Hi period is three days late I have cramps and irritability (as usual!) No new medication or sudden influx of alcohol. Just annoyed it’s late but I feel terrible like when I am on. Please help.

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  • I am 18 and I am on my period but there is very little blood like vaginadischarge,am worried is anything wrong with me??

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  • I’m really need help about my periods,,, i got my periods like in the end of August or at the beginning of September there,, but October I didn’t get them and my breast their like sallow and my vagina is paining but nothing coming out,, what is that..

    Reply
  • I feel the symptoms of period and I can’t get it’s have being six week now

    Reply

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