Why do I Have Period Symptoms but no Period?
woman period symptoms but no period

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. These premenstrual symptoms 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 sans 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)

As many as 5 million women in the United States are diagnosed with PCOS, 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 cycle—estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone.

Stress can throw your hormone levels off and, as a result, disrupt your menstrual cycle. 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 without actually having a period 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 the symptoms that typically come before. 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 signs with 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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23 Responses to “WHY DO I HAVE PERIOD SYMPTOMS BUT NO PERIOD?”

Faseelah Adeowo

October 29, 2018 9:03 am

Pls get me added

Reply

Hello There

November 04, 2018 1:52 am

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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Jen

November 09, 2018 9:41 am

> 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!

Reply

Kristan

December 14, 2018 3:22 pm

> 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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Stellar

December 11, 2018 6:33 am

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.

Reply

Bianca

December 18, 2018 10:09 pm

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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Christine

March 23, 2019 2:22 am

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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Talia

April 01, 2019 2:25 pm

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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Mari

March 25, 2019 4:17 pm

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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Isabella

March 27, 2019 8:36 am

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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Liz

April 03, 2019 7:27 am

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

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Taylor

April 19, 2019 4:33 am

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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leviah

April 28, 2019 11:07 am

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

Reply

Worried

May 01, 2019 9:45 am

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

Mackenzie

May 01, 2019 8:08 pm

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.

Reply

Sad

May 23, 2019 6:44 am

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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Tristin

May 24, 2019 10:34 am

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

Ana

May 30, 2019 4:40 pm

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?

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Kelly Bean

June 02, 2019 7:39 pm

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?

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Auntiebug

June 02, 2019 7:40 pm

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

Morgan Krause

June 03, 2019 3:07 pm

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.

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Ruth

June 18, 2019 4:03 am

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

Reply

Nancy Westberg

August 20, 2019 2:01 am

Thanks for the detailed information shared. really a great post.

Reply

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