Can You Ovulate Without Having a Period?
Are you wondering whether you can ovulate without having a period in months? Do you know the underlying cause? And is it possible that you can get pregnant although you do not have your monthly bleeds?
Yes, it is possible to get pregnant if you’ve lost your period. However, this is unlikely.
If you’re not getting your period and would like to have a baby in the near future, you should talk to a primary care doctor, ob-gyn, or reproductive endocrinologist.
If you’re not trying for a baby, you should still see a doctor to figure out what may be causing this. In most cases, when the cause is identified and the underlying problem treated, you’ll get your period back.
What Could Cause You to Lose Your Periods?
There are several reasons why you may not get your period. The reproductive system is sensitive and reacts to changes in your body. Below are some conditions that could cause you to not get your periods.
If you’ve had regular cycles, and then you suddenly missed a period, there’s a high probability that you’re pregnant. You should consider taking a pregnancy test.
But if you get a negative test, you should repeat the test one week after your missed period to avoid getting a false negative test result.
If you’re under high levels of stress, this can negatively impact your fertility. Stress can cause you have one or two missed periods, but it is rare for stress alone to cause you to miss your periods for several months.
Regular exercise has been associated with many health benefits; however, intense exercise has been reported to cause menstrual disorders and other menstrual dysfunctions
Also, if you’re an athlete with a normal body mass index, your body fat percentage may be low. This can cause your cycles to become irregular or stop altogether.
If you train less intensely, you may be able to get your period back and get pregnant.
Underweight or Overweight
If you’re underweight (calculate your body mass index here), you have a low percentage of body fat and this can cause you to lose your periods. You can get your cycles back if you gain weight.
Having too much fat can also cause you to lose your period. In fact, obesity is one of the most common causes of fertility disorders.
If your weight is on the high end, you may have irregular periods. Some obese women may completely stop having their periods. It may help to lose weight to help regulate your menstrual cycles.
If you’re feeding your baby only breast milk (directly from your breasts or expressed), you may not get your periods for several months.
It may be difficult to determine how long you won’t get your periods while breastfeeding exclusively because it depends on other factors such as the frequency of breastfeeding.
Some medical conditions can affect your reproductive system and cause you to have irregular periods.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of infertility, which can also be a symptom of the condition. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or irregular periods. If you have PCOS, you’ll need to see a doctor to help you manage the condition.
Some women with primary ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure may have irregular or no periods. In these women, the ovaries stop working normally before he age of 40.
If you have premature ovarian failure, you doctor will prescribe medication to help you manage your symptoms. You may also need to see a reproductive endocrinologist and a fertility specialist if you wish to get pregnant.
Hormonal Birth Control
Some hormonal contraceptives can reduce menstrual bleeding and cause your periods to stop completely.
It may take a while for your periods to come back after stopping birth control. However, this depends on the type of contraceptive that you were using and biological factors.
Some women will start ovulating within two to three months or less after stopping birth control pills. With Depo-Provera, it may take seven to nine months for the drug to be cleared from your system. It can take slightly longer for you to start ovulating again.
Women who use an intrauterine device might ovulate a few weeks to months after the device is removed.
Like hormonal birth control, some drugs can leave you without a period. These include chemotherapy and antipsychotic drugs.
A woman’s fertility decreases when she’s about 40 years old. She may start getting irregular periods as they approach menopause.
If you’re in your 40s, it’s normal that your period becomes irregular; however, if you’re younger, this should not be your first concern.
What’s the Link Between Ovulation, Pregnancy, and Periods?
In a normal cycle, an egg starts growing in a follicle at the beginning of the cycle. As the egg grows, estrogen is released from the follicle. Estrogen causes the uterine lining to become thicker.
When the follicle is mature, luteinizing hormone (LH) is produced. When the LH surges, it causes the release of the mature egg from the follicle in a process known as ovulation.
If the egg is not fertilized, it disintegrates, and the uterine lining is shed as menstrual flow. If fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg moves to the uterus, where the uterine lining has grown thicker in response to the hormones of the reproductive cycle. In the uterus, the fertilized egg implants into the thickened uterine lining and continues to develop.
So, How Can You Become Pregnant Without Having a Period?
A woman ovulates about 12 to 16 days before her expected period. If she has intercourse during her fertile window, she may become pregnant.
Note that because sperm can survive in the woman’s body for three to five days, she may become pregnant even if she has intercourse three or four days before ovulation.
If you just had a baby and had your first period came a few weeks to months later, you would have ovulated before having your period. Thus, you can get pregnant if you had intercourse after this first ovulation, although you have not yet had a period.