Ever had a month where all the signs and symptoms of PMS are there but there’s no bleeding? If so, you’re not alone. This is fairly common and can causes can range from pregnancy to hormonal birth control to stress. Keep reading to learn about a few different situations where you might experience period symptoms even without your monthly flow.
You could be pregnant.
In some cases, your period symptoms may not be period symptoms at all. You might actually be pregnant. A lot of the early symptoms of pregnancy are similar to those you experience when you have your period. For example, breast tenderness, cramping, fatigue, headaches, and fluctuating mood. You may want to take a birth control test, especially if you’ve had unprotected sex within the last month. But don’t panic, there are also many other reasons why you may not be experiencing your monthly flow.
You’re experiencing something common called anovulation.
The term anovulation isn’t very well known considering how common the condition is. Women typically ovulate each month, but when anovulation occurs, the ovaries do not release an egg. Meaning, you’ll still feel like you have your period, but you won’t actually be ovulating or experience bleeding. However, in some cases, women may still bleed during anovulation.
Your birth control method may be interfering.
If you have an IUD or take birth control pills, these can interfere with your monthly period in a way that makes your period disappear despite other symptoms sticking around. For women taking hormonal birth control, a month or two of missed periods typically isn’t a cause for concern—often the missed period can be attributed to the hormones in the pill. And sometimes the period is still there, it’s just so light you don’t really notice it.
Likewise, IUDs can also contribute to missed periods. Your experience will depend on exactly which type of IUD you have, but hormonal IUDs often contribute to skipped or missed periods.
Your stress levels have been through the roof.
If you’ve been experiencing high levels of stress lately, this could be the reason behind your missed period. When you’re stressed, your body often releases cortisol, which can subsequently affect your menstrual cycle. Stress can cause all sorts of changes, from a longer or shorter period than usual to no period at all.
You’ve recently changed your diet.
Changes in diet can play a big role in affecting your menstrual cycle. All sorts of dietary changes can contribute to a missed period, from a recent shift toward consuming less calories to changes in the type of food you eat. Nutrition has a big impact on hormone levels in the body, so to experience changes to ones period after a dietary shift isn’t unordinary.
You’re approaching menopause.
As you move closer to menopause, your period becomes more irregular and may even be skipped. At the same time, hormone imbalances are common and can contribute to cramping and other symptoms that feel similar to those you experience when you have your period.