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Can you have period symptoms but no period?

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

If you have ovulated, and the ovulation has resulted in a fertilized egg and pregnancy, you not only get a late period or missed period but you can get PMS symptoms just as if you weren’t pregnant. The last two weeks of a menstrual cycle is one in which the progesterone and estrogen levels are high, resulting in premenstrual symptoms of bloating, breast tenderness, cramping and sometimes irritability and emotional symptoms typical of menstrual symptoms. The only difference is that you get these symptoms, but no blood comes out heralding the next cycle.

For women who get no period symptoms before a regular period, you may not have any sign at all that you are pregnant until you miss your period and begin to wonder what has happened. After a couple of more weeks of cramping but no bleeding, you may start to get pregnancy symptoms of nausea and vomiting, which should lead you to get a pregnancy test to find out if you are pregnant.


Period like Symptoms but no Period

It is very difficult to tell if the period like symptoms you are having after ovulation represents a pregnancy or if you will get your period. This is because there are very little differences in premenstrual hormones and early pregnancy hormones. The main difference is the HCG level, which begins to rise upon implantation of the embryo and begins to show up on a urine pregnancy test about 5-6 days before a missed period. Eventually, the HCG levels rise high enough to cause nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, but this doesn’t happen until about 6 weeks gestation.

If you are trying to get pregnant, you need to take care of yourself throughout the entire cycle, from the time of the period, through ovulation and up until the missed period, if you have one. If you don’t get pregnant during the cycle, you will get a period, and you can try again on the next cycle. It pays to take folic acid and to stop drinking and smoking while you are trying to get pregnant, so you don’t have to scramble to do these things once you get a positive pregnancy test. There is evidence to suggest that your chances of becoming pregnant are higher if you don’t smoke and if you take a lot of folic acid before getting pregnant.

Can you be pregnant with no symptoms except a missed period?

You can be pregnant with no other symptoms other than a missed period. For those women who have irregular cycles or who weren’t trying to get pregnant, a missed period might be the only thing you have to know that you are pregnant. There will be elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone in the last days of the cycle and, if you are pregnant, these hormone levels will stay up so that you miss the period and instead are growing an embryo inside the uterus.

Some women have a lot of symptoms of pregnancy shortly after missing their period while others have no symptoms at all. Every pregnancy is different, so you may or may not know you are pregnant until you are sure you have had a missed period. It is only then that many women go out and get a pregnancy test that shows they are pregnant through measuring the HCG levels in the urine. A doctor can confirm the pregnancy with an ultrasound or with a Doppler device that can pick up the heartbeat at about 8-12 weeks gestation.


Early Symptoms of Pregnancy besides a Missed Period

Some early symptoms of pregnancy besides a missed period include ongoing breast tenderness that can be very noticeable. You may have days of cramping unassociated with any withdrawal bleeding. This cramping is due to stretching of the uterus from the growing embryo. You may feel queasy around certain foods, and you may develop nausea and vomiting because of the hormones of pregnancy acting on the gut and your olfactory system. Foods you once liked may suddenly be repulsive to you and there may be foods you just can’t cook or be around during this phase of pregnancy. Sometimes this food revulsion lasts throughout the pregnancy only to be replaced by cravings for foods you didn’t like before you got pregnant.

While some women instinctively know they are pregnant because of the symptoms they are experiencing, other women who may not have been pregnant before or are having a different sort of pregnancy than the last one need to have the confirmation of a positive pregnancy test before they can be sure that they are pregnant. Pregnancy tests on urine are available at many different kinds of stores, including supermarkets and pharmacies and can detect a pregnancy 5-6 days before a missed period. Such tests are invaluable in determining what your symptoms are all about.