Getting Pregnant Without Periods – Is It Possible?

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Dr. Shruti Kainth (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
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Getting Pregnant Without Period - Is It Possible?

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Many women battle the problem of absent or irregular periods and thus, may face difficulties in getting pregnant. But this does not mean that such women cannot get pregnant. Even if you don’t get your periods regularly, it is very much possible that you may get pregnant.

Link Between Periods and Conception

When you have your period, it is an indication that your reproductive system is in a functional state. However, just having a period does not guarantee that you can get pregnant. The female reproductive system is very difficult to understand. Let us see how periods and conception are linked to each other.

As you start with your monthly period, your ovaries start developing an egg. The egg keeps maturing inside a follicle for up to 12 to 14 days (the number of days may vary). Once the egg is fully mature, the follicle bursts open, and the ovary releases the egg. This process is called ovulation and the egg thus released is only potent for 12 to 24 hours. If you engage in sexual intercourse with your partner within five days after ovulation has taken place, there are chances that fertilisation may take place. This happens because the sperm can stay alive inside the female reproductive system for up to five days. Once the sperm meets the egg, the egg gets fertilised and you can become pregnant.

Once the ovulation cycle gets over, the hormone progesterone signals your uterus to prepare for the embryo that will implant itself in the uterine lining. The uterine lining is called endometrium, and it keeps getter thicker for 10 to 15 days. In case you get pregnant, the embryo implants itself in the uterine lining within 7 to 10 days after ovulation. Various hormonal changes start to take place within your body as it starts preparing for pregnancy. However, if there is no fertilisation, then the hormone progesterone drops to considerable amounts, signalling the uterus to shed its lining or endometrium. The shedding of the uterine lining is your monthly period. After this, your body prepares for the same process again.

Is It Possible to Ovulate and Get Pregnant Without Menstruation?

Yes, it is very much possible to ovulate and get pregnant without your periods. This is most likely the case with women who face the problem of irregular periods. It is important to understand that ovulation is important for getting pregnant and if you have your periods regularly, then you would be ovulating regularly too. This means you can get pregnant. However, women who have irregular periods need to be evaluated, to find the cause of irregular menstrual cycle like PCOD and hyperprolactinemia which can be treated with ovulation induction by a gynaecologist. So if you are wondering can pregnancy occur without menstruation, the answer is yes.

While the end of your cycle is indicated by the presence of periods, there are no signs to clearly indicate that your ovulation cycle has begun. It’s possible to ovulate and not know about it at all. In fact, if you’ve been pregnant for a while, you wouldn’t probably come to know of it immediately, since you’ve had irregular periods anyway! This is also why you shouldn’t really depend upon your lack of regular menstrual cycles as a form of birth control if you’re not looking to get pregnant.

What Are the Causes for Absent Menstruation?

A stressed looking woman

If you aren’t getting your periods or they aren’t regular, here are a few possible causes for the same:

1. Breastfeeding

Many women who practise exclusive breastfeeding may not get their periods as long as they are breastfeeding their babies. However, this is something that depends on your body; your periods may or not begin while you’re breastfeeding.

2. Using Birth Control Methods

Certain birth control methods, such as birth control pills, may interfere with the regularity of your periods. It is important that your doctor explains this to you before prescribing any such methods of birth control that may affect your menstruation.

3. Chances of Pregnancy

If you have irregular periods and all of a sudden you are not getting your periods at all, then there is a great possibility that you are pregnant. Get a test done to confirm.

4. Being Overweight or Obese

Obesity is one of the main reasons for irregular periods and infertility. It would be a good idea to exercise and lose some weight to regulate your monthly cycle.

5. Taking Certain Medications

Apart from birth control medication, there are other medications that may stop your periods. These may include medication for blood pressure, allergy, psychiatric drugs etc.

6. Having Hormonal Imbalance

Some conditions such as diabetes, thyroid imbalance, endometriosis, etc., may affect the hormonal balance of the body, resulting in irregular periods.

7. Being an Athlete

It may sound strange, but women athletes may have problems in having a regular menstrual cycle. This is because athletes have muscular bodies and very less fat in their body. A lesser amount of fat in the body can make periods irregular. Also, excessive exercising may also interfere with the regularity of your periods.

8. Having PCOS

PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the major reasons for irregular periods and infertility.

9. Experiencing High Levels of Stress

In case you are extremely stressed, your periods might get affected. You may experience irregular periods or in some cases, your periods may stop for months. It is very important that you keep your stress levels under check.

10. Having POI

POI or primary ovary insufficiency, which is also called premature ovarian failure, is a condition that may make your periods stop for a long time. In some cases, a woman with POI may not have her periods for months or even years.

11. Having Problems Related to the Uterus

Sometimes, a uterine surgery or a D&C may make your periods irregular. This happens due to the scarring of the uterus during the surgical procedure.

12. Entering Menopause

It is very common for women, who are entering menopause to have irregular periods. Early menopause may sometimes be the cause of your lack of periods or your irregular periods too.

What If You Want to Get Pregnant But Are Not Getting Your Periods?

For this, it’s best you seek medical advice at the earliest. If you are less than 35 years of age, your doctor may ask you to try for a year before suggesting any fertility evaluation test.

If you are not getting your periods regularly, it is suggested that you get a thorough check-up done in order to establish the exact cause behind it. On the basis of the evaluation, your doctor will recommend the right course of treatment. It is very important that you get in touch with your doctor if your menstrual cycle seems to be irregular, and the reasons for it. Your doctor will guide you and let you know what can be done to get your periods back on track.

Also Read:

Chances of Pregnancy Before, During and After Periods
Early Pregnancy Symptoms before Missed Period
How to Get Pregnant Fast with Irregular Periods

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