If I Missed My Period Does That Mean I Didn’t Ovulate?

5. menstrual-cycle-hormones

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There are many reasons why you would miss a period. Your period should typically start 12 to 16 days after you have ovulated. Once ovulation has occurred, the status of the egg will determine whether you will get your period. If the egg is properly fertilized and implanted, then there will be no bleeding although ovulation did occur.

One of the most commonly asked questions amongst women who are trying to get pregnant is whether or not a missed period means that no ovulation has occurred.

Ovulation is Complex

The answer to the question above is a complex one as there are many factors that could influence a missed period. According to Medicinenet, the term doctors’ use for women who do not begin menstruating at all is primary amenorrhea. This is extremely rare while secondary amenorrhea, which is a lack of periods in a woman who has menstruated before, is far more common. This could be in the form of irregular periods or skipped periods during the time just after a woman has begun menstruating or during the peri-menopausal phase (the time just before menopause).

Factors Influencing Secondary Amenorrhea

A diagnosis of secondary amenorrhea can only be made if you have missed three periods. Reasons for secondary amenorrhea could be one or more of the following:

If you are under a great deal of stress, then you are more likely to skip a period. If you are also severely underweight or obese, then you could also skip a period or have secondary amenorrhea. This is why doctors place such a large emphasis on staying healthy and eating right – what you put into your body will influence your menstrual cycle. Do not go on a drastic weight loss diet as this can cause you to miss a period as well.
Jetlag and Travelling
Jetlag and extensive travel also influences a woman’s menstrual cycle. This is because your sleeping and eating schedule are not properly synched, which has a negative impact on your overall health.
Excessive Exercise
Excessive or extreme exercise can disrupt your menstrual cycle and lead to secondary amenorrhea.

Ovulation Might Not Have Occurred

The most common reason for a missed period is that no ovulation occurred. If you have missed a period, but know that you are not pregnant, then it is safe to assume that ovulation did not occur. This is referred to as anovulation or an anovulatory cycle. A word of caution here: anovulatory bleeding can happen in an anovulatory cycle. This bleeding or spotting is not a normal menstrual period and can be very difficult to distinguish.

The reasons for anovulation are the same as for amenorrhea:

  • Stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on normal ovulation and menstruation.
  • Extreme exercise and weight loss can interfere with ovulation by preventing the output of hormones called gonadotropins from your hypothalamus in your brain.
  • Drugs and medications, such as steroidal oral contraceptives, can also negatively influence ovulation.
  • Hormonal balances such as estrogen and progesterone imbalances, a malfunctioning corpulsteum, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, premature ovarian failure, and hyperprolactinemia are all possible causes.


There are many reasons why you might have missed a period and there are extensive tests that a doctor can do in order to find out what those reasons are. If you are trying to fall pregnant then it is advised that you consult with your doctor to receive proper treatment and care.

  • elsa

    I am a month late on my period and have done four pregnancy test and all were negative. I have been cramping for about a week and still no period. I am beyond annoyed that it hasn’t come down yet

  • Jennifer

    As of this past Monday I was 18 days late. I had symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, fatigue, extreme mood swings, sore breasts, and period like cramping when sitting. Today my lower back on the right side started hurting mainly when sitting and slight bleeding. Is it possible I ovulated late and possibly experiencing implantation bleeding?

    • It is really hard to say. It sounds like a visit to the doctor is in order so you can find out what is going on with your system.

  • Christina

    Any help!! I was supposed to get my period 11/12/14 and now I’m 19 days late . I took home pregnancy test and blood test all negative. I’ve had 2 miscarriages and my doctor put me on a blood liner my blood was clotting. I’m hoping and praying that someone can identify with and maybe there’s a light at the end of my road.

    • What has your doctor said about the delay in getting your period?

  • Pattystackhouse

    Not quiet sure I had my period if not it ship a mouth and I see no signs of it starting

  • Moni

    I had my period on 15th of January , ovulated on 2nd of February , should had period on 17th February now 14days late – negative test but positive ovulation test – so ovulating 2nd time in my cycle ? How this is possible ?
    With my 1st baby I was 15 days late till my pregnancy test showed positive .

  • lynn

    So if I missed my period in march ( not pregnant went to the Dr its because of stress) then have sex on April 3 and the condom broke is there a chance that I could end up pregnant ..I’m taking a test in a couple weeks to make sure I just don’t want to stress about it now of not knowing tell then

  • Narender Sreepuram

    past 2.5 years ago i got married,i’am not getting periods regularly even after marriage as i was not getting regular periods before marriage also,why it is happening, i consulted doctors for the same,they suggested to take glycomet,sephene,gestafol,fertlizin,obimet,duphaston. but only for three time’s periods came regularly,again same happening now since two months periods are irregular,after taking pills,period is coming….I’ve done pregnancy test two times while period not came,but the result was negative….Please suggest me what action i have to take for regular periods and to conceive.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t know what to suggest. You might want to try the herb vitex as that can help regulate irregular cycles.

  • Genevive S

    Im 15 years old and I’m very worried cause my period hasn’t come for over 2 months.
    I dont know what to do, is there any treatments to the situation or is it something serious?

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Last modified: June 12, 2014