What causes period symptoms but no bleeding?

Written by s.e. brinamon
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Period symptoms such as bloating, cramping and mood swings are common female complaints, but if bleeding does not start within a week, something else may be causing the symptoms. The causes of having period symptoms but no bleeding range from normal ovulation to serious hormone imbalances.

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Ovulation occurs when an egg is released into the uterus, usually two weeks before menstruation. Some women feel lower abdominal pain and breast tenderness during ovulation.


Symptoms of early pregnancy, such as breast tenderness, fatigue, light cramping and mood swings, resemble premenstrual symptoms.


Perimenopause is the hormonal transition at the end of a woman's reproductive years, and usually affects women in their 40s and 50s. Symptoms of perimenopause may resemble period symptoms and include bloating, headaches, irritability and tender breasts.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS is a condition associated with high androgen levels and cysts that lead to infertility. PCOS may cause irregular menstrual cycles, and symptoms such as depression and abdominal pain may be mistaken for period symptoms.

Hormone Imbalances

Other hormone imbalances caused by thyroid disorders, glandular problems and eating disorders may cause discomforts that resemble period symptoms.

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