Cramps Without a Period
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Causes Cramps with No Period?
Diagnosing Cramps with No Period
What Causes Cramps with No Period?
Lots of women get pelvic pain and cramping, but your period isn’t always to blame. Cysts, constipation, pregnancy — even cancer — can make it feel like your monthly visitor is about to stop by.
It can be tough to tell whether having cramps without a period is caused by something simple or more serious. But there are common reasons for cramping without your period.
An inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
What it is: You get long-term (chronic) swelling and irritation in different parts of your digestive tract. It happens when something goes haywire in your immune system. It isn’t the same as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Crohn’s can affect any part of your digestive tract (including your mouth). Ulcerative colitis involves only the large intestine (colon).
What the cramps feel like: It depends on the type of IBD you have. With Crohn’s, you’ll feel cramps and pain in the right lower or middle parts of your belly. They can be mild to severe. If you have ulcerative colitis, the cramps will be on the lower left side of your stomach.
Other symptoms: Which ones you have depend on the specific type of IBD. They include:
Severe changes in bowel movements (diarrhea, constipation)
Urgent need to pass a bowel movement
Feeling that your bowels aren’t completely empty after you go
Blood in your poop
What it is: If you haven’t gone through menopause and still have your ovaries, you might get cramps mid-month, about 10-14 days before your period. This happens when your ovaries release an egg to ready your body for a possible pregnancy. The harmless twinge of discomfort is called “mittelschmerz,” which means middle pain.
What the cramps feel like:You’ll notice pain on one side of your lower belly. It lasts a few minutes to a few hours. It can be sharp and sudden, or you might just have a dull cramp. The side of the pain depends on which ovary released the egg. It may switch sides every month or strike the same place each time.What it is: A cyst is a sac of fluid. Sometimes they form on your ovaries. One type, called a follicular cyst, breaks open to release an egg and later dissolves in your body. If this doesn’t happen, a different cyst can form. Most are harmless. But if one grows large, it could burst.
What the cramps feel like: A ruptured cyst doesn’t always cause pain. If it does, you might have sudden, sharp cramps on either side of your lower stomach below the belly button. The location depends on which ovary had the cyst.
Other symptoms: You may also have some spotting. Before the cyst ruptures, you may feel pain or pressure in your lower belly, thighs, or lower back.
What it is: Your growing baby is attaching to the lining of your womb, or uterus. This is called “implantation pain,” and it’s a sign of pregnancy progress.
What the cramps feel like:You might have a few slight cramps about 4 weeks into your pregnancy — around the time when you’d get your period. If you aren’t sure whether you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to take a test.
Other symptoms: There are none. If you’re pregnant, you might start to feel queasy around the fifth or sixth week.
What it is: This is when a baby grows somewhere other than your womb. Most often it happens in one of your two fallopian tubes. It’s life-threatening for the mother and can’t result in a live birth.
What the cramps feel like: You may have mild cramps followed by sudden, sharp, stabbing pains on one side of your lower belly. The pain can get so severe that you also feel it in your shoulder and lower back.
Other symptoms:Before the cramps, you may have had typical pregnancy signs, like nausea and sore breasts. But not all women with an ectopic pregnancy have those. You might not even know you’re pregnant.