Cramping Without Period: Causes & Treatment

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Cramping in women is usually associated with the menstrual cycle. These cramps occur when the uterus sheds the lining created in preparation for pregnancy. However, when you have cramps without being on your period, it can be both annoying and baffling. Find out more about this issue in this article.

I Am Having Cramps But No Period, Am I Pregnant?

There could be many reasons why you might be experiencing cramps while not being on your period. The first step you can take at home to identify the cause is to take a pregnancy test. In rare cases, a negative pregnancy test can be wrong so ensure that you schedule a visit to the gynaecologist too.

Why Do I Have Cramps But No Period?

Some of these reasons for the cramps could be:

1. A Late Period

  • The cramps you are experiencing could just mean that your period is late. When your body ovulates late, you could experience cramps. You could also experience cramps if you have irregular cycles and your body is adjusting to it.
  • The cramps will occur on one side of the body and will last from a couple of hours to a few days. This type of cramp is usually accompanied by gas and constipation.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • When your immune system gets compromised, it may result in inflammation in parts of your digestive system due to diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. This may cause you to experience severe cramps but no period may occur.
  • With Crohn’s disease, you might feel cramps in the lower right side or center of your belly. In the case of ulcerative colitis, the cramps will be localized to the lower left side.

3. Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

  • Having cysts on your ovaries can be painful. There are many young women who are dealing with this issue in India today. When a large cyst ruptures, you can experience cramps.
  • A ruptured cyst doesn’t always cause pain. If you do experience pain, it will come as sharp cramps on either side of your lower abdomen, below your belly button.

4. Pregnancy Pain

  • The combination of ‘mild cramps, no period’ can be an early symptom of pregnancy. It is caused when the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus. This is also called implantation pain.
  • These cramps will be slight and will occur around 4 weeks into your pregnancy. Since this is usually the time you would expect your period, it is best to take a pregnancy test. If you have cramps but no period and white discharge, you must take a pregnancy test.

5. Ectopic Pregnancy

  • An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the baby grows outside the womb. The most common place for this pregnancy to occur is in the fallopian tubes. This condition is life-threatening to the mother and will not result in a live birth.
  • These cramps usually begin mildly, but then turn into shooting pains on one side of your abdomen. The pain could even travel to your lower back and shoulders.

6. Miscarriage

  • The loss of the fetus before the 20th week of gestation is called a miscarriage.
  • In most cases, you will experience bad cramps but no period will manifest.

7. Endometriosis

  • This is a serious and chronic condition where pieces of the lining of the uterus attach to other organs and begin to grow.
  • Cramps due to endometriosis feel like regular cramps but can occur anytime.

8. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

  • This is a bacterial infection that’s usually spread via sex and affects all your reproductive organs.
  • The cramps will be felt on both sides of your stomach and you will experience lower back pain.

9. Interstitial Cysts

  • This is a condition that affects your bladder and is also known as painful bladder syndrome.
  • There will be lower abdominal cramps but no period will occur. You will experience pain in your genitals and tenderness in the lower part of your stomach.

10. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

  • This disorder causes diarrhoea or constipation along with bloating and stomach pain.
  • The cramps associated with IBS are sudden and felt in the stomach. These cramps might improve when you take a dump. They might worsen during your period.

11. Appendicitis

  • The inflammation of the vestigial organ called appendix is known as appendicitis. This condition usually requires emergency surgery.
  • The cramps will originate in your belly button and then move to the lower right side of your stomach. The cramps will be bad enough to wake you up if sleeping and will worsen when you move, sneeze or cough.

12. Ovarian Cancer

  • This cancer starts in the ovaries, which are responsible for the production of eggs.
  • The cramps can be easily mistaken for gas or constipation as the pain feels vague. However, the pain and pressure in your lower stomach will not subside.

13. Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction

  • This condition involves spasms that occur in the muscles that control the bladder, womb, vagina, and rectum.
  • These cramps are severe and are felt in the lower portion of the stomach. This could also be accompanied by pain in the groin and back.

14. Menopause

  • Menopause is the stage in the reproductive life of a woman when the eggs are no longer released by the ovaries. She can no longer have biological children.
  • The cramps feel very similar to the ones you get on your periods. These are uterus cramps without a period. Doctors do not have an explanation for this and the cramps should subside in a few months.

15. Stress

  • If you find yourself unable to sleep, have headaches, and feel disoriented more than usual, you could be suffering from stress.
  • The cramps will not necessarily be in the abdominal area only – it can occur in the thighs, calves, feet, etc.

Needless to say, some of these conditions can be quite serious and require advice from your doctor on the best way to treat them.

16. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

  • Sexual contact between two individuals can cause sexually transmitted infections (STI). Some of these infections are HPV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and HIV. Sexual contact may include oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
  • While some STIs may not show any symptoms, some of these conditions can cause symptoms like abdominal pain and cramps. If you are having cramps alongside other symptoms such as foul-smelling vaginal discharge, bumps or sores around the genital area, painful urination with burning sensation and unusual vaginal bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.

Difference Between Pregnancy Cramping and Menstrual Cramping

Pregnancy cramping is very different from menstrual cramping. It is caused mainly by the uterus as it expands to accommodate the growing baby. This type of pain is called round ligament pain. It is a dull ache that can turn into shooting pain while walking. Round ligament pain is due to undue stretch of round ligament and not the uterus.

Menstrual cramps are more severe than pregnancy cramps. Pregnancy cramps are also accompanied by other symptoms like tender breasts, frequent urination, fatigue, mood swings, and an increased appetite.

Symptoms of Cramping Without Periods

The above-mentioned conditions are some that can cause cramps without any sign of a period. The most obvious sign of cramping without periods is the absence of menstrual bleeding, but if the pain comes with other symptoms, it is worth looking into to rule out any underlying medical condition.


Most of the conditions that cause cramping with no period must be brought to the attention of your doctor. If the cramping is an indicator of an underlying problem that requires medical attention, your doctor will be the person best suited for your needs. They will advise you on the treatment plan and medications your condition would require. Some of the conditions require dedicated lifestyle changes. Once you follow your doctor’s advice, you should recover entirely.

Some other conditions can be alleviated by making simple changes to your lifestyle and do not require medical attention.

PMS can be alleviated and even avoided if you ensure the following:

  • Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes.
  • Consume a balanced diet with whole grains and green leafy vegetables along with fruits.
  • Ensure that you get the daily recommended dose of calcium in your diet.
  • Avoid salt, caffeine, alcohol, and smoking.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Lower your stress levels by meditating or taking up yoga.
  • Track your moods using a journal.
  • Use over-the-counter drugs to manage the pain.
  • Take vitamin and mineral substitutes.

If you are going through menopause, it is best that you talk to your doctor about your expectations for the quality of life you will have. You can also try different remedies to ease any discomfort.

  • Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes.
  • Consume a balanced diet with whole grains and green leafy vegetables along with fruits.
  • Avoid salt, caffeine, alcohol, and smoking.
  • An estrogenic ointment is usually prescribed by the doctor.
  • Consider hormone replacement therapy.

Other Tips to Relieve the Pain

You can try these remedies to alleviate the pain you when you have cramps sans any period or pregnancy confirmation.

  • The best thing you can do for yourself is to lie down. Find a comfy couch or bed to lie in a position that feels most comfortable.
  • Use a heat pack over the area where the cramps seem the worst.

  • Alternatively, you could take a warm bath. This will help your muscles relax and relieve any stress you might have.
  • Take a gentle stroll in your neighbourhood park. Walking helps with cramps.
  • Drink a warm cup of water with lemon or make yourself some herbal tea.

Make a note of all the symptoms that accompany the cramps especially if you are not on your period. There are a host of medical conditions that are accompanied by mild to severe cramping that lasts for several days. You can try the home remedies mentioned above to ease your cramps during this time. However, if you do not see a reduction in cramps even after two weeks, it is time you see a doctor. Tell them about all your symptoms which could help them diagnose your condition much faster.

We recommend that you do not self-diagnose or self-medicate. Consult your physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to help alleviate your cramps. Do not share medication with your loved ones, especially if they are painkillers as they can be addictive. We strongly recommend being in constant communication with your physician regarding changes in the condition of the cramps and other side-effects.

Also Read: Early Pregnancy Symptoms before Missed Period

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