Cramps But No Period – Reasons, Signs & Remedies

Cramps But No Period: Causes and Treatment

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

Cramps but no period? 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, cramps can be annoying and baffling when you have cramps without being on your period. Numerous conditions, including inflammatory bowel illnesses, endometriosis, and fibroids, could cause people to endure cramps devoid of a period. Determining the precise cause of cramps resembling menstrual periods might be challenging. In this article, find out more about the why’s and how’s of cramping but not period.

I Am Having Cramps Without Period, Am I Pregnant?

There could be many reasons why you might be experiencing cramps while not 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 last from a few 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 your belly’s lower right side or centre. 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.

Having Cramps Without Period

4. Pregnancy Pain

  • Period pains but no period, could I be pregnant? Yes, The combination of ‘mild cramps, no period’ can be an early pregnancy symptom. It is caused when the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus. This is also called implantation pain.
  • These cramps will be slight and 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. You must take a pregnancy test if you have cramps but no period and white discharge.

5. Ectopic Pregnancy

  • An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the baby grows outside the womb. The most common place for this pregnancy 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 become 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.
  • You will usually experience bad cramps but no period will manifest.

7. Endometriosis

  • This is a serious and chronic condition where pieces of the uterus lining 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.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

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 the 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 in the muscles controlling 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 a woman’s reproductive life 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 are unable to sleep, have headaches, and feel disoriented more than usual, you could suffer 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). These infections include HPV, gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and HIV. Sexual contact may include oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
  • While some STIs may not show symptoms, some of these conditions can cause abdominal pain and cramps. If you have cramps alongside other symptoms such as foul-smelling vaginal discharge, bumps or sores around the genital area, painful urination with a burning sensation and unusual vaginal bleeding, contact your doctor immediately.

17. Fibroids

  • Small, non-cancerous tumours called uterine fibroids to develop inside or on the surface of the uterine walls.
  • Several people have fibroids but show no symptoms. Even when a person is not on their period, they might still result in bleeding and pain.

18. Thyroid Condition

  • As your thyroid controls how your brain functions, mood changes that you may have assumed were caused by PMS might be linked to your neurologic health.
  • Also, if you are not ovulating, your uterine lining may have accumulated but not shed, causing spotting or cramps.

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 the round ligament and not the uterus.

Menstrual cramps are more severe than pregnancy cramps. Pregnancy cramps are 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.

How Cramping Without Periods Can Be Diagnosed?

Whether or not you are on your period, you should always call a doctor if you experience cramps that won’t go away. (If you get sudden, severe abdominal discomfort that worsens, seek medical attention right once.)

Whether your discomfort is acute or continuous, your doctor will want to know. They may be able to diagnose and treat you more quickly if you provide more information. To determine the source of your cramping, your doctor could do tests or other treatments. Common testing includes the following if your doctor thinks it may be related to your uterus or ovaries:

  • Pelvic examination
  • Ultrasound
  • A sort of exploratory surgery known as laparoscopy is used to view the internal organs of the pelvic region, such as the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

If your doctor suspects that any of those conditions is the cause of your cramps, they may recommend a urologist, someone who specialises in intestine or stomach diseases, or both.


Most of the conditions that cause cramping with no period must be brought to your doctor’s attention. 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, green leafy vegetables, and 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.

having a balanced diet and workout

If you are going through menopause, it is best to talk to your doctor about your expectations for your quality of life. 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, green leafy vegetables, and 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 pain 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 the most comfortable position.
  • Use a heat pack over the area where the cramps seem the worst.

a woman using heat pack over the cramping area

  • 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 some herbal tea.

Note all the symptoms accompanying the cramps, especially if you are not on your period. A host of medical conditions 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 after two weeks, you should see a doctor. Tell them about all your symptoms, which could help them diagnose your condition much faster.

When to Consult a Doctor

Anyone with persistent cramps that don’t coincide with their period should consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Although damage to the reproductive system may be irreparable and might result in long-term consequences, early identification and treatment of PID are crucial.

A doctor may recommend a patient to a gynaecologist if they suspect they have endometriosis or uterine fibroids. The gynaecologist may perform a physical examination, an ultrasound, or a laparoscopy to diagnose these disorders.

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 constantly communicating 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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