Most women will get cramps during their period. The pain usually starts in the lower back and progresses to the lower abdomen, below the belly button. The cramps can be little twinges or they can be horrific spasms that make you want to throw up. Most women have made their peace with this inevitable symptom of their menstrual cycle and have found ways to deal with it. But what if you have cramps but no period?
You may be expecting your period any day now, but for some reason there is no period but the cramps are there as usual. Or perhaps you are not expecting your period at all, and yet there is abdominal pain that is exactly like your period cramps. These no period cramps are almost always an indication that something is wrong. It can be quite confusing to experience cramps when no period is due. All sorts of scenarios can play out in your head and drive you crazy.
Getting cramps when you are not expecting your period is not as uncommon as you think. A woman’s body goes through hormonal changes throughout the month, not just when she has her period. So you might feel cramps on and off on days when you don’t have your period. Some women experience cramps when they are ovulating. Do not worry unduly if you have cramps but no period. However, do not ignore it either. You should see a doctor to find out the exact cause.
Reasons For Cramps When There’s No Period
- You may be pregnant. If your period is due but you don’t get it and still get cramps, then there is a chance that you are pregnant. Cramps are one of the symptoms of the early stages of pregnancy. Take a home pregnancy test to check. However, don’t go on the results of the HPT alone as they are not always accurate. See a doctor and get lab tests done to be sure.
- As mentioned earlier, hormonal changes during the rest of the month can also cause cramps. This is not a cause for concern if it occurs once in awhile. If you are overly stressed, not sleeping well, smoke, drink alcohol, or eat an unhealthy diet, then it can affect the hormonal balance in your body and cause cramps. Try taking a day off from work and relaxing and the cramps should go away on their own.
- If you have cramps but no period, it may also be a symptom of one of the following diseases:
- Cancer: Ovarian cancer, to be precise. This form of cancer has long been called the silent killer because the symptoms are so generic and seemingly innocent that even experienced doctors fail to diagnose the condition accurately. Cramps are one of those symptoms. If you have a history of cancer in your family or suspect that it may be the reason for your cramps, see a gynaecologist as soon as possible for a thorough examination. It is better to catch it in the earlier stages as this will give you a better chance of a full recovery.
- Endometriosis: Endometrial cells grow in the uterus and are shed by the body during menstruation. But sometimes, these cells can form outside the uterus, for example, on the ovaries or the fallopian tubes. These cells are not cancerous, but since they are outside the uterus they are not shed from the body and thus just continue to grow. These growths are called implants, and they might be the reason you have cramps but no period.
- Cysts: Ovarian cysts form when the sac that opens up to release an egg during ovulation fails to do so. These sacs continue to grow, forming into cysts. As they grow, they may burst and bleed or get twisted around. This can be what may be causing your cramps with no period.
There are disorders of the urinary or reproductive systems which can cause cramping. The pain will mimic period cramps, but if you pay attention you will realise that it is slightly different; perhaps a different kind of intensity – a throbbing instead of a spasm, or maybe it’s not at the location that you generally experience cramps but more to the right or the left. Be accurate when describing the pain to your doctor.
When you have cramps but no period, it is best to see your ob/gyn immediately. The reasons for cramps must be ascertained as soon as possible to ensure that it isn’t something serious.