Bad Cramps No Period

Bad Cramps No Period
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Many readers are interested in the following topic: What causes cramps without a period. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.

What it is: This is a long-term (chronic) condition in which tissue similar to your womb’s lining attach to other organs and begin to grow.

Cramps Without a 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
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue


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.

Other symptoms: There aren’t any.

Ruptured ovarian cyst

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.

Pregnancy pain

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.

Ectopic pregnancy

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.


What it is: It’s the loss of an unborn baby before the 20th week of pregnancy.

What the cramps feel like: They might start out like period pains, and then get more severe.

Other symptoms: You may have vaginal bleeding or spotting. Some pregnant women have these symptoms but don’t miscarry. But if you’re expecting and either one happens, always call your doctor.


What it is: This is a long-term (chronic) condition in which tissue similar to your womb’s lining attach to other organs and begin to grow.

What the cramps feel like : They seem like regular period cramps, but they can happen any time of month. You may also have cramps and pain in your low back and stomach below your belly button.

Other symptoms: Sex that involves deep penetration may be painful. Some women have painful bowel movements. Endometriosis can make it hard to get pregnant.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

What it is: It’s a bacterial infection that’s usually spread by sex. It affects the parts that help you conceive and grow a baby. This includes your fallopian tubes, womb, ovaries, vagina, and cervix.

What the cramps feel like: You’ll have pain on both sides of your lower belly and lower back. It can happen any time of the month.

Other symptoms: PID causes abnormal vaginal discharge and, sometimes, spotting. You might have pain or burning during sex or when you pee. Your periods might be heavier or longer. You might run a fever or have nausea and vomiting. You’ll need to get the disease treated by a doctor.

Pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction

What it is: Severe spasms happen in the muscles that support your bladder, womb, vagina, and rectum. It can happen after you have trauma with vaginal childbirth or after an injury, like a car accident.

What the cramps feel like: They’re severe — like sudden leg cramps in your lower belly. You may also have ongoing pain in your groin and back.

Other symptoms: You might have pain during your periods or sex, a burning feeling in the vagina, and problems pushing out stools. It could burn when you pee, or you may have a strong urge to go all the time. If you have these symptoms, see a doctor for a urine test to rule out a bladder infection. If you have one, the doctor will see bacteria in your urine.

Interstitial cystitis

What it is: This long-term condition affects your bladder. Some doctors call it “painful bladder syndrome.”

What the cramps feel like : You’ll notice them in your lower stomach (pelvic) area and in your genitals, along with pain and tenderness. They’ll get worse as your bladder gets full and when it’s almost time for your period.

Other symptoms : You’ll feel like you have to pee a lot, and it’ll be urgent. Sex might also hurt.

Irritable bowel syndrome

What it is: This disorder causes stomach pain and bloating with diarrhea, constipation, or both.

What the cramps feel like: They’re sudden and in your belly. They might go away after you poop. Your specific pain will depend on whether you have constipation or diarrhea. You might go back and forth between the two or only have one type. Symptoms usually get worse during your period.

Other symptoms: You might feel pressure, like you tried to go, but couldn’t fully empty your bowels. You might feel sick to your stomach, have gas, or spot mucus in your poop.


What it is: It’s irritation and swelling of a small pouch (appendix) on the end of your large intestine.

What the cramps feel like: You may notice pain around your belly button at first. Then, it gets worse and moves to the right lower side of your stomach. Cramps get bad fast, and they may wake you up. It could hurt if you cough, sneeze, or move.

Other symptoms: About half of people with appendicitis also have a fever, feel sick in their stomach, or throw up. Medical treatment is a must. A burst appendix can be life-threatening.

Ovarian cancer

What it is: This type of cancer starts in the ovaries, the organs that make your eggs.

What the cramps feel like: Vague. You may write the pain off as something else, like constipation or gas. But the hurting and pressure in your lower belly won’t go away.

Other symptoms: Your belly may swell so much that you find it hard to button your pants. You might get full quickly when you eat and notice a strong, frequent need to pee. See a doctor if you have these symptoms for more than 2 weeks.

Diagnosing Cramps with No Period

Always call a doctor if you have cramps that won’t go away, whether or not you have your period. (Get medical help right away if you have sudden, severe belly pain that continues to get worse.)

Your doctor will want to know if your pain is sudden or ongoing. The more details you can give, the faster they may be able to diagnose and treat you. You’ll be asked questions about your symptoms and your periods.

Your doctor may do tests or procedures to learn the cause of your cramps. If your doctor suspects it is related to your uterus, or ovaries, common tests are:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Ultrasound
  • Laparoscopy, a type of exploratory surgery to look at the structures inside your pelvic area, including your uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Your doctor may refer you to someone who specialize in stomach or intestinal disorders or a urologist if they suspect that cramps are caused by any of those areas .

What causes cramps without a period?

Bad Cramps No Period

People can experience cramps without periods for many reasons, including inflammatory bowel diseases, endometriosis, and fibroids.

While some people experience light cramps and a feeling of heaviness during and just before their period, others can experience severe pain or pain that occurs at different times during the menstrual cycle.

In this article, learn about causes of cramps and their associated symptoms, as well as when to speak to a doctor.

Pelvic pain during a period is called dysmenorrhea. Several health conditions can cause cramps that may feel like dysmenorrhea, but without the period.

Possible causes and other symptoms of having cramps without a period include:

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Woman with cramps holding stomach sitting on sofa

PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It can be a complication of some sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, but can also occur due to other types of infections.

As well as stomach cramps, the symptoms of PID can include:

  • fever
  • foul-smelling discharge
  • pain or bleeding during sex
  • burning during urination
  • bleeding between periods


Endometriosis is a condition that causes tissue that is similar to the tissue that lines the uterus to grow in other locations in the body.

This tissue responds to hormones, breaking down and bleeding in the same way as the tissue in the uterus. As it cannot leave the body through the vagina, endometrial tissue can form lesions and cause pain and swelling.

Some people with endometriosis experience symptoms during their period, while others may experience symptoms throughout the entire menstrual cycle.


Uterine fibroids are small, non-cancerous tumors that grow in or on the uterine walls. Many people have fibroids and do not experience any symptoms. However, they can also cause bleeding and cramps, even when a person is not on their period.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Up to 20 percent of adults in the United States have IBS, with women and those under the age of 50 being more likely to have the condition.

IBS can cause cramps and pain around the stomach and pelvis. There is no cure for IBS, but people can manage the symptoms with dietary changes and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Other symptoms of IBS include:

  • constipation
  • not feeling empty after a bowel movement
  • diarrhea
  • alternating between diarrhea and constipation
  • mucus in the stool
  • stomach swelling or bloating
  • gas
  • discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • feeling uncomfortably full or nauseated after eating

Share on Pinterest Inflammation of the digestive system can cause stomach cramps.

The most common types of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD causes inflammation in the digestive system and stops it from absorbing essential nutrients. It is a long-term condition that usually requires ongoing treatment.

IBD can cause severe pain and cramps in the stomach, as well as:

  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • rectal bleeding
  • joint pain
  • skin problems, such as rashes

Lactose intolerance

Around 30–50 million people in the U.S. are intolerant to lactose. Lactose intolerance is when the body is unable to digest the natural sugar found in milk and dairy products.

As well as stomach cramps, lactose intolerance can cause:

Symptoms usually appear between 30 minutes and 2 hours after consuming lactose.


Indigestion, which is also called dyspepsia, can also cause stomach cramps. Indigestion is a general term that describes a group of symptoms that affect the digestive system, including:

  • pain, burning, or discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • feeling full too soon while eating a meal
  • feeling too full after eating

Around 25 percent of people in the U.S. experience indigestion every year. If a person has indigestion regularly over the course of weeks or months, it may be a sign of another health condition.

Cramping can sometimes be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. When the embryo implants in the womb sometime between 6 and 12 days after conception, a person may experience light bleeding or spotting. They may also have mild cramps.

Other early signs of pregnancy include:

  • nausea or morning sickness
  • swollen or tender breasts
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • needing to urinate more
  • food cravings or food aversions
  • altered sense of smell
  • darker nipples
  • mood swings

Share on Pinterest A doctor should assess anyone experiencing frequent or severe cramps.

Anyone experiencing frequent cramps outside of their period should speak to a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Early diagnosis and treatment of PID are essential, as damage to the reproductive system may be irreversible and can cause long-term complications.

If a doctor thinks a person may have endometriosis or uterine fibroids, they may refer them to a gynecologist. The gynecologist can do a variety of tests to diagnose these conditions, including a physical exam, an ultrasound, or a laparoscopy.

People can usually manage the symptoms of IBS with dietary and lifestyle changes. However, those with IBD may need long-term treatment to manage the symptoms and prevent complications, such as nutritional deficiencies.

Anyone who thinks they may be lactose intolerant can try avoiding dairy to see if their symptoms improve.

If a person has indigestion that lasts longer than 2 weeks, it is best to speak to a doctor. Anyone who has indigestion accompanied by any of the following symptoms should seek medical attention right away:

  • stools that are black and tarlike
  • blood in vomit
  • difficult or painful swallowing
  • frequent vomiting
  • unexplained weight loss
  • pain in the chest, jaw, neck, or arm
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

If a person has taken a home pregnancy test and received a positive result, they should speak to a doctor for confirmation.

Last medically reviewed on August 30, 2018