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Experiencing cramps, but no period in sight? Here’s what it could mean
Pelvic pain can signal a variety of health issues; some are serious, while others are nothing to worry about. Here’s a look at what could be going on.
Updated Feb 09, 2023
Are you having pain or cramps but no period in sight? Pelvic pain can signal a variety of different health issues—some are serious, while others are nothing to worry about.
“There is a lot going on in the pelvic area,” notes Sony S. Singh, an ob-gyn and professor at the University of Ottawa. Generally, your pelvis is considered your abdomen and lower back, below your belly button. The pain could have its origins in your uterus, but it could also be an issue with the bladder, bowels, ovaries, fallopian tubes or the pelvic muscles and ligaments. “For a patient with non-menstrual pelvic pain, we ask if it’s intermittent or always there. Does it radiate or stay in one spot? How intense it is on a scale of one to 10, and if there are things they do that make it better or worse.” It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor (and in some situations, get immediate medical help) if you’re experiencing pain. Here’s a closer look at what could be going on if you have cramps but no period.
When you’re around four weeks pregnant (about two weeks after ovulation, when your period would ordinarily be due) you can have what’s called implantation bleeding and cramping, as the embryo implants into the lining of your uterus.
What’s the pain like? Mild and doesn’t last long.
Keep in mind: The bleeding is light spotting, and not every pregnant woman has this symptom. If you already know you’re pregnant, there are some other mild cramps that may be part of a healthy pregnancy.
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Another possibility when experiencing cramps but no period is miscarriage. That is, the end of a pregnancy before 20 weeks, because the pregnancy stops growing normally.
What’s the pain like? Similar to period cramps, which can then get stronger and more painful.
Keep in mind: Some women have both bleeding and cramping with a miscarriage , but others have no symptoms of pregnancy loss and may still feel pregnant. This “missed miscarriage” means the body doesn’t release the pregnancy tissue on its own and some medical intervention may be needed .
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An ectopic or tubal pregnancy is when a fertilized egg is growing outside of the uterus, usually inside one of the fallopian tubes. The pregnancy can not grow, and you might experience internal bleeding.
What’s the pain like? Mild cramps but no period, then sudden intense stabbing pains on one side of your abdomen. Depending on how the blood is leaking inside your body, there may also be pressure on nerves that leads to pain in your shoulders.
Keep in mind Ectopic pregnancies are diagnosed in the early stages of pregnancy, before you may even know you’re pregnant. “This can be a life-threatening situation for a woman,” says Singh, so get immediate medical help. Other symptoms include severe light-headedness and vaginal bleeding.
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Some women can actually feel their ovary release an egg when they ovulate , which happens about two weeks before a period is due. (Another name for it is “mittelschmerz,” which means “middle pain” in German.)
What’s the pain like? A sudden, sharp twinge or mild cramp on one side of your belly.
Keep in mind You may feel the pain on one side every month, or it may vary. Either way, it’s not anything to worry about.
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Ruptured ovarian cyst
There are several different kinds of cysts (which are pockets of fluid) that can develop on an ovary . If a cyst ruptures, or breaks, it may cause pain.
What’s the pain like? Sudden dull or sharp cramps on one side of your stomach, below your belly button. Other symptoms include fever, chills, mild nausea or vomiting.
Keep in mind If the pain is severe or you feel light-headed, seek medical attention, says Singh. A cyst rupture may occur in the middle of your cycle, but it can also happen outside ovulation, depending on the kind of cyst it is. Talk to your health care provider.
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“Torsion is when an ovary twists and its blood supply is blocked off,” says Singh. “Often it’s because there is a cyst on the ovary that makes it a little heavier. The weight causes it to twist.” Sometimes, the ovary and tube become stuck together, similarly causing a twist in the fallopian tube.
What’s the pain like? Sudden cramping on one side of the belly.
Keep in mind Other symptoms may include severe nausea and vomiting. Seek immediate medical attention.
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Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This tissue thickens and bleeds into the pelvic area with each period, leading to scarring and adhesions on other organs like the bladder or ovaries.
What’s the pain like? Painful periods, pain during sex, and pain during bowel movements or peeing are the most common symptoms of endometriosis, although some women don’t have symptoms at all, says Singh. The pain can be severe .
Keep in mind Other symptoms include heavy period bleeding, bleeding between periods, infertility, fatigue, bloating and nausea. In some cases endometriosis can also cause an ovarian cyst known as endometrioma, commonly called chocolate cysts, which will similarly cause pelvic pain. If you think you might have endometriosis, talk to your health care provider.
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Adenomyosis happens when tissue that normally lines the uterus (this is the blood and tissue that your body sheds during a period) also grows into the uterine wall.
What’s the pain like? Severe cramping during a period as well as chronic pelvic pain and pressure. “There can be cramping up to a week before a period and pain that persists after a period is over,” says Singh.
Keep in mind Another symptom is prolonged, heavy period bleeding. Talk to your health care provider.
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9. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is the result of a bacterial infection , often because of a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea or chlamydia. The infection can affect your uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, vagina or cervix.
What’s the pain like? Pain on both sides of your lower belly and lower back. It can happen at any time in your cycle.
Keep in mind Fever, nausea, vomiting, spotting, abnormal vaginal discharge and pain or burning during sex or peeing are all symptoms of PID. It must be treated with antibiotics.
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The appendix is a small pouch at the end of your large intestine. It can get infected, inflamed, irritated and swollen.
What’s the pain like? “It starts in the belly button, then can move over to the right quadrant [lower] ,” says Singh.
Keep in mind Fever, nausea and vomiting are other symptoms. If you’re experiencing these, seek medical help.
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Painful bladder syndrome
Your doctor may also call this interstitial cystitis.
What’s the pain like? “There is pain as the bladder fills, with intense pain when it’s full. There may be an urgent sense of having to go to the bathroom and perhaps pelvic pain and cramping symptoms as well,” says Singh, adding that you may feel better after you pee.
Keep in mind Citrus, caffeine and carbonated drinks may be irritants.
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Inflammatory bowel diseases, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, can be a source of cramping and pelvic pain. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another possible cause.
What’s the pain like? Sudden cramping in the belly or bowels is associated with irregular bowel habits.
Keep in mind Other symptoms include bloating, gassiness, heartburn, mouth sores and bowel changes like diarrhea or constipation. Cramping accompanied by rectal bleeding should be addressed immediately by a doctor.
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Pelvic floor pain
The pelvic floor is a band of muscles that supports the organs in the pelvis. If the pelvic floor has tight, clenched muscles, it can lead to pain. This condition is called pelvic floor myalgia or pelvic floor pain, and it may especially be a factor for those with other chronic conditions (like endometriosis). It could also be due to pregnancy, childbirth or pelvic surgery. It’s a way the body tries to protect that area from trauma, says Singh. “It’s actually one of the most common, under-recognized, undiagnosed reasons for pain.”
What’s the pain like? For some, this feels like a burning ache in the pelvic area. For others, it may be more of a spasm-like shooting pain, and could be associated with sex, using a tampon or having a vaginal exam.
Keep in mind A pelvic floor physiotherapist or other health care provider can help retrain the muscles to relax .
If pelvic pain is sudden, severe and associated with fever or heavy bleeding, go to your doctor or an emergency room. However, less severe or chronic pain is also worth a conversation with a healthcare professional. “I think that any pain that is affecting quality of life needs to be addressed. If you’re not doing well, if this is affecting your work or your school, talk to somebody. That’s the bottom line,” says Singh.
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Experiencing Cramps But No Period? Here’s What It Could Mean
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For over six months, my friend suffered from intense cramps and heavy menstruation. She associated it with her menstrual cycle and hormonal changes. It wasn’t until the pain worsened and her abdomen began to grow in size that she figured something wasn’t right and sought medical attention. As it turned out, she had fibroids. Given so many conditions that may cause cramps resembling our menstrual cramps, let’s learn how to identify them, shall we?
19 Reasons why you might have cramps but no period
As if the pain during our period is not enough, we can also have cramps and pelvic discomfort outside our periods. Cramps can be acute and short-lived or chronic (progressive and intensifying pain). There are many reasons we can have cramps outside our menstrual cycle. Some of the most common causes include:
- inflammatory pelvic disease
- irritable bowel syndrome
- ovarian cyst
- ectopic pregnancy
- and many more!
Below we’ll outline each to give you a sense of what to look out for when identifying potential causes of cramps outside of menstruation.
You might know them as fibroids or myxomas. These benign growths in the uterine wall are very frequent especially in women between 35 and 50 years of age and in African- American women. More than 50% of women who suffer from fibroids have no idea they have it as it can be asymptomatic. Symptomatic women experience pelvic pain and pressure accompanied with increased abdominal size, abnormal vaginal bleeding, painful sexual intercourse and anemia. These myxomas can grow up to the size of a watermelon and cause intense discomfort for the woman. If you are experiencing cramps and abdominal growth then you have to see a doctor.
2. An inflammatory bowel disease (like crohn’s or ulcerative colitis)
Cramps are not only associated with reproductive health conditions. They can be present in a variety of other systems and the gastrointestinal tract is not an exception. Sometimes our immune system can destroy our own tissues and cause damage. This is what happens in inflammatory bowel disease, the immune system attacks the GI tract causing inflammation. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, autoimmune-induced swelling will cause bloating, rectal bleeding, bloody stool, weight loss, extreme tiredness and of course cramps.
3. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
That lower abdominal cramp you have been experiencing off and on might be an IBS especially if you also have diarrhea or constipation, bloating or abdominal distension. The cause of IBS is not known but it is frequent in adolescents and people above the age of 20. Stress is an important trigger for IBS. IBS has no cure but can be managed with the right medications and diet.
4. Ruptured ovarian cyst
So cysts are small bags of fluid that can appear on our ovaries. Our ovaries work hard to produce many follicles, of these follicles only one will mature and be released as an egg during ovulation. After ovulation a bag of fluid can form on one or both ovaries known as an ovarian cyst. Ovarian cysts are benign but in some cases they can rupture causing acute and intense pelvic pain or pressure accompanied with nausea or vomiting and abnormal vaginal bleeding. The pain can be one sided or on both sides depending on which ovary releases the egg.
5. Ectopic pregnancy
The entire idea of pregnancy is for a fertilized egg to attach itself to the uterine wall which is the only conducive part of the reproductive apparatus for the development of new life. Ectopic pregnancy occurs if the fertilized egg begins its development in any other part of the reproductive tract aside the uterine wall. To give you a sense of how common this is, one in every 90 women in the UK develops an ectopic pregnancy. The most common site for ectopic pregnancy is the fallopian tube.
In this case, the fertilized egg will remain in the fallopian tube and begin to develop. This will expand the tube until it ruptures. Ectopic pregnancy can also occur in the cervix, in the ovary, at the point between uterus and fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy might be asymptomatic but in symptomatic cases, the woman will have intense pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding like in a miscarriage.
Right before the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs releasing a mature egg from one of your ovaries with the hope that a sperm will fertilize it and give rise to new life. At this point, the uterine walls are ready and awaiting the fertilized egg. This egg moves from the ovary to the fallopian tube where it waits for 24 hours to be fertilized by the bravest of sperm cells. If fertilization occurs, the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube to the endometrium (uterine wall) to begin the developmental process. In the absence of fertilization, our monthly visitor comes knocking, often causing bleeding and pain.
7. Pelvic-floor muscle dysfunction
Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, vagina, uterus, rectum and anus. These muscles might become weak, overstretched or too tight making it difficult to support the pelvic organs. When this happens, the patient will have urinary and fecal incontinence, constipation, bloating, pelvic organ prolapse, pain during and after sex and a chronic intense pelvic pain (cramps).
8. Exercising too much
Most days I love exercising, other days I am too lazy to move. We all know the importance of exercising and being fit but sometimes we tend to force our body to go the extra mile. Rest is an important part of exercising because it helps the body recover. Over-exercising without rest causes wear and tear of pelvic muscles, including the pelvic floor muscles. This will give rise to chronic and intense pelvic pain.
Pregnancy is a beautiful process of creating life. In a normal pregnancy, the fetus continues to develop and grow without causing cramps or bleeding until during childbirth. Sometimes during pregnancy, before the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, a miscarriage or a spontaneous abortion can occur.
A pregnant woman, less than 20 weeks pregnant who begins to have cramps and vaginal bleeding is most likely miscarrying. Aside from bleeding, the woman can also bleed out fetal tissues. It’s important to pay attention to these symptoms in the early stage of pregnancy. There are many reasons a woman may miscarry but none of them is her fault.
10. Certain sex positions
We can all agree that sex is sometimes painful pleasure. Being wild in the bedroom can spice up your sexual relationship. Certain sexual positions that overwork your pelvic muscles or the pelvic floor muscles can cause cramps after sex. Deep penetrations too can cause cramps especially with the doggie style . Another cause of cramps related to sex is orgasm, this is one cramp every woman would kill to have. Orgasm is an involuntary contraction of the pelvic and pelvic floor muscles which can cause cramps. I think I speak for most women when I say this is a cramp we are willing to accept.
11. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
One other condition that causes us to have cramps is PID (Pelvic inflammatory disease) . PID is an infectious type of swelling in the endometrium, fallopian tube and adjacent structures. In most cases, it is of bacterial origin and is frequent in young sexually active women. PID will cause an acute onset of pelvic pain accompanied with vaginal discharge, painful sex, painful urination, bleeding after sex and fever. They are mostly associated with STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia infections.
So we know that our uterus has specialized tissues that help with its functions. Sometimes these tissues can grow outside the uterus due to hormonal imbalance. For example they can grow in the ovaries, in the ureter, bladder and other surrounding organs. This process causes pelvic pain, painful menstruation, pain in the lower back, painful sex, painful urination, bloody stool and a chronic fatigue.
13. Ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal form of gynecological cancer in women. It affects most postmenopausal women between the ages of 55 and 64 with a very low rate of survival. Cramps can also suggest an advanced ovarian cancer since early stage ovarian cancer is asymptomatic. Ovarian cancer will present with chronic pelvic pain, abdominal pain, bloating, increased abdominal size, fatigue and early satiety. Family history is a very important risk factor, so make sure you know your family health history.
Your cramps could be as a result of an inflammation in your appendix. Fecal matter and foreign bodies can cause your appendix to swell resulting in a bacterial infection. Appendicitis is characterized by an acute onset of pain that can start at the upper part of the abdomen and gradually move to the right lower part of the abdomen. If you have this kind of pain, pay attention to accompanying symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and fever. Appendicitis is a medical emergency so make sure to see a doctor immediately.
15. Interstitial cystitis
If you have been having an urgent and frequent need to urinate accompanied with pelvic pain or pressure, you might have interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis also known as painful bladder syndrome is a noninfectious swelling of the walls of the bladder which can continue to deteriorate over time. The patient can urinate up 60 times a day and these symptoms can get worse during menstruation, ovulation, physical or emotional stress and even during sex. Also be careful what you consume as citrus fruits, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco and tomatoes can worsen the symptoms.
Ovulation for most women is uneventful but for many other women ovulation means pain. Ovulation occurs on the 14th day or the middle of your menstrual cycle. The release of mature eggs from the ovary can cause pelvic pain. This pain can last from minutes to hours and is mostly one sided depending on the ovary releasing the egg. Mittelschmerz is a German word for middle and pain which characterizes ovulation in some women.
Stress is the way we react to excessive pressure or demands. One of the physical symptoms of stress on the human body is cramping. Aside from that, stress worsens other health conditions that cause cramping. They are IBS, gastritis and inflammatory bowel syndromes. Now you know, your cramps might just be stress. Speaking of stress, one thing that can be stressful when your period is coming is dealing with your flow. We happen to really love some of the period panties on the market today – read our reviews of Ruby Love vs Modibodi and Think vs Speax.
18. Uterine Adenomyosis
As we already know, in endometriosis endometrial tissues grow outside the endometrium. These tissues can also grow within the muscles of the uterus. When this happens, the uterus enlarges until it is the size of a 12 weeks pregnancy. Women who have adenomyosis will experience chronic pelvic pain, increased abdomino-pelvic size, painful and heavy menstruation and anemia.
19. Urinary tract infections (UTI)
UTIs are very frequent in women and even more during pregnancy. The urinary tract infection is a very important cause of pelvic pain in women. It can affect the urethra, bladder or kidneys and are mostly caused by bacteria. Aside from pelvic (flanc) pain, UTI causes lower back pain, urinary frequency and urgency, burning sensation during urination, fever, vomiting and sometimes hematuria (blood in urine).
If you’re looking for care for UTIs, check out our review of Wisp. They offer virtual care that can help clear up outbreaks reactively, as well as supplements for proactive care to prevent symptoms in the future.
Diagnosing cramps with no period
Any cramp outside your menstrual cycle requires the attention of a physician. Chronic or sudden pain can be a red flag especially when accompanied with other symptoms. Remember to pay close attention to the timing and intensity of your pain so you can provide your physician with complete information so they can arrive at the right diagnosis.
When to talk to your doctor about cramping
From what we have seen so far, cramps are not always as a result of your menstruation. There are a million possible reasons you could be having cramps. The best option is always to see your physician when you have sudden pelvic pain or a chronic pain accompanied with any of the symptoms already mentioned in this article.
For a long time we have masked our pain and discomfort because society expects that of us. But the truth is, many women have lost their lives by not reacting fast enough to period pain outside of their menstrual cycle, so it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
Luckily now we have the knowledge to act, whether that means seeking non-drug treatments for regular menstrual cramps, such as pain relief devices from Livia or Ovira, or seeing a doctor right away for irregular pelvic pain. Either way, relief and guidance are always available.
Cramps But No Period
Pelvic pain similar to a menstrual period can happen at times when no period is due or can occur because of conditions other than the monthly cycle. Sometimes it is hard to tell the exact reason for cramps that feel like a menstrual period.
The following 12 diseases and conditions are examples of situations that can cause pain or cramps when not on your period.
In the middle of the menstrual cycle, or about 10-14 days before your period, ovulation occurs. This is the release of an egg from a follicle within the ovary.
- Symptoms can include
- mild cramping that may be sharp or dull,
- lasting a few minutes to hours. It typically occurs on one side of the abdomen only.
A cyst is an enclosed tissue sac filled with fluid. The ovary is a common location for cyst development.
- A small ovarian cyst typically does not cause symptoms, but if the cyst ruptures, it can cause sudden, sharp pains or cramps on one side of the lower abdomen.
- An enlarging cyst may cause dull pain or a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the lower abdomen or back.
This is a rare cause of pain or pressure within the abdomen or pelvis.
- Ovarian cancer may not cause any symptoms, but if the cancer is large, it can cause
- pain or pressure in the abdomen or back,
- a feeling of heaviness or fullness,
- swelling of the abdomen, and
- feeling an urgent need to urinate.
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10 symptoms of perimenopause
Perimenopause refers to the time period that begins when the ovaries begin to decline in function and continues until menopause (defined as the total cessation of menstrual flow for one calendar year). During this time, a woman may exhibit these symptoms that are largely due to abnormal hormonal fluctuations:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Decreased fertility
- Loss of bone density
- Mood changes
- Altered blood cholesterol levels
Pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy and endometriosis
Sometimes women in the very early stages of pregnancy experienced slight cramping, similar to mild menstrual cramps, right around the time that the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This is termed “implantation pain” and happens right around the time of the expected period.
- Usually, there are no other symptoms at this time other than the absence of a period. Sometimes there is light spotting at the time of implantation.
An ectopic pregnancy refers to a fertilized egg attaching in an abnormal location outside of the uterus (womb), typically in the fallopian tubes.
- A ruptured ectopic pregnancy can lead to sudden, severe sharp pains in the lower abdomen that can spread to the back.
- Before this happens, there may be the typical symptoms of early pregnancy like
- breast pain or tenderness, or
This is a condition in which tissue, similar to that found inside the uterus, grows in other locations outside of the uterus. It is a very common condition.
- Endometriosis can cause painful menstrual cramping during the menstrual period and at other times of the month as well. It can cause
- painful bowel movements, or
- pain during sex in some women.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome and appendicitis
PID refers to an inflammation of the internal sex organs that usually results from the spread of a sexually transmitted disease. It is usually caused by bacteria that spread from the vagina and cervix upward into the uterus, tubes, and ovaries.
- PID causes lower abdominal pain on both sides of the body, often accompanied by
- vaginal discharge,
- vomiting, and
- pain or burning with urination.
Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
This is a condition that results from chronic inflammation of the bladder. It can cause pain at any time of the month.
- Symptoms typically get worse when the bladder is full (when you have to urinate). It can cause pain and tenderness in the low abdomen or pelvic area. Other possible symptoms are
- painful urination and
- feeling an urgent need to urinate.
The appendix is a small pouch of tissue attached to one end of the large intestine. When it becomes irritated and inflamed (appendicitis), it may rupture and cause more serious problems.
- Symptoms of appendicitis include
- abdominal pain that starts in the middle and usually moves to the lower right side of the abdomen.
- nausea, and
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion
IBD refers to chronic (long-term) inflammation in the bowels (intestines). Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of IBD.
- Symptoms depend on the severity and exact type of IBD but usually include some type of abdominal pain.
- Other symptoms can include
- bloody stool,
- weight loss,
- fever, and
- feeling an urgent need to have a bowel movement.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
This disorder is different from IBD. With IBS there are a number of symptoms related to digestion, but there is no chronic inflammation in the intestines as with IBD.
- Symptoms of IBS can vary from mild to severe. Typical symptoms include
- constipation, and
- abdominal pain or cramping.
This refers to having symptoms related to digestive symptoms and is a common complaint. Indigestion is also referred to as dyspepsia.
- Symptoms of indigestion usually include
- pain in the upper part of the abdomen,
- feeling overly full, or
- feeling too full after eating.
When to seek medical attention
Always seek medical attention for the following serious symptoms that can accompany cramps or pain:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Sudden, severe, or worsening abdominal or pelvic pain
- Pain in the chest, arm, neck, or jaw
- Frequent vomiting
- High fever
- Blood in vomit or stool
- Black or tarry stools
- Shortness of breath
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Unexplained weight loss
- Slow or rapid heartbeats
- Loss of consciousness
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Medically Reviewed on 3/8/2022
Jameson, J.L., et al., eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Period pain: Overview.” Aug. 1, 2019.
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PMS vs. Pregnancy (Differences and Similarities)
Many women have difficulty figuring out if they are pregnant, have PMS, or are about to start their period. The most common signs and symptoms of early pregnancy, PMS, and the start of your period include mood swings, back pain, increased urination, and tender breasts. These three conditions also share other similar signs and symptoms, but there are unique differences between each. Moreover, there are symptoms that only occur if you are pregnant. Early pregnancy symptoms, PMS, and the start of the menstrual period all have common signs and symptoms like mood swings, back pain, and breast pain. Symptoms and signs between the three conditions that may seem similar, but are slightly different include the following: Pelvic or abdominal cramping before or during your menstrual period is normal; however, the cramping of early pregnancy is mild. If you are pregnant, nausea and vomiting, or morning sickness, is common. They are not common symptoms of PMS. Fatigue is common in both, but PMS usually goes away once your period begins. Food cravings or aversions to certain foods are common in both pregnancy and PMS, but if you are pregnant, the cravings or aversions to foods are more specific and intense. You may have spotting or bleeding if you are pregnant or suffering from PMS. When the embryo inserts itself into the uterus (implantation bleeding), you may mistake it as your menstrual period. However, implantation bleeding is much lighter (not enough to soak a pad or tampon) than the heaving bleeding experienced at the beginning of your period. Signs and symptoms that you may have only if you are pregnant include, implantation cramping and bleeding, a white, milky vaginal discharge, and your areolas or nipples darken. The only way to find out if you are pregnant is with a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy test kits are available without a prescription at pharmacies and most grocery stores. Contact a doctor or other health care professional if you think you may be pregnant.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs
Pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women experience the same symptoms. When women do experience pregnancy symptoms they may include symptoms include missed menstrual period, mood changes, headaches, lower back pain, fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and heartburn. Signs and symptoms in late pregnancy include leg swelling and shortness of breath. Options for relief of pregnancy symptoms include exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes.
There are two types of pregnancy tests. One is done in the doctor’s office, and tests the blood for the pregnancy hormone, hCG. The other type of pregnancy test can be bought over-the-counter and checks the urine for this hormone. There are many types of home pregnancy tests to choose from. Accuracy of home pregnancy tests depend on how, when, and who uses them, and the brand. It is possible to have a false-negative with a home pregnancy test.
Pregnancy: Prenatal Care and Tests
Prenatal care is important for the health of both mother and baby. Common prenatal tests include ultrasound, amniocentesis, screening for group B strep and chronic villus sampling. Prenatal care also helps detect health conditions related to pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by Week
See pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman’s body goes through and view fetal images of how her baby grows during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
Tubal Pregnancy Picture
A pregnancy that is not in the usual place within the uterus but is located in the Fallopian tube. See a picture of Tubal Pregnancy and learn more about the health topic.