15 Reasons for Cramps but No Period, Per Doctors

Having cramps but not having a period? Even though experiencing pelvic pain and discomfort outside of your menstrual cycle can be frightening (especially if it’s coupled with other alarming symptoms), the underlying cause may not be as serious as you initially suspect. While cramps are a typical period-related pain, Kiarra King, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, notes that “it is not uncommon for people to have cramps outside of their menstrual cycle.” “They can happen for a number of causes.”

Outside of the period cycle, there are many conditions that can cause cramping but no period, including stress, hormonal imbalances, and even pregnancy. Numerous conditions unrelated to the uterus, such as gastrointestinal disorders and urinary tract infections, can also result in excruciating pelvic cramps.

According to Sherry Ross, M.D., a specialist in women’s sexual health and author of the books she-ology and the she-quel, “every woman experiences cramps differently.” The cause of unexplained cramping can be determined with the aid of a thorough history, pelvic exam, urine pregnancy test, urine culture, STI testing, and pelvic ultrasound. So, if you’re worried about what’s causing your cramps, make an appointment with your doctor.

You should call your doctor if your cramps are accompanied by incapacitating pain, heavier bleeding or blood clots, a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or a positive pregnancy test, according to Dr. Ross.

It can be difficult to determine if your cramps should cause concern at times. Fortunately, we’re sharing some of the most typical reasons experts give for cramping without a period.

Reasons for cramps but no period

Dr. Ross explains that there are a variety of illnesses that can cause cramping or pelvic pain without being related to your period. Find a few typical explanations below.


According to Dr. King, ovulation, or the release of an egg from the ovary, can result in pain, cramping, discomfort, and spotting. In the medical community, this occurrence is referred to as mittelschmerz, which means “generally happens mid-cycle” and describes the pain and discomfort brought on by ovulation.


Endometriosis is a potential cause of cramping outside of your period, according to both experts. According to Dr. Ross, endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine tissue develops externally rather than internally, resulting in “significant cramping.” Although the cause is not fully understood, it is believed to be due to pelvic endometrial [tissue] expanding outside of the uterus.

3. Infection of the urinary tract

Because the bladder is anatomically placed directly in front of the uterus, a urinary tract infection, or UTI, can also result in cramping, according to Dr. King. “A urinary tract infection can cause pain and cramping due to the spasming of the bladder, and this can happen whether or not a person is on their period.”

4. Cystitis interstitial

According to Dr. Ross, interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome, is another urinary cause of cramping in the lower abdomen. Pelvic pain and a persistent, strong urge to urinate are among the symptoms of this illness that are similar to those of a urinary tract infection. Interstitial cystitis is often a chronic condition, according to Dr. King, and is diagnosed as a last resort after all other tests come back normal.

5. Bowel problems

Both experts point out that bowel conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), irritable bowel disease (IBD), and even constipation and diarrhea can be to blame. According to Dr. Ross, these irregular bowel movements lead to severe lower abdominal cramping. This painful condition, which can be incapacitating, is caused by an intestinal spasm.

6. Fibroids

Fibroids are among the most typical pelvic masses discovered and one of the most typical reasons for women to undergo pelvic or gynecologic surgery, according to Dr. King. Essentially benign tumours of the uterus, and they can range in size from very small to extremely large and cause a wide range of symptoms. They can undoubtedly result in severe pelvic cramps and profuse menstrual bleeding.

7.Cysts in the ovaries

According to Dr. King, any ovarian mass or cyst can “cause pain, discomfort, and possibly cramping.” An additional related symptom is pain during sexual activity.

8. Intercourse-related discomfort

According to Dr. Ross, some sexual positions are known to be harder on the uterus and other female organs like the ovaries and vagina. “Doggie Style,” or from behind, allows for deeper penetration for the male but causes more discomfort and pain for many women, as opposed to the “Missionary” position, which tends to be easier for women and their anatomy. Depending on the position, cramping during sex can be typical as some positions don’t work for everyone. With your partner, Dr. Ross advises figuring out which positions feel the most comfortable for you.

9. Pressure

Similar to this, Dr. Ross explains that “feeling depressed, anxious, having relationship problems, and fear of intimacy all play a role in getting sexually aroused and contribute to painful sex and uterine cramping.” According to Dr. Ross, significant stress of any kind can alter hormones and result in cramping, leaving aside sexual and romantic relationships.

10. An unborn child

According to Dr. Ross, uterine cramping or spotting may occur when the embryo implants itself in the uterine lining. “Compared to the more intense cramping associated with a typical period, the uterine cramping associated with implantation bleeding is mild.”

11. Ectopic conception

Ectopic pregnancy is when an embryo implants outside of the uterus (typically in the fallopian tubes or ovary), and according to Dr. King, “there could absolutely be pain and cramping” as a result. Dr. King cautions that since these pregnancies are not viable, anyone in the early stages of pregnancy who experiences cramping or spotting should contact their doctor right away.

12. Pregnancy loss

Dr. Ross laments that “every pregnant woman has a 25% chance of miscarrying.” “It is time to be concerned that you are having a miscarriage when the bleeding starts to look like a heavy period with blood clots and severe menstrual-like cramping.”

13. Inflammatory disease of the pelvis

Any type of bacteria, whether related to STDs or not, that enters the vagina and uterus and causes an infection is the root cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). According to Dr. King, additional symptoms include fever and foul-smelling discharge in addition to cramping and pelvic pain. Dr. Ross points out that it can result in infertility if left untreated, which is why it is crucial to get routine health examinations and testing between new sexual partners.

14. Thyroid conditions

According to Dr. Ross, “your period is frequently a barometer of your body’s overall health and wellness.” Monthly periods suggest that this intricate hormonal balance is functioning properly. Thyroid problems may be to blame for irregular periods and cramps that don’t occur during a period when your hormones are out of balance.

15. Remarkable weight changes

Similar to this, Dr. Ross notes that “significant weight changes—gaining or losing too much—can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance,” leading to irregular periods, pelvic pain or discomfort, and cramping outside of a period.

How to find relief from cramping?

There are a few things you can do at home to find relief from cramps, both during and outside of a period. Find some advice from Dr. Ross below:

  • Relaxing in a warm bath and/or using a heating pad on the abdomen can be helpful.
  • Drinking warm or hot beverages helps relax the uterine muscles.
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which help block the action of “increased levels of prostaglandins which makes the uterus contract,” causing cramps, Dr. Ross notes.
  • If birth control is an option for you, try going on a hormonal birth control pill, which “shortens the length, amount, and flow of period bleeding,” leading to fewer cramps, Dr. Ross says.

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