Cramps but no period, also known as “silent” or “phantom” cramps, are muscle contractions or spasms that occur in the uterus or abdomen. Other symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and nausea might also be present.
You have cramps but no period because of an underlying medical condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you are ovulating, going through menopause, stress, intense exercise, or early pregnancy.
This blog will take you through all the possible reasons why one may have cramps but no period.
Reasons why you have cramps but no period.
One reason for cramping without a period is ovulation. It does not happen to all ladies but some have experienced it at one point in their lives.
Most women experience mild cramping during the ovulation process. During ovulation, the ovary releases the egg, and the surrounding tissue swells and stretches, which can cause mild cramping or discomfort on one side of the lower abdomen.
Ovulation cramping is usually mild and only lasts a few hours or days. In some cases, it may be accompanied by spotting or light vaginal bleeding.
Stress is another common trigger for many symptoms, such as cramping. When we’re stressed, our bodies release stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which can affect the muscles in the uterus and cause cramping.
Stress can also trigger other symptoms like bloating and diarrhea, which can also lead to cramping. In addition, stress can disrupt the menstrual cycle and cause irregular periods, which can cause cramping and other symptoms.
If you’re experiencing cramping and think that stress may be the cause, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or mental health professional to find ways to manage your stress and reduce your symptoms.
3. Intense workouts.
Intense physical activity could also be why you have cramps, particularly in the abdominal and leg muscles.
Cramps are involuntary muscle contractions or spasms that can be painful and uncomfortable. Exercise can cause cramps in the muscles that are being used, such as the leg or abdominal muscles.
This is known as a “muscle cramp” or “exercise-associated muscle cramping” (EAMC). Muscle cramps during exercise can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and overuse of the muscles.
In some cases, cramping during exercise may indicate a certain type of illness that hasn’t been diagnosed yet. An example is injury or nerve damage.
If you have cramps during exercise, don’t assume it. Consult your doctor on the same.
4. You have an STI
You could also have cramps and no period because of an STI. STIs are a common reason for painful lower abdominal cramps.
Some common STIs that can cause cramping include;
In addition to cramping, STIs can also cause other symptoms, such as vaginal discharge, pain or burning during urination, and pain during sex. If you’re experiencing cramping and think you might have an STI, it’s important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
If proper treatment commences immediately after you are diagnosed with an STI, you will be able to heal faster and won’t transmit it to your partner.
Another common cause of cramps with no period is pregnancy. Pregnancy makes women to go through body and hormone changes which may cause cramps. These hormonal changes can cause cramping in the lower abdomen, which can be similar to the cramps that a woman might experience during her menstrual cycle.
An ectopic pregnancy is also a reason for cramping. Cramping is a common symptom of an ectopic pregnancy, along with vaginal bleeding, shoulder pain, and dizziness or fainting.
Seek medical help immediately if you are pregnant and is experiencing strange stomach cramps. Early treatment can help prevent complications and preserve fertility.
Additionally, Implantation bleeding also leads to cramps. It is light vaginal bleeding that occurs when an egg implants itself on the uterine lining. This typically occurs about 6-12 days after fertilization.
6. Hormonal imbalance
Another reason why a person might experience cramps but no period is because of a change in their hormonal balance.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as stress, weight loss or gain, or other factors that can affect a person’s hormone levels.
When the hormonal balance in the body changes, it can cause changes in the menstrual cycle, including the absence of a period.
7. Some medications
In some cases, a person might experience cramps but no period because they are using certain medications or have recently started or stopped using birth control.
Some medications, such as antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs, can affect a person’s menstrual cycle and cause them to experience cramps without a period. Similarly, starting or stopping birth control can also cause changes in a person’s menstrual cycle, including the absence of a period.
8. Health conditions
It’s also possible for a person to experience cramps but no period because of underlying health conditions. For example, conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid disorders can affect a person’s menstrual cycle and cause them to experience cramps without a period.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is also characterized by cramping as one of the signs and symptoms.
In some cases, these conditions can also cause other symptoms, such as irregular periods, weight gain, and changes in mood.
Some people may experience cramps but no period because they have reached menopause. Like pregnancy, menopause causes women to go through hormonal changes that may trigger cramps but no period.
This decline can cause a woman to experience a variety of symptoms, including cramps, hot flashes, mood changes, and irregular periods.
In some cases, a woman may experience cramps during menopause, but she will not have a period because her body is no longer producing eggs.
10. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
In addition to the physical causes of cramps but no period, there are also psychological factors that can contribute to this experience. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is more painful than normal PMS which occurs before periods in some ladies.
People with PMDD may experience a variety of symptoms, including mood changes, irritability, and physical symptoms such as cramps, but they may not have a period.
Diagnosis for cramps but no period
To diagnose cramps without a period;
- A doctor will engage in an interview where you will be asked about how you feel and if you have experienced it before.
- Physical exam.
- Blood or urine tests as needed.
After that, the doctor may also refer you to a specialist, such as a gynecologist or a gastroenterologist, for further evaluation and treatment.
Treatment for cramps with no period
The treatment for cramps without a period will depend on the underlying cause.
- If you have an STD, the doctor will commence treatment.
- If cramps are caused by pregnancy, the doctor will advise on what to do including prenatal care.
- If cramping is caused by menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help reduce symptoms. A doctor can prescribe HRT and monitor its effects.
- If cramping is caused by ovulation, do not worry, it will go away after a while. Over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve the pain.
- If cramping is caused by stress, managing stress and anxiety can help reduce symptoms. Techniques such as relaxation techniques, meditation, and exercise can be helpful.
- If cramping is caused by exercise, taking a break from the activity and stretching the affected muscles can help relieve discomfort.
Overall, there are many reasons why a person might experience cramps but no period. If you have cramps but no period, schedule an appointment with a doctor or OB-GYN.
In some cases, treatment may involve medications or other therapies to help regulate your menstrual cycle and manage your symptoms.