Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pelvic pains during menstruation. However, people are more familiar with cramps. Although cramps are usually not harmful, there are a few situations when you should check in with your doctor, especially when you experience cramps but no period.
Pains in the pelvic or stomach area mainly occur during periods. However, some women have painful cramps throughout the menstrual cycle. Here are some factors that increase the risk of cramps:
- longer menstrual cycles
- a history of irregular bleeding
What causes non-period cramps?
Cramps but no period followed by vaginal discharge is a red flag. I recommend you check in with your doctor if this is the case. Some cases can be severe, but others are mild. Nevertheless, it is best to check in with your doctor if you experience any symptoms below. Here are some of the most common medical conditions that can cause non-period cramps.
You may feel some pain during ovulation. Although ovulation shouldn’t cause pain, some women feel a sharp pain in the pelvic area. This type of menstrual cramps is common and often not a serious issue. After 10-14 days after your period, your ovaries release an unfertilized egg.
Another reason why you can have cramps but not a period is due to an ovarian cyst. As mentioned above, our ovaries release an egg during ovulation; however, an ovarian cyst can block the egg or fail to close properly after the egg is released. However, this usually happens when the size of the cyst is big.
Ovarian cysts are common due to hormonal imbalances; however, it is worth checking in with your doctor.
Fibroids are benign tumors that grow inside the uterine walls. Although most of the time they are harmless, some people can experience bleeding. It is another reason why some women can have cramps but not during periods.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects women of all ages. It is a condition where the tissue-like lining of the womb starts growing in different locations outside the uterus. This tissue is typically found inside the uterus, and it can cause non-period cramps. Women can also feel pain during defection and sex.
Interstitial cystitis is a lifetime condition that affects blader. Often you can experience menstrual cramps but no period if you suffer from perimenopause, Crohn’s disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, or ovarian cancer. Keep in mind that any of these diagnostics can be given only by a professional.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
An STD usually causes this medical condition. It is a painful inflammation of the internal sexual organs. You can experience abdominal pain of both sides as well as:
- vaginal discharge
- pain or burning with urination
Early pregnancy can be a little bit painful due to the egg implanting on the uterus. This pain is very similar to menstrual cramps. However, it is often followed by morning sickness, spotting, and breast tenderness.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the egg implants outside the womb. Often, the egg implants in the fallopian tubes that link the ovaries to the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy rupture is very painful and sometimes even life-threatening due to internal bleeding. However, a woman can experience all the typical pregnancy symptoms before the rupture.
Sometimes you can confuse menstrual cramps with appendicitis. Appendicitis symptoms are:
- abdominal pains
The appendix is connected to the large intestine, and it can be inflamed to the point of rupture. Although it is not a severe medical intervention if it is just an inflammation, when it, ruptures it is dangerous. Nevertheless, it could be one of the reasons why you feel cramps but not during your period.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is another reason why women have cramps but not periods. It is another lifetime condition; however, you can reduce the symptoms via dietary changes. In some instances, the doctor may recommend you some OTC medication. Some of the most common symptoms are constipation, diarrhea, stomach swelling or bloating, discomfort in the upper abdomen.
Cramps but not periods can appear when you have indigestion. Although it is not a severe medical condition, you should check in with your doctor if it lasts for weeks or months. The symptoms are stomach pains, burning, or discomfort. Often you could feel full while eating even if you haven’t eaten much.
Some people can’t digest the natural sugar found in milk or other dairy products. Therefore they are lactose intolerant and could experience cramps but not during periods. Other symptoms are diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and gas.
Treatment for non-period cramps
Ibuprofen works for menstrual cramps during the period but can also do the trick for non-period cramps. Remember, pelvic pains are normal during periods, but that doesn’t mean you have to bear them.
I advise you to keep track of your cramps outside and during your periods. Also, pay attention to the pain intensity and other symptoms. This way, it will be easier for the doctor to figure out the right diagnostic.
The sooner you get a diagnosis, the better, especially if we talk about the pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause irreversible damage to your reproductive system.
When you get cramps but no periods, it is worth checking in with your doctor for a quick check-up. Most of the above conditions can be treated more effectively if discovered on time.