Cramping is the most commonly experienced premenstrual symptom, as it marks the start of menses. During menstruation, the muscles of the uterus contract to expel the uterine lining that has built up over the previous few weeks. Experiencing menstrual cramps with no sign of a period beginning can be disconcerting and frustrating. Women expecting their periods are often baffled when they experience all the period-like symptoms, but their period doesn’t begin. Abdominal cramping and an absent period can be two different symptoms that coincide at the same time. However, sometimes cramping but no period can be a sign of something more serious.

What Does Cramping but No Period Mean?

There are a number of reasons for experiencing cramping but no period, including:

Eating Disorder

The most common eating disorders are bulimia and anorexia. A woman who has an eating disorder can experience irregular periods or having them stop altogether. This can lead to cramping at the time the period would normally occur but no bleeding.



Cramping but no period can occur during the menstrual cycle due to ovulation, signaling the release of an egg from the ovary. This type of cramping can occur on one side of the body and last from a few hours to a few days.



During menopause, women can experience irregular periods and even have no periods for months at a time. Cramps can still be experienced around the time the period would occur, though none starts. This is a sign of a lowering of reproductive hormones in the body.



During pregnancy, cramps can be a sign of the embryo implanting itself in the uterus and this can also cause some spotting. Another cause for cramps during pregnancy is the expansion of the uterus to accommodate the growing fetus.


Ectopic Pregnancy

Severe cramping with no sign of the period can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg is unable to leave the fallopian tube but continues to grow. Other symptoms include vaginal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and breast tenderness.


Ovarian Cyst

Two types of cysts can form in the ovary, causing cramping but no period. One is where the egg fails to be released by the ovarian follicle (follicle cyst) but the size of the egg increases. The other is a fluid-filled cyst (corpus luteum cyst) that develops in the sac after the egg is released. Both types usually require no treatment and go away on their own in a few days.


Autoimmune Oophoritis

An autoimmune disorder is a condition where the immune system attacks the body’s cells, seeing them as invaders and causing inflammation. This can cause the ovaries to shrink and harden, reducing the hormone levels in the body and causing infertility. This can also cause cramping and other symptoms of the menstrual cycle, even though there is no period.


Cervical Stenosis

Cervical stenosis is a condition in which the opening of the cervix is so narrow that it restricts the flow of blood during the period. With cervical stenosis, women can suffer irregular periods and cramping without getting their period.



For some women, the tissue that grows inside the uterus can grow outside the uterus and within the abdominal cavity. This is called endometriosis and it can be quite painful, causing cramping for 1 to 2 weeks before the start of the period.


Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is difficult to identify because it has many symptoms similar to other health issues. And cramping but no period is one of the symptoms, as it accompanies irregular periods. Other symptoms to be aware of are pain and pressure in the abdomen, swelling in the abdomen, and frequency of urination.


Other Causes of Cramping but No Period

  • Many things can happen in the body when a woman is under stress, even delaying the menstrual cycle. This can lead to cramps but no period when the period would normally happen.

  • Gas and constipation can cause painful cramping that can be confused with the cramping associated with the menstrual cycle.

  • Cramping can also be the result of certain medications and illnesses that can interrupt the normal menstrual cycle.

  • Other diseases that can cause cramping but no period include Premature Ovarian Failure and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

  • There are many reasons for cramping with no period which vary from woman to woman, so do not rely on self-diagnosis. If your cramping but no period concerns you, consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. An underlying medical condition can then be properly treated.

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  • sophie Jones Jan.11 23:05
    Hi I'm 19 I'm having really bad pains in my belly and bleeding down below buy I'm not on my period had I haven't had one for 5 years cause of contraception so it's kinase worrying me cab anyone help me please?
  • AmberJan.7 12:48
    Hi. Im 17 and cannot be pregnant so why am I having bad cramps and tender breasts when i am 9 days late? Please help. Im scared.
  • AllyJan.4 12:42
    I'm 21 and my period is almost a week late. My last cycle was 2 weeks late. I always have cramps, though they're very mild so they don't bother me, but when it comes to my due date my cramps get really bad. I've had bad cramps since NYE, my breasts have been very sore and my whole body in general is behaving the way it does when I've got my period, but it has been a no show so far. I'm 100% not pregnant as I am a virgin, does anyone have an idea as to why this is happening? Is it worth a trip to the doctor?
  • AnnirDec.27 20:37
    Had 2 strokes in august and haven't had a normal period since.. I haven't had a period since October. I'm 34 and have my tubes tied! I'm scared I'm going thru menopause or could it be from the strokes?
  • StephanieDec.17 01:53
    I have not had a period since around October 1st. I was having periods like clockwork, and then they just stopped. About two weeks after I should have my period in November, I started spotting. At first, I thought I somehow skipped a cycle and now I was ovulating, but it lasted for two weeks. It came time for my next period, and still nothing. Also, I have had mild to moderate cramping off and on throughout this time period. It is impossible for me to be pregnant or to even have been pregnant. Any suggestions as to what this could be?
  • OlamideNov.13 23:26
    I Av being aging cramps for some days now, my last period was on 17th of Oct.had an unprotected sex on 22th of Oct which I took postpill after 48hrs. Could it be pregnancy, am scared ooo, d pains is much. Olamide
  • KmacNov.10 13:11
    It's probably been 5 months since I have had a period Although I do get a bit of pain in my lower abdomen as if it was coming I haven't had sex as of yet so I can't be pregnant however I am under a lot of stress at the moment
  • Love 27Nov.8 20:05
    My last period was on the 24of sep2016 took noristerat injection on the 27th of Sep am a 36days cycle me and my bf been having unprotected sex from the 3of October today is the 8of Nov 2016 and still no period can I be pregnant
  • ShanaNov.7 04:32
    I stopped birth control pills 5 months ago and have not had my monthly since, doctor said it's common. 2days ago felt like I was getting it and been major cramping since with no bleeding so went to doctor in pee sample there was little blood in it doctor gave me antibiotics incase a bacteria infection or said I'm getting my period. Kidney stone etc etc negative no pain there straight menstrual cramps and gas. Anyone else had this issue getting off birth control.
  • kelsNov.3 13:13
    My cramps are really bad and I meant to say they are on the lower right part of my stomach
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