If you are experiencing period pain, but it is not that time of the month, you might have a few alarm bells going off. Or if you have period pain but no period and it is that time of the month, you likely want to figure out what is going on. After all, usually, when the pain matches up with that monthly visitor, it all makes sense. But when this does not happen, it can create some confusion.
So, let’s start at the beginning and understand the menstrual cycle. From there, we will dig into reasons why you might experience period pains but no period—and what to do about it.
Possible Symptoms of Period Pain Without Period
If you are wondering, “Why do I have period pain but no period; Could I be pregnant,” it is entirely possible this is the case. If you have other symptoms, such as achy or tender breasts, nausea, headaches, or fatigue, it might be worth taking a pregnancy test.
On the other hand, if your symptoms do not match up with early pregnancy symptoms, it could indicate something else is at play. Below, we take a closer look at why you may have cramps but no period.
Reasons for Period Pain but No Period
No period but period pains can pose a frustrating issue, especially if the pain or cramps are frequent or severe. From lifestyle changes and stress to ovulation and more serious conditions, there are many reasons you could experience severe period pain but no period. Below, we take a closer look at some of the reasons this might occur.
Lifestyle Changes, Stress, or Diet
Stress can occur due to general events in your life or from drastic lifestyle or dietary changes. For example, if you have significantly cut calories or upped your workout routine, this can quickly increase stress in the body.
The problem with stress is that the main stress hormone, cortisol, actually steals from progesterone—meaning it can interfere with your cycle and lead to infrequent or unexpected period symptoms but no period.
For combatting stress, practice stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. It may also be beneficial to opt out of intense workouts or drastic diet changes. Instead, gradually introduce new habitual lifestyle changes so your body has time to adjust. Try to focus on your well-being and eating healthy rather than eating for weight loss.
If it is that time of the month but no monthly visitor has arrived (besides cramping), pregnancy is the most obvious answer. The best thing you can do here is take a pregnancy test to either confirm this or eliminate it.
If it is not time for your period to arrive yet, check where you are in your cycle. If you are wondering, “Why do I have cramps on my left side but no period,” ovulation might be the answer. Ovulation can mimic period pain but is frequently one-sided. If you determine your 14 days into your cycle, this is the likely culprit. Alternatively, you can also take an ovulation test.
Lower abdominal pain, similar to period pain, may also be a sign of other conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In fact, women are two to three times more likely to experience this condition than men.
Often, you will notice this pain goes away after a bowel movement or two. Alternatively, you may opt to take over-the-counter digestion and stomach remedies to ease your symptoms.
If you are between the ages of 40 and 60 years old, having cramps and lower back pain but no period could indicate you are entering menopause. While amenorrhea may occur for a variety of reasons (such as PCOS, which is discussed below), if you are around the age of menopause and have noticed irregularities in your cycle, book a visit with your doctor. They can run the proper tests to determine if menopause is taking place.
While rare, ovarian cancer is important to consider as getting treatment early is critical for positive outcomes. The symptoms of this disease are often very subtle. However, period pain but no period could be a potential sign.
Endometriosis happens when uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus. This can lead to pain similar to period cramping. However, this pain does not frequently occur at the typical time of one’s monthly bleed and may show up weeks prior to menstruation.
Ovarian cysts create the eggs that are released at ovulation. However, they do not always go away. Some cysts can stick around, leading to period-like pain.
Medication or Illness
Some medications may lead to increased cramping, which does not align with your period. For instance, taking excess ibuprofen, aspirin, antibiotics, or laxatives could lead to increased abdominal pain caused by an upset gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, illnesses such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another infection may also lead to abdominal pain and cramping.
Initial pain caused by appendicitis may be similar to period pain. This condition happens when the appendix becomes blocked and inflamed. However, it is quick to distinguish the difference as this pain often comes on suddenly and gets increasingly worse. If this happens, get yourself to the emergency room as soon as possible.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition where an individual has increased androgen hormones, leading to pain, hair growth, weight gain, and even insulin sensitivity. This condition often causes cysts in the ovaries, which can lead to abdominal cramping and pain but no period. It may also cause irregular periods or missed periods due to hormonal imbalances present.
How to Treat Period Pains When You’re Not on Your Period
Ultimately, this may depend on the cause and other symptoms present. If you have not been taking over-the-counter pain relievers, this may be a quick fix for your pain. However, if the pain is getting progressively worse and other alarming symptoms are present, it is crucial to get yourself seen by a medical professional as soon as you can.