While it is perfectly normal to experience cramps while on your period, it is also customary to have them while not being on your period. In cases like these, conditions such as pregnancy, constipation, rigorous training are also to blame. However, if you happen to experience painful, severe cramps after your period or before your period date, then it might be something else.

Period-like cramps and symptoms are not much of an issue if they aren’t accompanied by signs such as: 

  • Extreme nausea
  • Boating
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing or
  • Constant pain in your pelvic region

If you happen to go through such situations, it is better to call your doctor or reach out to a medical professional immediately. 

In today’s article, we’ll look at the causes as to why women experience period-like cramps but with no period in sight. Some of these causes can be normal that doesn’t require a doctor’s attention, but some scream danger and must be tended to immediately.

Signs And Causes Of Cramps Without Period


vector of a woman having painful cramps


Before you jump to a certain conclusion, it is best to read through the signs and understand what causes cramping without periods.

Menstrual cramps occur in the lower stomach or pelvic region. They usually commence on either the first or second day of the period. But if your cramps don’t align with your period, then it could not be related to your menstrual cycle in the first place.

1. Ovulation

One of the most common reasons you have painful cramps before your period is ovulation.

Ovulation is an essential part of your menstrual cycle. It happens when an egg is released from your ovary. When the egg is released, it waits to be fertilised by a sperm. If the egg fertilises, the egg goes to the uterus and implants. This process then develops into pregnancy.

If this egg isn’t fertilised, it breaks up, and the uterine lining is shed while being on a period. This takes place 14 days before your period. Though this process is painless, some women have reported dull to sharp pain in their lower stomach area.

Therefore, the simplest reason for experiencing cramps before your period is the process of ovulation. It is natural – thus, there is nothing to worry about. You can also take a painkiller to ease your suffering.

2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is another case where you have period cramps unrelated to your menstrual cycle.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, also known as PID, is referred to as an infection of the female reproductive organs. It is often caused due to the complication of sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

The pelvis is located in the lower region, including the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. The symptoms of PID comprises; normal to severe pain in the pelvis and cramps, thick vaginal discharge accompanied by a nasty odour, abnormal bleeding between menstrual cycles and many more.

That being mentioned, if you are having unbearable cramps, bleeding heavily and have a fever too, then it would be best to visit your doctor at once. It is also advisable that you tone down your sexual activities, look for signs and avoid making your case worse.

3. Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of those natural processes that take place all over the world. And as you have guessed, cramping can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. They bear a striking resemblance to menstrual cramps and are joined with mild to light bleeding/spots.

These cramps sneak in when a fertilised embryo implants in your uterine line. However, there are many signs aside from cramps that indicate pregnancy. Such signs are headaches, morning sickness and the swelling of the breasts. These are the classic signs that point towards a possible pregnancy. 

Hence if you experience these signs alongside cramps and a little spotting, it would be best to check up with your doctor as you may wait for a little one in the world. 

Unusual and severe cramps without these signs could point to something potentially dangerous. Apart from the normal pregnancy cramps, if you experience sudden cramping in your abdomen, shoulder, neck and pelvis, you might be undergoing an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy is when the egg fertilises itself outside the womb, commonly in the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the womb. If the egg gets stuck here, it won’t transform into a baby and might cause alerting problems as the pregnancy continues. 

Note: Ectopic pregnancy is also an alerting condition and must be looked after immediately.

4. Stress and Anxiety

Suppose it isn’t the cause that makes us cry – stress. If stress and anxiety can mess up with your mental health, then they can definitely cause some physical pain as well, and that includes cramps too.

Stress is defined as the body’s response to either a threat or demand. Unfortunately, stress is quite common in today’s era. It has a powerful impact on our minds, disturbing our daily routine or even making us lose our focus.

Enter cortisol is a hormone responsible for dealing with stress. Nonetheless, it can cause irregular periods, which can also cause episodes of painful cramps. That is why you must never take too much pressure and perform mind-relieving exercises such as yoga to counterattack its deadly effects.

P.S: Stress, bad lifestyle choices, disturbed sleep cycle and unhygienic circumstances can also evolve into a much bigger issue, such as the (IBS) Irritable Bowel Syndrome.


5. Ovarian Cyst

Ovarian cysts are majorly defined as these fluid-filled sacs or pouches that reside either in the ovaries or on the top. Ovarian cysts mostly go away without any disturbances and depict no symptoms. However, if you’re noticing a weird cycle of irregular cramps, it could be that your ovary has gone large.

Because it becomes large, it bursts. A ruptured cyst can instantly root critical and sudden cramps on either side of your abdomen. Thus, if you constantly complain about weird cramps, see a doctor as soon as possible.


Cramps are unpleasant, and nobody wants them popping around here and there even if they are on their period. However, going through awful cramps long before or after you’re done with your period may indicate something worse.

Don’t ignore the signs and see a doctor immediately if you can’t get your cramps to calm down. You might be dealing with some serious medical condition.