Cramps… but no periods? Here are the reasons

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Period-like symptoms throw a few women in a frenzy, expecting the body to naturally respond in kind to the symptoms. Sometimes it doesn’t just happen! It turns out, lots of women may get pelvic pain and cramping, coupled with the associated period symptoms, but… “nada,” your period isn’t always to blame.

Chailee Moss, M.D., an ob-gyn at Johns Hopkins Medicine explains that there is no reason to freak out when such an occurrence is in the offing. She says there are many reasons to have menstrual cramps and have no periods.

“Hormonal changes related to ovulation can affect some of the same pathways in your brain that might be affected by other medical conditions, causing mood swings that feel similar to your period but aren’t related to ovulation or menses,” she adds

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether the pain is caused by something serious. This may sound unfortunate, and yes it is. While you should not worry about missing a period every so often, it is important to seek a medical opinion especially when the missed period is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, significant fever and pain that does not respond to OTC medications. However, if you skip three periods in a row, it may be signalling a more serious problem.

Some of the reasons for period-like cramps have been discussed below

Pregnancy

The first thing that comes to mind when someone misses her periods is pregnancy. It is not the only reason, however, if you have been involved in a sexual activity in the last one month, chances are you are missing your periods because you have conceived. You should probably take a pregnancy test if you have the period-like symptoms without the period. Early signs of pregnancy are similar to the ones experienced every month in the cycle. Examples given include; breast tenderness, fatigue, cramps and fluctuating moods.

Birth control methods that involve hormones

Hormonal Inter-Uterine Devices (IUDs) commonly used for birth control often have side effects. Sometimes these side effects may include skipped periods. One way hormonal IUDs prevent pregnancy is by thinning out the endometrial lining of the uterus so that when the monthly cycle is complete there is nothing to shed. Additionally, birth control pills may exact the same effects while period-like symptoms remain.

Medical and other biological conditions

There are a number of diseases and medical conditions that may actually stop your periods. For instance, Crohn’s Disease, also known as Ulcerative Colitis, causes an inflammation in the bowels that causes lots irritating swellings in different parts of the Gastro-intestinal Tract (GIT). Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis are responsible for a feeling of cramping in the right lower, the middle parts of the belly and the lower left side of the stomach.

Endometriosis is a long-term chronic condition that also exacts the same cramping effects as with the period. In this condition, tissues similar to the endometrial lining attach to other organs and begin to grow too to cause regular period cramps. Endometriosis sometimes makes it hard for a woman to get pregnant.

Pelvic inflammmatory Disease (PID), a sexually transmitted bacterial infection may affect many of the female reproductive parts that help a woman conceive and keep the foetus growing. These parts include the fallopian tubes, the vagina, the ovaries, the cervix and the uterus (womb). PID can happen any time of the month and causes lots of cramping pain on both sides of the lower belly and lower back.

Other medical conditions include Interstitial Cystitis that affects the bladder, the Pelvic-Floor Muscle Dysfunction that causes severe spasms in the muscles that support the bladder, womb, vagina, and rectum, appendicitis, Irritable bowel syndrome and Ovarian Cancer.

Miscarriage

It is unfortunate to lose an unborn baby. Miscarriages happen before the 20th week of pregancy. Cramps resulting from a miscarriage can be very severe and can iclude vaginal bleeding and spotting. Signs of a miscarriage can include severe menstrual-like cramping. If you are expectant and some of these symptoms happen, it is very important you contact your health care provider as soon as you can.

Anovulation

This a condition that is caused by all hormonal changes associated with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). It happens especially when during a normal cycle a woman does not produce an egg. Essentially, a woman who goes through this cycle does get her period, and this makes conception a little difficult. Doctors say that 20 per cent of all the regular monthly cycles are anovulatory.
There are many more reasons why you may not experience which cannot be exhausted here. Do your research as you continue taking care of your reproductive health.

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