Fibroids and Cramps
Many women may mistake normal menstrual cramps with pelvic pain from uterine fibroids; however without treatment, cramping due to fibroids can intensify over time. Luckily, there’s a treatment that’s both convenient and effective, allowing you to get back to your everyday life without painful cramps.
Cramps Between Periods
Are you experiencing painful menstrual cramps, but no period? If so, it is probably a good idea to contact your doctor. While having cramps for one to three days before and during your period is considered normal, severe cramps that last throughout your entire period or that occur outside of your monthly cycle are not.
At USA Fibroid Centers, we believe that it is important to determine the underlying cause behind abnormal cramps, pelvic pain, heavy periods, and other related symptoms. Unfortunately, there are a range of health conditions that may be to blame. Some of these conditions are considered serious and can be life-threatening.
One potential cause of abnormal cramps is uterine fibroids, a common type of benign growth that can develop in or on the uterus. By the age of 50, 70 to 80% of women are affected. Unlike normal period cramps, the cramps caused by fibroids can be severe, worsen over time, and occur even when you don’t have your period.
If you ever observe that “I have cramps but no period,” we recommend asking your doctor if you might have fibroids. While you may (understandably!) feel concerned about your symptoms, only a medical professional is able to make an accurate diagnosis.
If fibroids are suspected, your doctor will likely order an ultrasound or MRI to confirm their presence. Once diagnosed, a fibroid specialist can provide information about effective, non-surgical fibroid treatment.
Our experts want you to know that there’s no need to suffer any longer. Here’s what you should know about having cramps but no period and how to alleviate painful, uncomfortable, and inconvenient fibroid symptoms.
Intense and Irregular Cramping: It Might Be a Sign of Fibroids!
So, how do you know if your cramps are considered normal or abnormal? Let’s start by describing the differences between normal period cramps and uterine fibroids cramps.
Normal menstrual cramps are caused by contractions of the uterine muscle that shed the uterine lining and release a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins. It’s this substance that causes pain and inflammation and can increase the intensity of the contractions, leading to painful menstrual cramps.
These cramps usually start shortly before your period and end after a day or two, although some women will experience mild cramping throughout their entire period. We refer to severe menstrual cramps as primary dysmenorrhea.
On the other hand, uterine fibroid cramping tends to be more intense. When you have particularly bad menstrual cramps that are caused by a disease or a physical problem, it’s known as secondary dysmenorrhea. Period pain from uterine fibroids is classified as secondary dysmenorrhea, and it often feels worse than normal menstrual cramps.
Another distinguishing factor of fibroid cramps is when they occur. For instance, do you have cramps a week before your periods? Do your painful cramps last throughout your entire period and beyond? Or, do you sometimes experience period cramps but no period? These are all potential signs of uterine fibroids that should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
What Are Fibroids and Why Do They Cause Cramping?
Uterine fibroids are common, noncancerous growths that develop on or inside of the uterus. They can vary in type, size, and number. Although many women with fibroids don’t experience symptoms at all, others are severely impacted.
Fibroids can range in size from as small as an apple seed to as large as a watermelon. Although fibroids are not usually dangerous, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with a host of problematic symptoms. Women with fibroids can deal with everything from heavy and painful periods to intense cramps and back pain.
Common fibroid symptoms include:
- Heavy and prolonged menstruation between or during your periods
- Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
- Pain during intercourse
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Stomach swelling
- Frequent urination
- Constipation and/or bloating
- Pain in your pelvis or lower back
Fibroid symptoms such as heavy periods, severe cramps, period cramps but no period, frequent urination, and low energy levels can cause individuals to regularly miss work, cancel social engagements, avoid intimacy, and have low self-esteem. When your quality of life is impacted in these ways, we usually recommend treatment.
If you have severe cramps, you may have questions about why they occur in the first place. Pelvic pain or cramping due to uterine fibroids is caused by two things:
- When blood clots travel from the uterus through the cervix into the vagina, this can elicit pain. Blood clots are most likely to develop and leave the body during heavy, prolonged periods like those that occur with fibroids.
- If the fibroids are large enough to press on adjacent pelvic nerves, this can cause cramping or pressure. This pain can radiate through the lower back, abdomen, buttocks, and legs.
You may also notice an increase in bleeding during your period when you have fibroids. This is because fibroids increase the surface area of your uterine lining, which can cause both your cramps and your bleeding to become more intense. Fibroids also decrease the uterus’ normal ability to stop bleeding, like it does during your regular menstrual cycle.
A type of fibroid called Intramural fibroids grow closer to the uterine cavity; therefore, an increase of blood flow can affect the normal systems that control bleeding within the uterus. Intramural fibroids can also increase the size of the uterine cavity, thus causing a woman to bleed more than usual and experience intense pelvic pain.
If you are suffering from any of these issues, we want you to know that there’s no need to suffer any longer. Our fibroid specialists are readily available to help determine the best course of action for you.
“I’m Getting Cramps But No Period”
If this comment describes you, we recommend contacting your doctor or a fibroid specialist as soon as possible. Although fibroids are not cancer, they can still cause damage to surrounding organs, impact fertility, and result in a range of undesirable symptoms.
Treatment for Fibroid Menstrual Cramps
Cramps can make performing daily activities like attending work and school, close to impossible. Many women continue to put up with painful cramping and pressure because they are unaware that there are non-surgical procedures available.
Many women believe that a hysterectomy, the complete removal of the uterus, is their only available treatment option. Fortunately, this isn’t true. There exists a range of effective fibroid treatments, including both surgical and non-surgical methods.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our experts specialize in a minimally-invasive, office-based fibroid treatment called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE can shrink your fibroids, alleviate severe cramps, reduce heavy periods, and quickly return you to normal life.
UFE does not require a hospital stay or involve prolonged time off work. It is performed as an outpatient procedure that allows you to go home the same day to begin your recovery. Best of all, most women are back to their normal activities within one to two weeks.
Perhaps more than anything else, we want you to understand that you have options when it comes to fibroid treatment. If you wish to avoid surgery and leave your uterus fully intact, Uterine Fibroid Embolization may be right for you.
If You’re Experiencing Irregular or Abnormal Cramps, Contact USA Fibroid Centers Today!
The unfortunate reality for many women with fibroids is that performing daily activities can be challenging and sometimes impossible. Many women continue to suffer from painful cramping and pelvic pressure because they are unaware of available non-surgical treatments.
Whether you have severe cramps with heavy menstrual bleeding or cramps with no period, our fibroid specialists are available to help. Our experts provide education and guidance as you begin to explore your treatment options. We can also help determine which method of treatment is best for you.
At USA Fibroid Centers, you can choose from dozens of convenient clinic locations nationwide, along with telemedicine options. To learn more about minimally-invasive uterine fibroid treatment, please contact us today.