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Cramping, but no periods

Posted by dee_can (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 8, 11 at 17:51

I'm just wondering if this is a common part of entering menopause...

I've been in perimenopause forever, well, for probably 7 or 8 years now with the last 3 years being more h*llish than ever (but that's for a whole different post!). My blood tests more than a year ago showed I was *in* menopause, however I was still having periods. Further blood tests after that showed I wasn't in menopause - I guess this is common when you're in peri to go up and down like that in your blood test results.

Anyway, I skipped a period about a year ago, then I had periods again, although short ones every 22/24 days. Now since late Sept/early Oct 2011 I haven't had a period. However, I'm having cramps like I'm going to start my period, but it doesn't start. The cramps last a couple of weeks, then go away. Now I'm cramping again, but I'm having no period again this month. So this has gone on for two cycles now.

Is this common when you enter menopause? Has this happened to any of you? I was sort of hoping not having periods anymore would mean I would no longer have cramps! I'm 48 years old. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I don't know. I always had a low level of cramping so maybe I'm not a good example. Anyway, in the months where I've missed periods I haven't had any cramping or any other signals at all that a period was on its way/here. This is just my experience.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I have experienced the same thing. It is very frustrating. Anybody out there that can give us a clue???


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I ended up having a mammoth period after missing those two cycles. I had heavy bleeding for days, and just about the worst cramping I've ever had. I could barely stand up.

Then I had another period just 22 days later - this one not as intense as the one prior, and shorter. I suspect this rollercoaster is part of going into menopause for some of us.

kangell, I've always had cramping with my periods too. mjjones, how many cycles have you missed? I think I'd rather have a period with cramps then no period with cramps because the cramps just go on and on. I've been thinking about a theory, that maybe with our estrogen levels naturally getting lower going into menopause, the uterus might not be getting a lining every month that sheds (ie. a period) so we keep getting the enduring cramping but since nothing is being shed, the uterus keeps cramping like it's saying 'come on, darn it, do something'. I don't know... ha - guess I'm answering my own questions.


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Or Maybe

(adding another thought)... Or maybe the lining does build up, but just won't come out for some reason, so we get the endless cramping with no period? Could be why when I did have a period it was so painful and heavy, with blood clots.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Well, I missed one period completely the month of November. I feel so messed up. I unfortunatly am on Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer, and it produces hot flashes, but does not put you into menopause. I am peri, I believe. I just wish I had a clue. I had my period arount the 26th of Dec. but am today cramping like crazy. What's up with that!!!


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Me too.. cramping but no periods. I just got off the pill in March after a good 25 years of being on it. first month off, i didn't get a period but lots of cramps to make me believe it was certainly on its way. i am actually hoping to get one, just so i can quit freaking out about it. have had some hot flashes, night sweats one night, woke up drenched. good grief. should have stayed on the pill. i'll be 48 in sept by the way. so yippee here i go! so very grateful for this site. need so much to hear other gals are going through the same thing.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

This is one of the 34 symptoms of peri-menopause and it is called "phantom periods" and it feels as if you have your period or are just about to get it, any time during the month but nothing else, like bleeding happens. It was one of my first signs of peri and it is so confusing because it would actually happen sometimes as close as a week after I just got a period.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

so Tina L are you through all this or still experiencing it all. i'm wondering if anyone else was on the pill and got off and then had the same type of reaction. not too much out there on getting off the pill at a later age and then what will happen. my doc told me i was probably going to have heavy painful periods after getting off and als
o that i had a rather good sized fybroid so i was def expecting periods, not phantoms. not once did he tell me i might start menopause nor skip periods. darnit!!!


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I am definitely not all through this since I still have periods. They are very irregular but I am still getting them along with the phantom periods where at times I have missed the period altogether but it feels as if it is there or going to be there. I too have fibroids but am not too familiar with your situation as far as the pill is concerned. All I know is that anything goes as far as peri and menopause is concerned so nothing is probably off the table as far as symptoms go and for you and what you are experiencing is probably from the perimenopause.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I'd say it's probably perimenopause too, especially considering your age. The pill may have tricked your body into thinking you were... younger, for lack of a better description. Then all of sudden you got off the pill, and wham, your hormones balanced out naturally to where they should be? Just guessing. That's a long time to be on the pill. I was on it for a few years in my early 20's and I didn't tolerate it well.

The term phantom periods describes what's happening perfectly. I just missed the last two cycles again, with some cramping (for weeks!) again. The cramping will stop for a couple of days, and then start again. I did have just a touch of 'show' at one point, but it never turned into a full-blown period.

First my regular doctor told me that the pain could be from scarring on the ovaries from when the egg bursts through every month (hmm, not so sure on that one)... but then when I went to the gynaecologist for my yearly exam, he thought it was from naturally-lowering progesterone at my age (and that my ovaries felt fine upon examination). Then at my latest appointment earlier this month, my regular doctor told me that I don't have enough hormones right now to produce a lining in my uterus every month, but my body thinks I should be having a period so it's trying to expel blood in my uterus that isn't there. Ha - I'm confused at this point what is really the cause, but I'll just say it's from lessening hormones and hormonal swings. Of course, it varies from month to month, which is the 'fun' part, I guess. Not. : /


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

don't know what i'd do with out this sight to check in on to keep my sanity about this all! so, missed my June period as well. Come on already. just wish i could have one so i can quit freaking out about it. i start imagining every little muscle twitch as something else! good Lord , we've used condoms all the time, one time, like 2 days before i expected my first pill free period my husband went in without a condom, however yanked out long before the big event. so of course, i think, well??? but i know better. i am just so impatient i guess, 3 missed periods. breasts have not been swollen, and i've actually been losing weight not gaining it, so i need to settle down. from reading all the other topics, it seems not abnormal to miss this many cycles. i should have gotten off the pill long time ago! i told my sis to do the same, she's 4 years younger and of course thinks its just fine to be on yet, she's 43 and her doctor said the same thing as mine had, stay on till menopause, that was until my blood pressure went up and i had weird dizzy spells. oh well, thanks for letting me vent!


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I signed up for an account just to leave a message and say thank you thank you so much for even posting the question! I'm on day 2 of what looks like must be a phantom period, and I'd never heard of such a thing. I'm dizzy, pounding heart, night sweats, hot flashes, and bloated to high heaven. These are some of the worst cramps i've ever had! Usually it takes 3 Alleve to bring them down a notch so I can function, and it hasn't made a damn dent. I've been having the other symptoms for a few years now, but this is the first time I've ever felt like I was having a period with absolutely nothing to show for it. Someone else in this thread said she'd rather have cramps with a period than without, and I couldn't agree more. If I'm gonna suffer like this, I'd at least like to have something to show for it! Yeesh!! I'm so grateful for this thread!!

My big question is, does this count as a missed period? They've been wacky the last 4 or 5 years, but I haven't missed one yet. Once you start missing them, is that truly the beginning of the end or do I have another 5 years of this crap ahead of me? Ugh! If we got little to no info on our periods when we hit puberty, there's even less info for this crap!

Again - thanks so much - so grateful to have stumbled on this thread!!


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

you didn't say how old you were but your probably in the same boat at some of us out here with the phantom stuff going on. i have not had any periods since i got off the pill in March. always lots of cramping off and on through the month. just no period. still wish i'd have one. then i'd feel like myself again.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I've not experienced any menstrual bleeding in several months. At first I would get cramps, breast tenderness, bloating and carb cravings like the usual signs of the impending bleeding, but then nothing happened. This all slowly diminished over time. Now I just get bloating and cravings, and one most likely feeds the other.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

well I went officially 6 months without a period after giving up the Pill. finally got a period 3 days ago. nothing horrible but am basically happy for it. just makes me feel a bit more like my normal self again. who knows if they'll be regular again or not, but will take it month at a time. Just for anyone out there who has dealt with getting off the pill after so many years, to let you know, it can take quite some time for your body to adjust itself.plenty of cramps and about 3 weeks before i started i got super sore sensitive nipples, hard to even take a shower cuz just a brush past with the soap bar was too much. now that i've got my period, its finally getting better. onward i go down this fun path of peri.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Appreciate these posts so much...I have never heard of 'phantom periods', but have been experiencing them lately. Did not understand what was going on! Haven't had cramps or cravings like these in years. Also experiencing hot flashes and night sweats...yay! : (


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

"phantom periords" have been happening to me about every other day.. driving me crazy... cramping like your going to start your period, but nothing there.. is there any relief out there..???


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I had phantom periods for probably the last year before hitting menopause. In fact I still have them occasionally now! I think that the hormones are winding down but they are still subject to bumping up and down to some degree, just not enough to produce a period. I've found the cramping with the phantom periods can be worse than with a real period, but ibuprofen helps.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Quote: MissEdee, from Aug 12 - yikes - I haven't checked the thread in awhile. Hopefully MissEdee is still reading : ) "My big question is, does this count as a missed period? They've been wacky the last 4 or 5 years, but I haven't missed one yet. Once you start missing them, is that truly the beginning of the end or do I have another 5 years of this crap ahead of me? Ugh! If we got little to no info on our periods when we hit puberty, there's even less info for this crap!"

I would say that cramping without having an actual period (ie. bleeding) would count as a missed period.

Also, to update on my situation, I haven't had a period now since January, and I can happily report that I haven't been experiencing the bad cramping (w/o bleeding) that I was having when I first started the thread. So I'd say the 'phantom periods' lasted about a year or two for me. Hopefully this is typical. I've noticed some very slight cramping in the last week or so, but nothing like it was before. Hopefully it stays this way, knock on wood.

Also, I've had my very first hot flashes ever in the last 6 - 9 months. They haven't been really bad - just short time periods where I'll get (almost pleasantly) warm all over, and have to 'fan' myself, then a couple of minutes later I feel cold.

I'm at the point where I actually don't want to have any more periods to be honest. So if I'm 'done' it'll be a relief in a way. I just turned 50 last month, which made me feel a little sad. But, I saw a sign last week at a dentist office that said, "I'm not 50, I'm 49.95". Gave me a chuckle.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Wow I a, so glad I found this thread! I've been having those exact symptoms although I am still having mostly regular periods...for about the whole week before I start the cramping and bloating is horrible! It also seems when these steady cramps are happening I feel like I have to urinate all the time...cramps stop...so does the urge to go. I'm glad I know what it's all probably from.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I am in the same boat. I do not have cramping but my back hurts. I have always been lucky when it came to PMS, I very seldom had many symptoms. I have not had a period of any kind since May. I skipped Dec of last year and had strange and irregular periods since. VERY, VERY light now nothing. I am enjoying it other than feeling pregnant. I started hot flashes about a year ago but they only lasted for a total of 5 min around the same time every night. I just got over being hot all the time to feeling normal again.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I have missed or skipped periods for over 13 mos and then went on vacation and had the period of my life. Came home and since May of this year have had these "phantom periods", just cramps but no period or spotting. The cramps are annoying for sure. Can anyone tell me if spotting occurs during these phantom periods? This month there was a bit of spotting...should I go into the doctor or is this normal?


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I am so glad I found this thread!!! I have not had a period for 5 years...and for the last 2 days I've had menstrual cramping and no period. I thought these days were gone! I have a doc appt. friday, so I will be asking about this! I like the term "phantom period"...no better way to describe the feeling.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Well, this is the first time I have had this issue so I Googled it and found this site, VERY informative. I am 51 and have been having very heavy periods and peri-menopausal symptoms for the past 8 years. Yay (not!). This is the first time I have had cramping for over a week (when I was due), the usual back pain, irritability, fatigue and no period! Now I'm over the usual mental period stuff but still having cramping. I take ibuprofen and it helps. But the cramps keep coming back, very weird and unusual for me (I have had severe periods for the last 8 years as well). I would LOVE it if that means I'm close to being done with this nonsense, but this waiting and running to the restroom every few hours is driving me nuts! SO glad that I'm not alone .. that helps a little.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Just to follow up, I forgot to mention in my earlier comment (has it really been over a year? Wow!) that I'm in my early 40s and will be 44 in a couple of months.

I finally got a better doctor - regular and gyno - and I'm definitely in peri-menopause. I had an issue in September where, uh, let's just say my doctor thought I might have miscarried (I hadn't, I wasn't pregnant, but that's just how nasty it had gotten). My new doctor and my new gyno both discovered my uterus seemed to be shaped a little weird (heterogeneous shape) and it turned out I had a couple of polyps hanging out in there. I had a hysteroscopic polypectomy with a d&c, and then she placed a Mirena IUD. I tried birth control pills off and on for years, but they make my heart race and send my blood pressure through the roof. Anyway, I'm supposed to wait a few months so my body can figure it out and then see how I feel with the IUD. Already I can tell a difference in that my period is much, much lighter and my cramps are far more tolerable. She took 100% of my lining during the d&c and had it all tested - all came back negative for bad stuff, but said my hormones are really, really low. Not surprising, because I've never been pregnant.

Looking forward to feeling semi-human again! This peri thing really sucks!


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I too, just signed up so I could post here! Thank goodness I found this! I'm starting this whole peri menopausal thing, and it's driving me crazy! I went without a period for about 3 months, but then I had a period (not heavy like they usually were thank God) that lasted non stop from July until December!! Then it stopped, and now I'm having cramps that even 4 Advil won't touch! My doctor told me my progesterone and something else (testosterone?) were low, and prescribed hormones. I took them for about 4 months, and that's when the Never-Ending Period started, so I stopped. I know I have fibroids, my gyn said that menopause would shrink them due to lack of hormones (so why was I taking hormones??), but I'm still waiting for that to happen. I'm wondering if the fibroids are coming out, because sometimes I see a clot with a fabric/woven appearance, and I wonder if it's a piece of a fibroid, or if it was pressed against a fibroid. Any ideas?? Btw, I just turned 48. I'm adopted, so I don't know what's "normal" for women in my family.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I am hoping for some answers here from real women...I have been in full menopause 2 years already and expected my symptoms would be getting over soon..I thought I was coming through fairly well..so foggy days..a couple hot flashes, but nothing terrible. NOW it seems I am finally getting more symptoms! Is this normal? Not the bed soaking kind-but a lot more hot flashes-and now I know what the irritation for no reason means! Also about a year before FULL menopause I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and had all those wonderful symptoms--which are VERY similar if you look them up! Now I am wondering if it wasn't really the peri-menopause..? I even let them radiate my thyroid--ONLY because two (male) specialist couldn't figure out why it wasn't "normal" and didn't respond the way they expected from their tests and treatments--said it would be easier to regulate if I had no thyroid and they could give me a pill everyday for the rest o my life--now I am wondering--wouldn't even a male doctor understand about menopause syptoms-maybe it wasn't REALLY my thyroid--I am thinking of suing for mal-practice! HELP!


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I am so glad I found this forum, I have been experiencing the same thing first started when I missed one period then had a ugly messy heavy period then I was spot on time for two more periods then it's coming up 3 months with no period (I'm close to being 46) and keep having the cramping feeling like periods about ready to start sometimes like I'm on a period but no flow, my husband had a vasectomy 20+ years ago and last month I was negative on two pregnancy tests (took them for piece of mind) so I can't be pregnant... when i think back more symptoms of perimenopause have been happening for a while.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Well, I see no one has posted on here in awhile. I found it interesting reading though. I've been having night sweats since about age 36. My period has been somewhat "clotty," for lack of a better word, for the past couple of years. The last 6 months to a year it went from the regular 28 days to 26. A few months ago I had it at day 17. The next one was at day 45, then back to 26. Today I am at day 54. Been having the phantom cramping and low back pain non-stop now for awhile. I am definitely ready to move on to the next phase. I keep praying that I don't get a period. I had a tubal years ago so I'm not really worried about pregnancy, but I did take a test just for peace of mind. Oh, I will be 49 in April!


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

This is been me for the last two years!
I skipped several Months then they would start again. The pain would be there every single time with or without the bleeding. they used to be really really bad, I've had bad cramps my whole life than two years ago it all changed either I would have bleeding or I wouldn't have bleeding but every month I still had the pain.

I also started experiencing not hot flashes but what I called tropical breezes!
They laugh at me at work because I would say " hey do you feel the tropical breeze blowing through here?" Lol

One week before my annual physical last year my cramps ware so bad I was in bed and shaking it hurts so bad. When I saw the doctor the next week for the physical I asked him about it and he actually put me on a medicine called fluoxetine I take it on days 15 through 28 of my period and it has been a lifesaver!

As a precaution I had the blood work done and an ultrasound and everything came back fine. This is peri menopause, I'm 47 btw. I have limited medical background with this. I can tell you that taking one or two Aleve is not going to stop the pain you need at least up to 800 mg and that has to be a prescription strength from your doctor and that has helped me a lot as well.

With the 800 mg you can take three a day no more than that or it will harm your liver. Something else that helps and I have not been able to find out why is just plain hot tea....no sugar no honey....just plain hot tea I use Lipton and it works.

Keep some sort of diary, pay attention to your body. Write the symptoms down so that you know when you're approaching when you're going to have the pain and You will know what to do. I have a day planner and keep all my information there.

As usual this event dictates my life and I schedule my life accordingly.
it sucks but I have had to my whole life.

I don't plan anything around that event, I do not do my exercises during that and I just take it easy cause that's the only way I can get through it.
I even have freezer meals in the freezer for that time I just don't cook, I take it easy, I sleep in, whatever it takes.

Make sure that you are getting your nutritional needs, your vitamin D and calcium, vitamin B complex helps with energy and a good multivitamin I take every day. I found that taking those really do help!

There Is an online website called MyFitnessPal they also have an app and by keeping track of what you eat nutritionally you'll be able to tell the difference in how you feel as well. I am a big advocate for that site! A lot of people use it to lose weight but I use it to keep up with my nutritional needs through the day, it really does help!

I hope this has helped someone!

Tonia 47


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

It has been been quite funny reading the predicaments that we women are going through. It's time to pass the torch to the men for the next segment of our lives, but of course we know that can't happen. LOL
I'm 56 yrs old and I'm still having all the problems I'm reading here. I have been having wicked cramping for the past year especially since I have switched to taking natural hormones -Estrogel 1 pump pm and Prometrium 100mg at bedtime. I was was having severe hot flashes and sweats night and day and after 3 1/2 yrs I decided to try natural hormones. At first I took 1 pump of estrogel at night for the 1st 15 days then added in prometrium for the next 15 days. This stopped the hot flushes and sweats almost immediately. I had a good night sleep the 1st night in I don't know how long. The next few weeks were up and down but eventually my body got into a rhythm and I was back to having periods with painful cramps back like when I was 16. I couldn't handle this. I didn't know which was worse the painful periods again or hot flashes and sweats. Saw both my family dr. and Gyno. She suggested I try taking the estrogel and prometrium on a daily bases together at bedtime. So I have been doing this now for almost the year.She said it may take 3-4 months for body to to stop spotting and regulate.I gave it 6 months and I'm still waiting for the regulate part. Any day now!! I have now been having wicked cramping with backaches, loose BM's somtimes nausea with the spotting. I'm getting tried with all of this.!! I see the Dr. soon and will discuss this further. I'm not interested in upping the dosages. The lowest the better and I'm on it till I'm 60 then off. That's the plan anyways.
So that's my 2 cents worth, Ladies.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I am so glad we have this site so I know I am not alone. I am going to be 50 this year and have probably been going through perimenopause for about five years now. I get the cramping with no bleeding too. I missed my first period in 2009. I am on HRT and the only symptom it relieves are the hot flashes and night sweats. I wish it would take away my fatigue and irritability too. I hate it because at least when I do have a period, I know the symptoms are going to go away soon. Now I just have PMS 24/7, what's up with that and when, for the love of god does it get better? Thanks for all the posts!!


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

BTW, I am a self employed garden designer and I used to get so excited to get up and work everyday. I now have to drag myself out of bed. I work for a little bit and then I feel so tired, I have to go back to bed. I have been on an antidepressant for twelve years now and I told my doctor that it just isn't working anymore. He told me its still working but put me on a HRT instead. I still feel like crap. I just want to cry. Sorry for all the negativity. I think it could also be that I don't sleep at night either? I am going back to the doc for some ambien.


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

Been looking for a while for any info re cramping, I'm 48 in May, and have been going out of my mind past few weeks thinking all sorts about the cramps, been googling ALOT, and I suspected it was related to the menopause, I've been on pill since I was 18, different ones, but the doc put me on combined pill about 7 years ago because I was getting migraines in the pill free weeks on the others pills, and I wish I'd been on the combined years ago, the migraines VANISHED, which was fab, but my periods also vanished, have had one or two in the past few years, but I've only just noticed the cramping and I thought it was because I was thinking about it a lot cos I've been highly stressed having lost my Mum recently so I put it all down to stress. I seem to be able to think of nothing else but the cramping and I know I need to occupy my mind elsewhere , just difficult at the moment, but it's just GREAT that I know I'm not alone with these symptoms, I have a doc apt on 4 April so will ask questions then, but I feel MASSIVELY relieved that it's nothing more sinister, been having flushes and night sweats for a few years, and have always had mood swings, lol, so no change there then .... I'm just glad I came across this page, you've really put my mind at rest, I've read EVERY SINGLE comment, and wish u all the best ..... oh the joys of being a women!!!!!! (❉◠‿◠)


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RE: Cramping, but no periods

I'm 49 and just missed my first period. It felt like was I going to start, I had cramps and a back ache but I ovulated instead. It's been over 2 weeks and I still have cramps and a back ache. I called my Dr for an appt and he said that if I usually had bad periods that menopause will be bad......Great!
My friends that have gone through it didn't have my issues and the rest are younger than me. I had no one to talk to. so happy to find this!!


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