Cramps a Week Before Period: Pregnant or Not? 7 MAIN Causes

Cramps a Week Before Period Pregnant or Not 7 MAIN Causes

Last updated on July 26th, 2018 at 06:02 pm

Question: what causes cramps a week before period? Am I pregnant?

Just when you are preparing for your next period, a sudden mild or severe cramps in your lower abdomen will get you concerned.

Cramping one week from your period can be due to many reasons, and there is a possibility that it could be due to pregnancy.

If you’ve had sexual intercourse or you’re trying to conceive, cramping and spotting a week before period is an early pregnancy sign.

Apart from pregnancy, you may also experience abdominal cramps for some other reasons.

Endometriosis, pelvic infections, early miscarriage at three weeks, ectopic pregnancy, urinary tract infections, adenomyosis, and sometimes, an ovarian cyst may cause you to feel lower abdomen pain.

Here’ an email I received from Perri (one of my readers)

Hi Dr. Dunn

I saw your post about cramps and I’m wondering if you could help

About a week away from my menstrual period and I felt sharp pain in my abdomen (on the left side) that continued till the start of my period.

During menstruation, the pain got even worse as I could hardly do anything. I took Tylenol but yet could not ease the pains.

Is this pain normal, or due to pregnancy?

The truth is, most teenage girls will experience cramps before and during menstruation, and as you grow old, menstruation pain will decrease.

This article explains

  • What causes abdominal cramping a week before period
  • Signs that may indicate pregnancy and when to take a pregnancy test
  • Reasons for cramps a week before period negative pregnancy test
  • Treatment of cramps (without seeing a doctor)


What causes abdominal cramps a week before period starts?

If you are just one week before the start of your period and experience abdominal, pelvic or back pain, here are the possible reasons

1.  Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a common reason why a lot of girls will have a mild to moderate abdominal or pelvic pain one week before period.

For women that desire to conceive, if you experience this type of cramps prior to your period, it’s a lucky sign that you are pregnant. In fact, you should also start observing for other symptoms of pregnancy.

Abdominal pain during early pregnancy occurs because of successful implantation of your baby to the inner wall of the uterus.

After sexual intercourse, sperm is released into the vagina, and if your cervical mucus is favorable (watery and jelly like), sperm easily finds its way to your fallopian tubes.

At the fallopian tube, sperm fuses with your egg, released monthly during ovulation, and forms your baby.

Subsequently, your baby attaches itself to the uterine endometrium by burrowing into the endometrial lining. This may cause some women to experience cramps, and also be spotting.

Apart from camps and spotting that will occur one week before period if pregnant, here are other pregnancy signs to watch out for

Missed period

If you’ve missed your period after mild abdominal cramps, it’s possible you’re pregnant. If you become pregnant, your menstrual period will not show up throughout pregnancy, and this is due to high level of estrogen and progesterone.

Frequent urination

If you also pee much more than normal, it may be an early pregnancy sign too. First of all, there could be other reasons you are peeing too much like cold weather, diabetes, and urinary tract infections.

But during pregnancy, your body boost blood flow to your kidneys, and this causes much more urine to be produced.


During early pregnancy, women will sometimes feel exhausted and tired all of a sudden. If you feel this way with cramping and spotting, you could be pregnant.

Nausea and vomiting

Throwing up or feeling-like vomiting are symptoms that are common after the 4th week of pregnancy. However, these symptoms may start even during ovulation and before you eventually miss your period.

Breast pain and swelling

During early pregnancy changes to your beast will occur and it’s not unusual.

What to do if I feel pregnant?

Women that have been pregnant before will understand how pregnancy symptoms feel like, and they quickly also get a pregnancy test done after a missed period.

If you are getting pregnant for the first time, you may be confused about early pregnancy symptoms.

The most reliable way you can convince yourself about if you are pregnant or not is by taking a blood pregnancy test. This test is accurate three to four days before period starts.

Then again, it may be discomforting to go to a health center for a pregnancy test. Sometimes, you will want a private test done at home. If you desire to test at home, you can get a pregnancy urine test strip and test at your bed room.

It’s best to be calm and test seven days after a missed period. Otherwise, if carried out early, a negative test result does not rule out pregnancy.

2.  Early miscarriage

Commonly, it’s possible you are having a miscarriage even without knowing.

Before your period and about three weeks into pregnancy, your baby may be washed out of your womb if implantation fails.

If this happens, you will experience cramps in your tummy with vaginal bleeding and back pain.

The truth is, it’s difficult to tell if your cramps are due to a miscarriage except for a pregnancy test result that will show positive.


What causes cramps a week before period not pregnant?

While mild or dull cramps one week before period may be an early pregnancy sign, if you notice a sharp pain all the time, it could be something else.

Here are possible reasons your are cramping one week before period with negative pregnancy test result.

1.  Endometriosis

Within the uterus is the endometrium that coats your womb. During your period, your uterus contracts and forces the endometrium to be expelled as period-blood.

Sometimes your endometrium gets pushed back through your fallopian tube into your abdominal cavity. If this occurs (endometriosis), you may feel pain in your abdomen.

The chances your tummy pain is due to endometriosis is higher if you’re between 25 – 40 years and if your mother or sister has been diagnosed with endometriosis.

About 2 out of 10 women will have endometriosis, though it’s possible a lot of women will have endometriosis without any symptoms.

The most common symptoms of endometriosis s belly pain before, during and after menstruation. Other symptoms are

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Irregular periods
  • Difficulty getting pregnant for a long time
  • Pain while defecating
  • Blood in urine or feces

If you experience cramping abdominal pain all the time in your lower abdomen, it’s abnormal, and you must inform your doctor right away.

Other causes of cramps a week before period negative pregnancy test are

2.  Adenomyosis…see here

3.  Bith control pills

4.  Ectopic pregnancy

5.  Food poisoning

6.  Irritable bowel syndrome

7.  Gas in abdomen

8.  Appendicitis


Still worried about pain in your abdomen before period? Ask Us!!!

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  • sarah Reply

    i have had kinda a tight feeling in my lower stomach and my boobs have been hurting a lot it started 4 days ago and currently i am 6 days away from my period helpppp

  • Dr. Dunn A. (M.B.B.S) - Written, Edited or Reviewed Reply

    Nothing serious here. its normal to experince breast pain before period begins.

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