Period Pain can range from being a small annoyance that lasts for one or two days to being several days of severe agony that interferes with day-to-day activities. They are one of the most prevalent causes of pelvic pain, and many people experience them shortly before and during the time that they get their period.
Uterine contractions, which may occur just prior to the start of your period or while it is already underway, are the source of the pain. But why does it hurt so much more for some people than it does for others?
Continue reading to gain insight into the possible causes of severe cramps as well as information on how to treat the accompanying discomfort.
How to find out if my period pain and cramps are severe?
Menstrual cramps or Period Pain can be described as a throbbing or cramping discomfort that occurs in the lower abdomen. Additionally, you can feel pressure or an ongoing dull soreness in the region. The soreness could spread to your lower back as well as your inner thighs.
Typically, cramps may start a day or two before your period and will reach their worst point approximately 24 hours after your period has begun. In most cases, they last for between two and three days.
Cramps during menstruation are often accompanied by additional symptoms, including the following:
- loose stools
Period Pain and cramps are excruciating, but they are typically treatable with over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications like ibuprofen.
On the other hand, severe cramps typically start much earlier in the menstrual cycle and continue for a longer period of time than regular cramps do.
What is the cause of period pain and cramp?
Endometriosis is a noncancerous, chronic illness in which cells that look like the lining of the uterus, which are called endometrial cells, grow in places other than the uterus.
The most typical symptom is pain in the pelvis. Amongst others are:
- intense menstruation
- stretches of time that are longer than a week
- bleeding between periods
- gastrointestinal pain
- suffering caused by interaction
- bowel movements that are really unpleasant
- difficulties getting pregnant
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent hormone disease that affects roughly one in ten women who are of childbearing age. The most typical symptoms are increased amounts of androgens, which are male hormones, as well as irregular menstrual cycles.
Additional PCOS symptoms include the following:
- heavy menstrual cycles
- extended amounts of time
- large amounts of hair on the face and body
- growth in weight and difficulty maintaining a healthy weight
- loss of hair or thinning of the hair
- several skin tags
- spots of darkness on the skin, most notably in the folds of the neck and the groin
Fibroids are benign growths that can occur either inside or outside of the uterus. They can be as small as a seed or as large as huge masses, the latter of which can cause the uterus to become enlarged. You can have one or several fibroids, and the majority of the time, there are no symptoms.
When fibroids do induce symptoms, such symptoms can vary widely depending on the number of fibroids present, the size of the fibroids, and the location of the fibroids.
Fibroids can produce a number of symptoms, including severe menstrual cramps, as well as the following:
- pelvic pressure
- ache in the lower back
- leg pain
- heavy menstrual cycles
- stretches of time that are longer than a week
- frequent urination
- complication with the process of emptying the bladder
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs that is caused by bacteria. In most cases, it’s brought on by sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), like chlamydia and gonorrhea. [Citation needed] There are additional infections that do not involve sexual contact that can also cause it.
The most common symptom of PID is pain in the pelvic region. Among the other symptoms are:
- painful intercourse
- bleeding during or after sex
- foul-smelling discharge from the uterus
- a stinging or burning sensation during urination
- spotting between periods
When the opening of your cervix is small or entirely closed, a condition known as cervical stenosis occurs. This condition is also known as a closed cervix. A cervical stenosis can either be present at birth or develop at a later time in a person’s life.
If your cervix is closed, menstrual blood may be unable to leave your body, which may result in your periods becoming very light or irregular. Additionally, it may cause problems with fertility.
Adenomyosis is a condition in which the uterus becomes abnormally thick. It takes place when the tissue that lines your uterus, known as endometrial tissue, develops into the muscles of your uterus.
During the course of your cycle, the tissue continues to behave as it would normally, swelling, degrading, and leaving your body as it would normally do. Your uterus will expand to a size that is two to three times its normal size as a result of this.
The presence of symptoms is not usually a sign of adenomyosis. When it does, you may experience intense menstrual pains that get progressively worse, along with excessive or prolonged monthly bleeding. When it does, you may also notice that your period is irregular.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
A tiny contraceptive device known as an IUD is one that is implanted inside of a woman’s uterus. There is a wide variety of intrauterine devices (IUDs) on the market; some of these devices contain hormones, while others do not.
They are safe to use for the vast majority of people, although on occasion they can lead to negative effects such as the following:
- severe menstrual cramps
- irregular periods
- heavy bleeding during menstruation
In addition, there is a possibility that the IUD will puncture your uterus as it is being implanted, which can lead to preterm labor and birth defects (PID), or that germs will enter your uterus and cause PID. Expulsion is another uncommon potential that might occur if the IUD is moved out of its intended location. All of these factors can contribute to significant pain in the pelvis.
How do I detect what’s causing period pain?
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have extremely Period Pain or cramps that last more than two or three days.
They will most likely begin by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical exam, which will include a pelvic exam. They may also perform a Pap test on you.
They may recommend additional tests based on your other symptoms, such as:
- an ultrasound to determine the size and thickness of your uterus as well as the presence of fibroids or cysts
- a CT scan that can provide a detailed picture of your reproductive organs
- gynecologic laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to confirm an endometriosis diagnosis
How can I deal with the period pain?
Severe Period Pain and cramps are typically difficult to treat on your own, but the following tips may be useful while you work with your healthcare provider to identify an underlying cause:
Exercise on a regular basis.
According to the findings of a 2015 study, practicing 30 minutes of aerobic activity three times per week considerably reduced the severity of menstrual cramps over the course of eight weeks.
Make use of a heating pad.
There is evidence that heat is equally beneficial as ibuprofen in treating menstrual cramps. For alleviation, place a heating pad on your lower abdomen.
Control your stress.
Period Pain and cramps have been connected to work and general life stress. Breathing techniques, yoga, and spending time doing activities you enjoy can all help to reduce stress.
Take a hot bath.
A hot bath relaxes your lower tummy and back. It’s also soothing and effective for stress relief.
Menstrual cramps might be made less painful by using certain nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamins B-1 and B-6 are among them.
OTC pain relievers.
OTC pain medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen are sometimes insufficient to completely remove severe menstrual cramps. They may be more helpful if taken a day before you usually begin to suffer cramping.
You don’t have to suffer through excruciating Period Pain and cramps. If your Period Pain interferes with your capacity to function or lasts more than two or three days, consult your healthcare professional. They can help you figure out what’s causing your severe cramps and offer a treatment plan to keep the discomfort at bay.