The hints of your monthly menstrual cycle often start with cramps, while the intensity varies from one woman to another.
A cramp can come and go for some women, or for others can be so severe that they are unable to stand or participate in normal daily activities.
Symptoms of cramping include:
- Intense throbbing in the lower abdomen
- Pain traveling down from your lower back to your thighs
- A dull, continual ache
Other symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and nausea are less common, though not rare, when suffering from cramping. Cramping is very common in women who have started menstruating only a few years before. However, there is a cause for concern if your cramping stops you from everyday activities each month. If your symptoms become worse with each passing month, it is time to see your doctor.
What causes cramping?
This is the answer every woman searches for. Every month the uterus contracts to help shed its lining. A hormone related to pain and inflammation known as prostaglandin causes the muscles in the uterus to contract, creating the painful sensation we all know as cramping. The higher the amount of this hormone, the more severe the pain will be. In a normal menstrual cycle, this tightening is simply the uterine wall muscles preparing to shed the thickened lining with your period.
Cramping can also be caused by any of the following factors:
Adenomyosis. The tissues lining the walls of the uterus begin to grown into the muscular wall of the uterus.
Endometriosis. The tissue lining the uterus starts to implant itself outside of the uterus, usually on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the pelvic lining. This will cause excruciating cramping.
Uterine fibroids. Non-cancerous growths found on the lining of the uterus.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). An infection of the female reproductive organs caused by a sexually transmitted disease.
You are more likely to suffer from cramping if you fall under any one of the following categories:
- You experience irregular bleeding (metrorrhagia)
- You experience heavy bleeding during your menstrual cycle (menorrhagia)
- You are a smoker
- You are younger than 30
- Never given birth
- Started puberty at 11 or younger
At MIRI Women’s Health, our highly trained and specialized doctors and staff give you real answers about your cramping and offer you better solutions and alternatives. Our staff members take each of your concerns seriously and will never minimize your feelings. Our approach to gynecologic surgery, including hysterectomy, begins with the MIRI Patient Experience which includes personalized plans from initial consultation to follow-up care. With the latest in advanced minimally invasive techniques, alongside our added touch of care and sensitivity, you truly have a place where you can finally find the solution for your symptoms, and get the attention you deserve.