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All women experience periods, and everyone fares with their period differently. But there is one particular symptom that almost every woman can relate to—menstrual cramps and ask are severe menstrual cramps normal? Menstrual cramps are a common symptom associated with having a period and may range from being a mild bother to unbearable pelvic pain. These cramps are caused by the uterus contracting in order to shed its lining. In most cases, menstrual cramps start a day or two before your period starts and will last through the second day of your period.
For some women, the severity of their cramps can vary from month to month; a woman may go three months with light cramps and in the fourth month have cramps so painful that they keep her up at night. In instances like these, you may wonder: are severe menstrual cramps normal? And if they are, when should you worry? Keep reading to find out more about what is considered “normal” for period pain.
Cramps tend to be painful and, although you can come to expect some discomfort when your period comes, it is important to know that extremely severe cramps are not normal and may indicate an underlying medical condition or fertility issue. If you are experiencing consistently more painful periods, it is probably best to see a doctor for a pelvic exam. Common underlying causes of extreme cramps are Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Cervical Stenosis, and Adenomyosis. You may also experience worsening cramps if you have recently had an Intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control put in.
Once your doctor has ruled out dangerous causes of your period cramps, it may be time to evaluate your lifestyle. Period cravings oftentimes include unhealthy foods like processed sweets, caffeine, and carbs that can potentially make periods worse. Your body may also produce more of the hormone called prostaglandins that cause the uterus lining to shed for that particular month, causing the abnormally painful cramps.
Severe cramps may be difficult to treat at home but there are lots of things that you can do to minimize pain from period cramping:
If your cramps are so severe that you are incapable of going 24 hours without doubling over in pain, vomiting, or fainting, then you need to go to the emergency room. You should also seek help if your menstrual cycle is alarmingly irregular, has stopped completely without cause, or if you have extremely heavy bleeding that won’t stop. If you are experiencing the latter and are sexually active, you may be having a miscarriage.
At Village Emergency Centers, we are prepared to handle all types of emergencies. Get 24/7 care with no surprise billing and little to no wait. You don’t have to learn to live with painful periods. Seek help and contact us today!