Published February 25, 2022
Is it normal to have extremely painful period cramps? What exactly is normal? Over half of women have some type of painful cramps prior to and during their period. Some women just deal with it, others need medication to work through their time of the month, and then there are some women who experience severe cramping. When does normal shift into abnormal?
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful cramps in the lower abdomen that happen before and during a woman’s period. For many women, they last 2 to 3 days. Beyond that timeframe could indicate something is wrong.
To some women, cramps are merely a fact of life, while others may find them annoying. However, there is another group of women who find monthly severe cramps disrupt their life. They stay home from work or school in bed and cannot carry on with their normal activities. If this happens every month, talk with Dr. Horsley.
Some Causes Of Painful Period Cramps
Certain conditions may cause a woman to have extremely painful cramps. They include:
- Endometriosis is a disorder where tissue that should be inside the uterus grows on the outside. With each menstrual cycle, that tissue breaks up, bleeds, but has no way to exit the body. It remains there and can cause painful periods.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is an infection of a female’s reproductive organs. It often results from sexually transmitted bacteria.
- Fibroids are benign growths or tumors in the uterus which can cause pain and heavy bleeding.
- Adenomyosis is a disorder where tissue that lines the uterus grows into the muscular walls of the uterus.
- Cervical stenosis is a condition where the cervix has an unusually small opening causing an increase in uterine pressure and impedes menstrual flow.
Finding the cause of severe cramping leads to treatment that can reduce those painful symptoms.
When To Ask For Help
Women’s Medical Associates of Southern New Hampshire in Nashua, NH is here to help you determine the severity of your cramps and find the cause. It is essential to be honest about how your period affects your life each month.
Many women under the age of 20 find they have particularly painful periods. Other contributing risk factors for painful cramps include smoking, having a family history of painful cramps, experiencing heavy bleeding, irregular periods, not having a child, and undergoing puberty before the age of 11.
Talk with Dr. Horsley about heavy bleeding, spotting between periods, pelvic pain anytime, and an irregular cycle. These are not normal. If you are passing blood clots, this is not normal. Tell Dr. Horsley if you have had 3 or more painful periods in a row, and if you have diarrhea or nausea with your period, this is not normal. If you have pain with sexual intercourse, or painful cramps between periods, these symptoms are not normal.
Contact Women’s Medical Associates of Southern NH at (603) 880-9200 to discover if your extremely painful period cramps have a specific cause and learn about options to relieve the symptoms.