A Viral Tiktok Revealed That Butt Pain Is A Surprisingly Common Period Symptom
If you suffer from cramps during your period, you know how unexpected and excruciating they can be. We’re talking a knot in your stomach so severe that you might struggle to even get out of bed. However, a video from TikTok user recently sparked conversation about a different kind of period cramp: a sharp, stabbing pain in the rectum. Curious about this apparently common phenomenon, I reached out to an ob-gyn to find out what causes it.
According to Alyssa Dweck, MD, FACOG, a board-certified ob-gyn in Westchester County, New York, and a sexual and reproductive health expert for Intimina, period cramps are not limited to your stomach. In fact, cramping can occur in the lower pelvis, vagina, thighs, and yes, even your butt.
Dr. Dweck explained that period pain stems from hormone-like chemicals called prostaglandins, which can “cause muscle contractions in the uterus, vagina, and rectum.” The aching and cramping you may feel in your butt is a direct result of restricted blood flow caused by these contractions. Generally, the pain is not a cause for concern and can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Does Being Sexually Active Make Your Period Worse
Being sexually active can cause changes in your menstruation. Since having sex regularly can affect your hormones, you might actually notice that your period comes more regularly than before. If you have sex during your period, you could notice a heavier flow right after intercourse, since orgasm can make your uterus contract and expel more blood.
Period Pain: More Than Just Cramps
Learn more about causes of period pain and how to get relief.
That painful time of month? Dont stress! We understand what youre going through and you came to the right place. Pain from menstrual cramps is typically caused by an increase in certain types of pain producing chemicals, and can be relieved with over-the-counter pain medicines. Here are some tips to help you better understand and manage your period pain:
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How Do I Know Whats Causing Them
If you have very painful menstrual cramps or cramps that last longer than two or three days, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Depending on your other symptoms, they may recommend additional tests, including:
- an ultrasound to check the size and thickness of your uterus as well as detect fibroids or cysts
- a CT scan, which can provide a detailed view of your reproductive organs
- gynecologic laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, to confirm a diagnosis of endometriosis
Severe menstrual cramps are typically hard to treat on your own, but these tips may help while you work with your healthcare provider to narrow down an underlying cause:
- Get regular exercise. Results of a
What Are Treatments For Severe Period Pain
If your period pain is primary dysmenorrhea and you need medical treatment, your health care provider might suggest using hormonal birth control, such as the pill, patch, ring, or IUD. Another treatment option might be prescription pain relievers.
If you have secondary dysmenorrhea, your treatment depends upon the condition that is causing the problem. In some cases, you may need surgery.
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Tame Chronic Sleep Problems
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep quality has an effect on menstrual symptoms and many health conditions. In one study, women who had insomnia reported more severe dysmenorrhea and more interference with daily activities due to symptoms compared to women who did not have insomnia. Practice good sleep hygiene to keep painful menstruation symptoms at bay. This involves going to bed at about the same time every night. Establish and stick to a nightly routine to give your body the signal that it’s time for sleep. The routine may involve things like listening to soothing music, enjoying a cup of tea, or taking a warm bath. Getting adequate sleep to promote overall health will help you manage monthly symptoms associated with your menstrual cycle.
More Sleep Tips
Avoid TV, your smartphone, computer, and other screens before bed to help you wind down. You may feel more comfortable sleeping in different positions during your period. Pay extra attention to sleep hygiene in the days leading up to your period.
What Causes Period Cramps
We all have different experiences of period cramps. While some women are as regular as clockwork and can predict their cramps right down to the day, others might be lucky enough to rarely or never experience the pain of period cramps. They are something many of us expect and plan for, like the menstrual bleeding itself, but we rarely have time to stop and think: what actually causes period cramps and why are they a necessary, if painful, part of our cycle?
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What Helps With Cramps
Here are a some things that can help ease cramps:
Over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetaminophen . Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Talk with your doctor before taking pain medication if you have an allergy to aspirin or severe asthma.
Hormonal birth control .
Acupuncture and acupressure.
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation therapy that uses mild electric currents to stimulate your nerves to relieve pain.
Certain vitamins and herbs like vitamin B1, fish oil, fenugreek, ginger, valerian, zataria, and zinc sulfate.
Cramps are a pretty normal part of getting your period, but sometimes people have period cramps that are so painful its hard to do everyday things . If your period pain is really bad, and over-the-counter medicine doesnt help, talk with your doctor. They can help with other ways to manage the pain, or they may want to check to see if theres something more serious going on.
Cramps that are really bad may be a sign of:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease an infection in your reproductive organs.
Endometriosis a condition where the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterus.
Adenomyosis when the tissue that lines your uterus grows into the muscle wall of your uterus.
Uterine fibroids non-cancerous tumors that grow inside your uterus, in the walls of your uterus, or on the outside of your uterus.
If You Have Significant Cramps Post
It might be: a dislodged intrauterine device . Although some mild, initial cramping is normal after implantation, any severe pain or pain lasting more than a few days might indicate a problem with your IUDs placement.
Anytime youre inserting something into the uterus, it might not be sitting the right way, or could have been dislodged or expelled, says Masterson.
What to do: Make an appointment with your doctor, who will do a pelvic exam first to see if the IUD strings are visibly coming out of the cervix. If not, an ultrasound will likely be performed. We want to make sure its in the location its supposed to be, and hasnt moved or migrated, Masterson explains.
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Period Pain And Fertility
Period pain that’s part of your normal menstrual cycle will not affect your fertility. However, if the cause is a medical condition, this may affect your fertility.
For example, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause scarring and a build-up of tissue in your fallopian tubes, making it harder for sperm to reach and fertilise an egg.
Your Life Is Disrupted
If your period pain is so bad that you need to call off work on a regular basis, you should speak to your doctor. The condition is not rare. But its not normal, either.
Depending on which study you look at, between 5% and 20% of women experience painful periods that interfere with their daily life.
Some countries offer a couple days off every month for menstruation. Dont misconstrue this for saying that menstruation should be so painful that you cant come to work. The issue is more complex than that. Its not even clear whether these laws are good or bad.
In 2013, Russian lawmaker Mikhail Degtyaryov proposed that Russia should offer days off for menstruation. He argued that sometimes the “pain for the fair sex is often so intense that it is necessary to call an ambulance. Not exactly a realistic portrayal of menstruation.
If your pain is bad enough to call an ambulance, please call one. Those aren’t period cramps. Something much more serious is going on. In a more likely scenario, if your pain is bad enough to regularly miss work or school, make an appointment to speak to your doctor.
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Can Stress Cause Heavy Periods
It can. Stress and anxiety make you release certain hormones that can cause a thickening of your uterine lining. That means that once it’s time to shed that lining or endometrium, your period will be heavier. In addition to this, stress can cause your periods to become irregular. That’s why managing your stress can be good for your period pain.
If You Have A Dull Constant Pain
It might be: pelvic inflammatory disorder . PID is characterized by constant pain outside of your menstrual cycle that comes with vaginal discharge, says Masterson. The condition is a serious infection of the uterus, ovaries, and/or fallopian tubes often caused by untreated STDs like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
What to do: Get to your doctor, because you need a swab culture to check for bacteria or an infection, says Masterson. PID is totally curable with antibiotics, but if left untreated for too long, scar tissue could form in your reproductive tract and mess with your fertility.
You Have Other Symptoms
Maybe youre really not sure whether your cramps are normal or not, but you also experience other related symptoms. Other worrisome symptoms may include:
- Cramps accompanied by nausea or diarrhea
- Pelvic pain at times beside your period
- Spotting between cycles
To evaluate what may be wrong, your healthcare provider may suggest:
- Blood work
- Exploratory laparoscopy
- Pelvic exam with sexually transmitted infection testing
- Pelvic ultrasound
Its important to know that endometriosis can only be diagnosed with exploratory laparoscopy. It cant be ruled with ultrasound or a pelvic exam. However, laparoscopy is an invasive, surgical procedure, so your doctor may not recommend having it unless your symptoms are especially bad.
Sometimes it happens that you see your doctor and are told everything is fine. If your cramps arent interfering with your daily life, this may be reassuring and an acceptable answer. However, if your cramps are making it difficult to work and live, dont accept Youre fine as an answer. Seek out another doctor.
Causes Of Period Pain
Period pain happens when the muscular wall of the womb tightens . Mild contractions continually occur in your womb, but they’re usually so mild that most women cannot feel them.
During your period, the wall of the womb starts to contract more vigorously to help the womb lining shed as part of your period.
When the wall of the womb contracts, it compresses the blood vessels lining your womb. This temporarily cuts off the blood supply and oxygen supply to your womb. Without oxygen, the tissues in your womb release chemicals that trigger pain.
While your body is releasing these pain-triggering chemicals, it’s also producing other chemicals called prostaglandins. These encourage the womb muscles to contract more, further increasing the level of pain.
It’s not known why some women have more period pain than others. It may be that some women have a build-up of prostaglandins, which means they experience stronger contractions.
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What Period Cramps Feel Like
Cramps can vary in intensity and duration for everyone. They typically vary over the course of your period, with the pain or discomfort lessening after the first few days. This is because the level of prostaglandins is reduced as the uterine lining is shed and the prostaglandins in the lining are expelled from your body.
Often, people will have pain in their lower abdomen or back. But some will only experience pain in the lower back. Some people also experience cramping in their upper thighs.
The uterus is a muscle. When it contracts and relaxes during cramping, it can feel:
- aching or tightening similar to a muscle cramp-like pain
- like a mild stomachache, or even a more painful stomachache, like when you have a stomach virus
Along with menstrual cramps, some women also experience:
- diarrhea or loose bowel movements
Cramps can be uncomfortable or even painful, but they shouldnt keep you home from school or work. That level of pain or discomfort is not typical, and is something you should see your doctor about.
Some cramping with your period is normal and nothing to worry about. Talk to your doctor if:
- your cramps interfere with your life or daily activities
- your cramps get worse after the first few days of your period
- youre over the age of 25 and suddenly start having cramping, or your periods seem more painful than usual
You can try the following remedies to lessen your cramps:
- light exercise
How Do I Know If My Cramps Are Severe
Menstrual cramps feel like a throbbing or cramping pain in your lower abdomen. You may also feel pressure or a continuous dull ache in the area. The pain may radiate to your lower back and inner thighs.
Cramps usually begin a day or two before your period, peaking around 24 hours after your period starts. They typically last for two to three days.
Menstrual cramps can be accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- spotting between periods
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Having A Heart Attack
And this is even backed up by medical professionals, people. Many doctors agree that those who experience severe cramping and muscle spasms while on their period endure pain comparable to having a heart attack. However, unlike a heart attack, the pain doesn’t kill you and doesn’t stop when you seek medical help. It continues on and on. If it does stop by some chance of luck, it comes back later and sneaks up on you. So, basically, it’s like having multiple heart attacks within the span of a week .
What Are Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are throbbing, aching cramps you get in your lower belly just before and during your period. Theyâre some of the most common, annoying parts of your period. They can strike right before or during that time of the month. Many women get them routinely.
Cramps can range from mild to severe. They usually happen for the first time a year or two after a girl first gets their period. With age, they usually become less painful and may stop entirely after you have your first baby.
Your doctor may call your cramps dysmenorrhea.
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