How Can You Tell Whether Youre Having Period Pain Or Not
It can be hard to tell between period pain and other symptoms for some women, it can be hard to distinguish between period pain and other conditions. One tell-tale sign can be the length of your cramps. For example, during your period you may experience cramping for a couple of days or for the duration of your period. Whereas if youre pregnant for example, you may experience cramping which lasts a few weeks to a few months.
If you do have a positive pregnancy test and cramps it is important to see a doctor to make sure that you do not have something called an ectopic pregnancy.
Symptoms which may indicate other health conditions include:
- Your periods are heavier or lighter
- High temperature
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Irregular bleeding or bleeding after sex
- Passing urine more often
- A change in vaginal discharge
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should consult your doctor.
Timing might be a clue usually, period pain lasts for several days. It normally begins just before or when the bleeding starts and may continue for a few days or for the whole time you bleed. You can also have pain during the middle of your cycle when you ovulate. Teenage girls can sometimes experience more period pain when they first start their periods.
Why Haven’t I Gotten My Period
10 symptoms of perimenopause
Perimenopause refers to the time period that begins when the ovaries begin to decline in function and continues until menopause . During this time, a woman may exhibit these symptoms that are largely due to abnormal hormonal fluctuations:
- Irregular vaginal bleeding
Sometimes women in the very early stages of pregnancy experience slight cramping, similar to mild menstrual cramps, right around the time that the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This is termed âimplantation painâ and happens right around the time of the expected period.
- Usually there are no other symptoms at this time other than the absence of a period. Sometimes there is light spotting at the time of implantation.
Other Symptoms Of Pregnancy
There are other symptoms of early pregnancy you might experience, including:
- Youre bleeding, but only slightly. For some women, an early symptom of pregnancy is spotting. Its called implantation bleeding, and it happens about 10 to 14 days after conception when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This kind of bleeding doesnt last long, and it usually happens around the time youd normally have a period. This can be misleading. The difference is that implantation bleeding isnt typically as heavy as menstrual bleeding.
- Youre having mood swings. If youre feeling particularly emotional or find yourself bursting into tears, it can be a result of pregnancy hormones.
- Youre constipated. Its not comfortable, but a sluggish digestive system is another hormone-related issue that some women experience during pregnancy.
- Youre experiencing backaches. While lower back pain can be a problem for the length of a pregnancy, some women notice it very early on.
- You need to use the bathroom more frequently. Somewhere between six to eight weeks after conceiving, you may find that you have an increased need to urinate, but dont feel any pain or urgency.
While all of these symptoms can be signs of early pregnancy, they can also mean something else altogether. The reverse is also true: You may have none of these symptoms, but be pregnant.
A missed period can also be unrelated to a pregnancy. It could be due to:
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Food And Odor Aversions Or Cravings
Aversions to certain foods or odors are caused by your bodys hormonal changes during the first trimester of pregnancy. You may start to despise the way your favorite dinner smells or tastes, or, on the flip side, you may crave certain snacks, meals, beverages or food combinations.
When it comes to cravings or aversions, listen to your body. Its okay to occasionally indulge in late-night ice cream runsjust don’t overdo it. Talk to your OBGYN if youre unable to stomach major food groups like vegetables or whole grains. The two of you can discuss foods that can easily be substituted in.
What Can Help If I Have Pms
You can try these things if you have PMS symptoms:
- To help with food cravings: Eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- To ease bloating: Lower salt in your diet.
- To ease crankiness or anxiety: Avoid caffeine and get plenty of exercise.
- To help with backache, headache, or sore breasts: Try a warm heating pad or acetaminophen , ibuprofen , or naproxen .
- To relax: Try yoga or meditation.
- To prevent and treat pimples: Work with a dermatologist .
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When To See Your Doctor
Its important to know what is normal for your period so you can tell when something is out of the ordinary and just not right. If youre experiencing any prolonged changes in your menstrual cycle or any of the following signs, reach out to your doctor:
- Bleeding between periods
- Significantly irregular cycles, varying in length shorter than 24 days or longer than 38
- No period for over three months
- If youre pregnant and notice bleeding
- If youve experienced menopause and are bleeding
- Unusual pain during your period
Period blood colors and textures vary throughout your cycle this is completely normal! The most important thing is to pay attention to your body and the patterns of variations in your period. Minor changes in period color and texture dont necessarily suggest a health problem, and you know whats normal for your body.
You’re Experiencing Very Heavy Bleeding
Heavy bleeding can be cause for concern, saysRachel Carlton Abrams, M.D., a board-certified physician and author of BodyWise: Discovering Your Body’s Intelligence for Lifelong Health and Healing. ” can be a sign of fibroids , hormonal imbalance , stress , thyroid dysfunction . If you’ve always had very heavy bleeding, it could be a sign of a clotting disorder.”
When everything is running smoothly, you’re probably going through anywhere from 3-6 tampons a day ” normal amount of blood is 4-12 teaspoons each cycle,” saysDr. Sherry, A. Ross, M.D., a women’s health expert and author ofShe-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period. “If your period lasts longer than 7 days and you’re changing tampons or pads more than every 2 hours each day, then this is a sign of a heavier than average flow,” says women’s health and functional nutrition coach Nicole Jardim. Needing both a pad and tampon to control your flow or having to change pads or tampons during the night are more red flags, she says.
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Possible Causes Of Abnormal Periods
You know your period. You know when to expect it and how to calculate the number of pads or tampons you will need. You probably even know what you can get away with wearing in terms of clothes, based on your flow. It’s likely that you would know if your period were abnormal in any way.
While an abnormal period can be normal to have once in a while, it’s undoubtedly stressful. It can help to understand what could be going on in your body to cause the irregularity in your menstrual cycle.
When To See A Doctor
Seeing spotting instead of a period one month may not be a reason for concern. For example, if youre very stressed one month or perhaps skip your period because youre nearing menopause, your regular flow may return the following month with no treatment needed.
If your spotting is being caused by medical conditions, such as PCOS, thyroid issues, or STIs, you may experience other symptoms that prompt you to call your doctor. The same goes with possible pregnancy. Pay attention to the other symptoms youre experiencing along with spotting and make an appointment.
Always call your doctor if your spotting is accompanied by:
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How The Blood Changes During Your Period/is My Period Blood Supposed To Change Colour
Yes, it is normal for your period blood to change colour throughout your cycle daily, month to month, or even throughout your lifetime.
During a period, the colour can vary in brightness, darkness, and hue, from bright reds to dark browns. This will depend on the flow and how new the period blood is. These often change on different days of your period e.g. on day one or two, your flow will be faster, the blood will be newer and therefore is likely to be bright red. Further into your period as your flow might slow or blood might be older, your period blood is likely to be darker in colour.
However, if you see a colour that isnt usually what youd expect, its always best to check in with your doctor, especially if youre experiencing other symptoms that are out of the ordinary for you.
Why Do I Have Cramps But No Period
Pelvic pain similar to a menstrual period can happen at times when no period is due or can occur because of conditions other than the monthly cycle. Sometimes it is hard to tell the exact reason for cramps that feel like a menstrual period.
The following diseases and conditions are examples of situations that can cause pain or cramps when not on your period.
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What Counts As Spotting
Spotting is considerably lighter than most bleeding during your period. You may notice it on your underwear or when you wipe. It is usually dark brown or red and lasts up to a few days.
If you’re not having the typical symptoms that you have during your period, like cramps or breast tenderness, that’s an indicator that the bleeding is spotting.
Period Pains But No Period: Could I Be Pregnant
Period symptoms but no period might actually be a sign of pregnancy. This is because when the embryo implants into the uterine lining, cramping may occur. Following this, breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, and more symptoms occur as the body begins going through various changes to carry the fetus. If you suspect this might be what youre experiencing, watch for these signs of pregnancy.
A pregnancy test can detect pregnancy as early as 10 days after conception. But there are things that can make a positive urine home pregnancy test inaccurate, and here are some of them:
- Not following test instructions or misinterpreting the results
- Blood or protein in the urine
It is also possible for a negative home urine test to be wrong:
- Taking a test too early or checking results too quickly
- Diluted urine
- The hook effect, which is something that happens when there are so many hCG molecules in the urine that they prevent the test from working properly. They are simply washed off the test, so the result will be negative.
However, the absence of menstruation doesnt necessarily mean youre pregnant. There are lots of things that can cause period symptoms like cramps without actually having periods.
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What Else Can Cause Symptoms Like Period Pain
Some other causes of period-like pain are:
In addition, cancers in the pelvis such as ovarian cancers can cause irregular bleeding, pain, changes in the urine, bloating and vaginal discharge
What you should do about these symptoms if you are experiencing symptoms such as period pains at a time during your cycle that you are not expecting to or you have cramps but no period, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor will be able to help diagnose the cause and suggest the next course of action required.
You may need an STI test if you know that you do not have one of the above conditions, consider an STI test. STIs such as chlamydia can cause abdominal cramping/pain and bleeding between periods. You can get an STI test from:
- Your GP
Pink To Light Pink Or White
Low Estrogen Levels / Low Flow
Youll most likely see pink to light pink blood at the beginning or end of your cycle, and this just means a low flow of fresh menstrual blood. If its the only blood you see over multiple periods, its a possible sign that your estrogen levels are low. Another symptom of low estrogen levels is vaginal dryness. If you notice both, we recommend you see your doctor.
Outside of your regular period cycle, pink spotting can be from mid-cycle bleeding, this is quite common and normal for some people.
If you get pink vaginal discharge when youre not on your period or outside of whats typical of your body, it could be a sign of cervical cancer and you should get it checked out by your healthcare provider.
Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and other tissues that form a sling across the pelvis, which holds together the vagina, uterus, bladder, rectum, and other pelvic organs, according to the NLM. Just like any other part of your body, your pelvic floor can become weak or injured, particularly after pregnancy and childbirth, and cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, lower back pain, and the feeling of pelvic pressure or fullness that are akin to those during your period.
The standout difference from menstruation pain? If you can feel a bulge inside the vagina or, in more extreme cases, you can organs start to push out of the vaginal opening, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , then you are probably dealing with pelvic floor muscular problems.
Other symptoms include pain during sex, burning feeling in the vagina and while peeing, leaking urine when you cough, laugh, or exercise, and leaking stool or hard time making it to the bathroom in time. To determine whats going on, ACOG says that your health care provide will typically conduct vaginal and rectal exams in which you may be asked to cough or strain to see if you leak.
Uterine Polyps Or Ovarian Cysts
Uterine polyps are small growths on the inside of the uterus that are usually benign but can cause irregular periods. Similarly, an ovarian cyst is a fluid sac that grows on an ovary. Though symptoms are typically minimal unless there are complications, some people find they experience irregular periods, as well as bloating which could be mistaken for a PMS symptom.
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