Causes Of Painful Periods + How Stop Period Pain Naturally
Is your period is so painful that your life practically stops when you have it? Having extremely painful periods is a sign of an underlying imbalance that can have far-reaching implications for your overall health, not just your reproductive health. Keep reading to find out what causes period pain and what you can do to stop it.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain During Your Period
Though the exact causes of lower back pain during periods arent yet fully understood, its usually associated with hormonal changes and their effect on ligaments in the spine. Researchers found that hormonal changes may influence collagen production, which can lead to ligament laxity, or loose ligaments. Loose ligaments can cause spinal instability and are sometimes accompanied by pain in the lower back.
Prostaglandins may also play a role. Prostaglandins are chemicals that cause many of the symptoms associated with menstrual discomfort. They are synthesized by many tissues in the body, including the endometrium . They stimulate contraction of the uterine muscles to shed the uterine lining during menstruation. Prostaglandins also cause cramps. Heavy contractions can lead to low-back pain, as the pain can radiate from the lower abdomen into the lower back.
People with increased prostaglandin activity may experience severe menstrual cramps and back pain during their period. Prostaglandins can also cause symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, and diarrhea that accompany painful menstruation .
Lower back pain can also be a symptom of early pregnancy. During pregnancy, the ligaments in the body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare for labor. This can put a strain on the joints of the lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
Here are some of the differences between back pain from your period and back pain from pregnancy.
Can Menstrual Cycle Cause Back Pain
An excess of prostaglandins causes dysmenorrheal or painful menstruation. Heavy contractions can lead to low back pain, as the pain can radiate from the lower abdomen into the low back. Women with endometriosis may also experience low back pain during the menstrual cycle.
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What Helps Lower Back Pain During The Period
Even though back pain during the menstrual cycle is a frustrating problem, its not impossible to ease the pain and prevent it from affecting your daily activities. Of course, the first line of defense involves the intake of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
If you deal with this kind of pain every month, make sure you have these pills in your medicine cabinet and take them as soon as you experience discomfort. Ibuprofen is a better choice than acetaminophen because it is primarily formulated to relieve inflammation.
Besides medications, various exercise therapies prove to be effective for the functional recovery of the musculoskeletal system in women who experience menstrual pain.
Strive to be physically active and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. A useful thing to do is to work with a personal trainer who will create a customized plan of exercises that will help you prevent and alleviate the pain.
Severe Lower Back Pain During Period Faqs
How painful is dysmenorrhea?
Pain from dysmenorrhea varies in intensity. For some women, the pain is mild and lasts only one to two days. For others the pain persists for the duration of their period and is so severe that they cant perform their usual daily activities.
When should you go to the hospital for severe period cramps?
If your period pain is so severe that you are doubled over in pain, fainting or vomiting, call NHS 111. They will talk to you about your symptoms and may suggest you go to hospital.
Why is my period pain unbearable?
Severe period pain can be caused by a variety of underlying health conditions, such as endometriosis, fibroids or premenstrual dysphoric disorder .
Do periods get more painful with age?
Some women develop more painful and/or heavier periods after age 40. If your period pain is affecting your quality of life or you are concerned, see your GP.
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Adenomyosis: Painful Cramps And Sex
Adenomyosis is like endometriosis, except instead of the endometrium implanting itself outside of the uterus, it is found embedded deep within the uterine muscle. In women with adenomyosis, the uterus acts like a bruised muscle, said Sinervo. Symptoms of adenomyosis include painful central cramps and painful intercourse, which can hurt up until a day or two after. Adenomyosis is usually seen in women over age 30 who have already had children. However, Sinervo added, it has been seen in teenagers as well.
Can A Virus Cause Back Pain
In the early stages, the only sign of an infection you might have is back tenderness that doesnt seem to get better. As the infection progresses, more symptoms become apparent, which should clue you in that theres a problem. Often, back pain is one of those symptoms, along with others like: Chills.
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Why Does My Back Hurt During My Period
Your back may hurt before, during, or just after your menstrual period. Back pain is associated with several conditions that affect the reproductive organs, such as:
- Premenstrual syndrome , which refers to several symptoms women experience in the week or to before their menstrual periods .
- Uterine contractions due to prostaglandins, hormone-like lipid compounds .
- Primary dysmenorrhea, which is commonly referred to as menstrual cramps .
- Endometriosis, a condition that occurs when tissue like that which grows in the uterus grows elsewhere in the body .
- Uterine fibroids, also known as leiomyomas or myomas, which are growths that develop in the uterus .
- Adenomyosis, which occurs when the endometrium breaks through the myometrium .
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection of the reproductive organs that is often caused by sexually transmitted bacteria .
- Ovarian cysts, which occur when a sac fills with ovarian fluid or tissue .
- Early pregnancy, which can cause abdominal and back discomfort as hormone levels fluctuate .
Many women experience back pain due to premenstrual syndrome, uterine contractions, and dysmenorrhea. Menstrual cramps and related back pain occur more frequently in girls and women who had their first periods at a young age, experience long-lasting periods, have a heavy menstrual flow, or have a family history of dysmenorrhea .
Your Cramps Are Spreading To Your Back
During your period, the wall of your womb begins to contract more vigorously than it does during the rest of the month in order to shed its lining. This means that the blood vessels are compressed and the oxygen supply to your womb is temporarily cut off. Without oxygen, your womb will release pain-inducing chemicals which you feel as period cramps.1
On top of all that, women who have back pain during their period are sometimes said to experience referred pain, as these uterine contractions radiate through the web of nerves in the pelvic region and reach the back muscles.2 Phew!
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What Steps To Take
If these signs are already visible, you will be eager to check if you are pregnant or not.
The truth is that your test result will not be valid if done too quickly before your next period.
So dont rush And if you do, and test negative, wait a while and test again.
You should know conventional test strips will not detect pregnant if its done too quickly. However, if you are 2 -3 days before your period with back pain, First Response Pregnancy test strip can surely identify pregnancy.
The Worst Back Pain Is Rarely The Scariest
People understandably assume that the worst back pain is the scariest. In fact, pain intensity is a poor indicator of back pain ominousness,10 and some of the worst causes are actually the least painful . For instance, someone could experience the symptoms of cauda equinae syndrome, and be in real danger of a serious and permanent injury to their spine, but have surprisingly little pain even none at all in some cases!
Meanwhile, many non-dangerous problems can cause amazingly severe back pain. A muscle cramp is a good analogy just think about how painful a Charley horse is! Regardless of whats actually going on in there, muscle pain is probably the main thing that back pain patients are feeling. The phenomenon of trigger points tiny muscle cramps, basically11 could be the entire problem, or a complication thats more painful and persistent than the original problem. Its hard to overstate how painful trigger points can be, but they are not dangerous to anything but your comfort.
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Reasons For Rectal Pain During Periods
Rectum is the part of the lower intestines that holds waste material that is to be excreted by the body. The opening that lets out the waste is called the anus.
In a womans body, the rectum is situated right behind the uterus. So, its not unusual for rectal pain to occur during periods.
Many women think theyre the only ones experiencing this and thus avoid conversations on this topic. But, its important to realize that millions of women around the world face this.
While, reasons for rectal pain can be simple issues that can be treated at home, it can also be severe health conditions requiring surgery.
Thus, without further ado, lets look at the reasons.
Are There Any Other Reasons For Period Back Pain That I Should Know About
Another potential cause of period back pain is secondary dysmenorrhea, or period-related pain caused by another reproductive condition. One common condition that causes back pain, especially during menstruation, is endometriosis. “Endometriosis involves the tissue from the lining of the uterus implanting itself outside the uterus, and potentially causing cysts on or around the ovaries,” Dr. Masterson says. “Implantation of the endometrial tissue in the pelvis can also cause pelvic and back pain.”
For people with endometriosis, the pain might continue throughout their cycle, not just during the days of their period, Dr. Missmer points out. Similarly, she says, adenomyosis, a condition where the endometrial tissue grows in the uterine muscles, often makes pelvic and back pain worse.
Typical period back pain usually occurs within the first six days of your cycle, Dr. Missmer says.
Basically, any condition that causes chronic inflammation and pain to the pelvic area, can also cause low back pain, research supports. Infections of the fallopian tubes or abscesses on the ovaries can be responsible for period back pain as well. Other infections, like pelvic inflammatory disease, often build up fluid and inflammation in the pelvis and can add to back pain during your period, Dr. Masterson says.
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What Causes Severe Lower Back Pain Before Period
While its true you may have a mild back pain before period some women may continue to get a severe low back pain before and during periods.
Usually, this occurs in women with endometriosis, when the uterine endometrial tissues are displaced to other parts of the body. Other signs of endometriosis are cramps between periods, difficulty in conceiving, heavy vaginal bleeding during menstruation, lower abdominal pain during sexually active and pain after intercourse.
Another reason you will get severe back pain before period is perimenopause, which occurs in women more than the age of 40.
During this period, you may also get irregular periods, hot flashes, dry vagina and pain during intercourse.
Upper Back Pain Before Period Is It Normal
Just like lower pain in your back, its possible you could feel pain above your waist level before period. As your period starts, inevitably, these pains will go away.
Also, if youve missed your period for weeks, a low back pain may be due to a miscarriage. Always check out with your doctor if you have vaginal bleeding.
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Why Do Women Have Back Or Pelvic Pain During Their Periods
To understand why the back or pelvic hurts during a period, we need to understand the menstrual cycle and the changing levels of hormones. The menstrual cycle is made of a few main phases.
- The first phase, which is menstruation, begins on the first day of your period. During menstruation hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, are relatively low.
- In the second phase, also known as the follicular phase, FSH is released, which causes immature eggs to develop. These follicles cause a lot of oestrogen to be produced, and the lining of the uterus thickens, for a possible egg to be embedded.
- The third phase in ovulation, and is when a mature egg is released from the ovary. It is triggered by an abrupt rise in LH . At ovulation, the cervix moves higher and its opening widens. The release of the egg and the movement of the cervix is why some women experience cramps or aches at ovulation, and why some women experience ovulation spotting. After ovulation, the egg enters the fallopian tube and moves along the uterus.
- The fourth phase, also known as the luteal phase is when oestrogen production drops and progesterone increases. This further thickens the uterine lining to allow for a fertilized egg to embed. If fertilization doesnt occur, the egg breaks down, and progesterone levels drop, which disintegrates the uterine lining, in preparation for a period. This drop in progesterone is why some women experience mood swings, bloating, tender breasts or tiredness.
Period Pain Caused By Contraceptive Devices
An intrauterine device is a type of contraception made from copper and plastic that fits inside the womb. It can also sometimes cause period pain, particularly during the first few months after it’s inserted.
You may notice a change in your normal pattern of pain if your period pain is linked to a medical condition or a contraceptive IUD. For example, the pain may be more severe or it may last much longer than normal.
You may also have:
See a GP if you have any of these symptoms as well as period pain.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Yes, if you have painful periods you and your obstetrician-gynecologist should talk about your symptoms and your menstrual cycle. If needed, your ob-gyn may recommend a pelvic exam. A first step in treatment may be medications. If medications do not relieve your pain, treatment should focus on finding the cause of your pain.
An ultrasound exam may be done when pain is not relieved with medications. In some cases, an ob-gyn may recommend a laparoscopy. This is a procedure that lets an ob-gyn view the organs in the pelvis. With laparoscopy, a small incision is made near the belly button. A thin, lighted cameraa laparoscopeis inserted into the abdomen. Laparoscopy often is done with general anesthesia in a surgery center or hospital.
Medications are usually the first step when treating painful periods. Certain pain relievers target prostaglandins. These medications, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , reduce the prostaglandins made by the body and lessen their effects. This in turn makes menstrual cramps less severe. Most NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be bought over the counter.
Acupuncture, acupressure, and nerve stimulation therapies may be useful for treating painful periods. Physical therapy that eases trigger points also may help with pain.