Whats Cramps After Period Actually Mean
Cramps that continue after your period has ended, a condition called secondary Dysmenorrhea, are usually caused by a reproductive disorder. If you have secondary dysmenorrhea, cramps usually start just before your period begins, get more intense during your period, and may keep occurring after your period ends.
How Is A Closed Cervix Diagnosed
To diagnose a closed cervix, your gynecologist will need to perform a pelvic examination with a tool called a speculum. Theyll insert the speculum into your vagina, allowing them to see your cervix. Theyll carefully examine its size, color, and texture. They may also look for any cysts, polyps, or other signs of anything unusual.
If your os looks narrow or otherwise appears abnormal they may try to pass a probe through it. If they cant, you may get a diagnosis of cervical stenosis.
Treatment for a closed cervix depends on a number of factors, including:
- your age
- whether or not you plant to have children
- your symptoms
If you dont plan to have children and arent having any symptoms, you likely wont need treatment.
But if youre trying to get pregnant or have painful symptoms, your doctor may recommend using cervical dilators. These are small devices placed in the cervix. They slowly expand over time, stretching your cervix.
Having cervical stenosis can lead to several complications, including:
- irregular periods
- accumulation of fluid
A closed cervix can also lead to hematometra, which happens when menstrual blood builds up in your uterus. This can cause endometriosis, a condition in which uterine tissue grows in places outside the uterus.
Cervical stenosis may also result in a condition called pyometra. Pyometra is an accumulation of pus inside the uterus. If this happens, youll feel pain or tenderness in your abdomen.
How Much Period Pain Is Normal
If youre like most women, youve experienced period pain at some point in your life. A little bit of mild cramping can be considered normal, especially at the beginning of your period. But ideally, you wont even feel your period coming at all.
If youre consistently having to pop painkillers like candy, or youre in too much pain to go to work or school, then something deeper is going on. That type of period pain is not normal. In medicine, painful periods are called dysmenorrhea.
Your period is like a barometer of your overall health. It tells you how well your body is being nourished , how much stress youve been under, and how much inflammation might be going on in your body.
Its important to uncover the root causes of why your hormones are in turmoil so that you can find the least invasive, safest and most effective solution.
The great news is that womens hormonal issues respond beautifully to natural medicine and, with a little detective work, you can troubleshoot your problems to get back on the road to wellness.
First, lets explore the causes of menstrual pain.
Im going to get all sciency because I want you to really understand whats going on inside of your body. I even made a cute little drawing to help explain everything. Bear with me and keep reading. Itll all make sense I promise!
What I Can Do To Relieve Pms
Many of the things that help ease cramps can also help with PMS. Here are some different ways to relieve PMS symptoms:
Take 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.
Do aerobic exercise, like walking, running, riding a bike, swimming, or any activity that gets your heart rate up. Regular exercise is ideal.
Do breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.
Get plenty of rest. Sleeping regularly every night can help with stress, mood changes, and feeling tired or fatigued.
Eat healthy foods like fruits, veggies , whole grains, and yogurt.
Limit fat, salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Make sure you get enough vitamins in your diet, or take vitamin supplements. If you dont get enough calcium, take a supplement of 1200 mg of calcium daily. Magnesium and Vitamin E might also help.
Use hormonal birth control . Your doctor can help you find a birth control method that can help with PMS.
What Causes Painful Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps happen when a chemical called prostaglandin makes the uterus contract . The uterus, the muscular organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout your menstrual cycle. During menstruation, the uterus contracts more strongly. If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to muscle tissue. You feel pain when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.
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Period Pain Is Common
Endometriosis can cause a number of severe symptoms, including period pain.But painful periods alone, even if they are bad, arent a surefire indicator of endometriosis.
So, most young women with period pain are likely to have primary dysmenorrhoea rather than endometriosis.
Get Steamed Over Broccoli
Put broccoli at the top of your list of veggies that fight PMS. A nutrition staple for every diet, broccoli has many health benefits and several nutrients that have been shown to help women battling PMS calcium vitamins A, C, B6, and E and the minerals calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Like some other vitamins, vitamin A may help regulate the effects of fluctuating hormones, says Mache Seibel, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and an expert in womens health and nutrition. Broccoli is also a good source of dietary fiber, which helps regulate your estrogen levels and digestive system and who needs constipation on top of other PMS symptoms? Steam some broccoli with your grilled salmon and you may kiss PMS goodbye.
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Pop Some Pumpkin Seeds
When youre fighting PMS, Bauer advises grabbing a handful of pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in a number of nutrients that have been shown to reduce PMS symptoms, serving up to 75 percent of the daily recommended amount of magnesium and 85 percent of the daily recommended amount of manganese, she says. Magnesium can help lift your mood and fight water retention, while manganese has been shown to reduce the irritability and tension that comes with PMS. With nutrition-rich pumpkin seeds in your diet, you also get iron, fiber, zinc, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
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.
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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.
Stopped Or Missed Periods
There are many reasons why you may miss your period, or why periods may stop altogether.
Some common reasons are:
- breast tenderness
Symptoms usually start and can intensify in the 2 weeks before your period, and then ease and disappear after your period starts.
Read more about PMS, including symptoms and treatment.
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When To See A Doctor
Have you asked yourself, Why do my cramps hurt so bad? If yes, that means that you have noticed that your menstrual cramps are not with the normal strength as usual. This is the first indication that you should go and see your doctor.
Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms that are present in your specific case and menstrual cycles. Your doctor will most probably do a full pelvic exam. The doctor should explain to you how long do menstrual cramps last and if it turns out that your cramps are not caused by your period, you will have to do additional tests to find out the exact reason. When you will discover the right cause of your cramps, your doctor will prescribe you a menstrual cramps cure.
To prevent menstrual cramps from happening, maintain a healthy lifestyle. Choose carefully the food that you are eating, exercise several times in the week and try to walk at least an hour every day. If you are willing to try some new diet or do any treatments, talk to your doctor first.
What Is Are Menstrual Cramps
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for pain with your period or menstrual cramps. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary.
Primary dysmenorrhea is the name for common menstrual cramps that come back over and over again and arent due to other diseases. Pain usually begins one or two days before you get your period or when bleeding actual starts. You may feel pain ranging from mild to severe in the lower abdomen, back or thighs.
Pain can typically last 12 to 72 hours, and you might have other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea. Common menstrual cramps may become less painful as you get older and may stop entirely if you have a baby.
If you have painful periods because of a disorder or an infection in your female reproductive organs, it is called secondary dysmenorrhea. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea usually begins earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. You usually dont have nausea, vomiting, fatigue or diarrhea.
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If You Have A Sharp Pain On One Side
It might be: an ovarian torsion or ruptured ovarian cyst. In the case of a torsion, something has caused the ovary to twist, which cuts off its blood flow ovarian cysts, on the other hand, are quite common and usually unproblematicunless they rupture or break open. Either condition is serious, says Masterson, who describes the pain for both as sharp and stabbing, causing you to double over. You may even experience nausea or vomiting, too.
What to do: Go straight to the ER for medical scans to determine whether a cyst or torsion is causing your severe pain. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, treatment for ruptured cysts is variable, ranging from mild interventions to surgery, but a torsion will pretty much always require surgery to either correct the problem or remove the ovary .
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider About Menstrual Cramps
Bad cramps keep some women from working and going to school. You dont have to suffer and you dont have to put your life on hold. Contact your healthcare provider if you have painful periods.
It may be helpful to keep track of your periods and the days on which pain is the worst so you can make a complete report. If you notice other symptoms, like headaches or heavy flows, you should keep track of those, too.
Your provider will probably ask you when you started getting your period, how long they last, if you are sexually active, if other women in your family have problems with their periods and what kinds of treatments you might have tried already.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Menstruation is normal. You might get cramps, but you dont have to suffer silently with them. There are ways to make painful periods less painful. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about painful periods.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/20/2020.
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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.