What Causes Menstrual Pain
Pain during menstruation is thought to be caused by prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Together, these compounds are known as eicosanoids.
Prostaglandinsare a group of hormone-like fats that are made by our cells at sites of tissue damage or infection in the body. Their job is to direct the healing process by coordinating blood vessel constriction and blood clotting. In this process, prostaglandins cause the pain, fever, redness and swelling that we experience with illness and injury.
Prostaglandins also play a role in the female reproductive system by controlling ovulation, initiating labor and regulating menstrual flow. In other words, prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract.
Two specific prostaglandins have been linked to menstrual pain: PGE2 and PGF2-alpha.
Now, normally, prostaglandins are very short-lived. Once their job is done, the body breaks them down quickly.
But problems arise when inflammatory prostaglandins are produced in excess. Certain dietary andlifestyle factors will cause persistent tissue damage and load us with omega-6 fats, resulting in round the clock production of inflammatory prostaglandins.
Below is an illustration of the process. As you can see, anything that promotes high levels of arachidonic acid, the precursor to prostaglandins, can lead to pain and inflammation.
Similar to prostaglandins,leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that are released by our white blood cells.
Abdominal Pain After Period Could I Be Pregnant
A lot of women are worried they may be pregnant if they experience cramps a week after menstruation. But this rarely happens. First and maybe the most important, soon after menstruation a woman won`t ovulate under normal conditions, because is too soon for her body to physically be able to. Even if this would have happened, the implantation process won`t have happened so soon.
Last but not least, sperm might be in the organism and traveling on its way towards the egg, but it`s still too soon for the pregnancy to have happened yet. If this would have happened, the fertilized egg wouldn`t have found its way to the uterus just yet, so we cannot associate this with the idea of pregnancy.
Abdominal cramps after menstruation may just be your organism readjusting out of the menstrual cycle.
Following the menstruation, there may a good chance that an irregularity may be happening when the organism is ovulating too fast. This may allow a pregnancy to develop soon after a period. A very common misunderstanding is that women aren`t able to become pregnant during menstruation, but actually they can this just happens very rarely.In most situations, it`s best for a woman to be patient for 1 or 2 days to pass and see if the pain doesn`t disappear. If the pain is still there then, it`s recommended to consult a doctor.
Causes Of Period Butt Pain
Cramps, uterine swelling, and bloating are common period symptoms. Unfortunately, they can also put pressure on your gluteal musclesthe ones that make up the buttocks. When enough tension builds, the muscles might spasm, causing pain in the lower back, pelvis, and butt. This could also make you feel like you have to pee, Elizabeth Kavaler, M.D., clinical assistant professor of urology at Weil Cornell Medical College and director of urogynecology at Lenox Hill Hospital, tells SELF.
Butt pain during period days may be especially common if your uterus tilts toward your back, says Christine Herde, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., vice chair of ob-gyn at CareMount Medical in New York. Neighboring body parts nerves are interconnected, so pain that stems from one place might be felt in another. Most people’s uteruses tilt toward the front, so they feel uterus cramping in their abdomens. But if yours tilts in the reverse direction, which is less common but normal, you might feel cramps in the back or butt.
Anal pain could also potentially point toward endometriosis, says ob-gyn Aimee D. Eyvazzadeh, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Endometriosis lesions sometimes sit on the pudendal nerve, which extends all over the pelvis. When irritated, this nerve can send shooting pain to the skin around the anus that intensifies during your period.
Read Also: Advil For Back Pain Dosage
How Is The Cause Of Severe Period Pain Diagnosed
To diagnose severe period pain, your health care provider will ask you about your medical history and do a pelvic exam. You may also have an ultrasound or other imaging test. If your health care provider thinks you have secondary dysmenorrhea, you might have laparoscopy. It is a surgery that that lets your health care provider look inside your body.
When To See A Doctor About Butt Pain During Your Period
Butt pain during your period can unfortunately just be run of the mill. But Dr. Greves recommends keeping a diary of the pain to help determine if its really related to your period. It’s also smart to track the severity of your symptoms. If butt pain during your period doesnt get better with painkillers or gets so bad you cant function, see your doctor. Debilitating discomfort around your period is something worth addressing, no matter where it is.
You May Like: Advil Vs Ibuprofen For Back Pain
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.
Why Do I Get Lower Back Pain During My Period
Lower back pain and cramping are caused by a variety of different gynecological conditions. Some common causes include:
- Premenstrual Syndrome Hormonal changes that occur prior to menstrual can cause premenstrual syndrome. PMS symptoms such as cramping, bloating, headaches, breast tenderness, and lower back pain before your period are experienced by almost everyone who menstruates.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Similar to PMS, women who experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder have severe forms of PMS symptoms. These symptoms can impact activities of daily living.
- Dysmenorrhea Abnormal amounts of uterine contractions leads to profound cramping and lower back pain during the period. The pain is often described as sharp, shooting, or stabbing in the uterine and lower back areas.
- Endometriosis Severe, constant lower back pain during your period could be caused by endometriosis. The endometrial tissue within the uterus can grow outside of the uterus, like the pelvic and abdominal cavity. During your time of the month, the tissue acts like endometrial tissue should, and sheds. This results in severe pain to affected areas during menstruation.
While it is normal to experience body changes during the menstrual cycle, it is not normal to be in severe pain. While traditional treatment options for period back pain are commonly used, they may not always be the best option available.
Don’t Miss: Back Pain Cleveland Clinic
Severe Mood Changes Can Be More Than Normal Pms
If your mood changes before your period are extreme, and you become depressed easily, this could be a more severe form of PMS known as PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
These symptoms include difficulty sleeping and eating, and not being productive at work. With this disorder, normal PMS symptoms and anxiety become much worse prior to your period, but they will usually diminish during the cycle. If these symptoms interfere with your life, discuss with your doctor.
If they become the norm, it could be depression.
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.
Also Check: How Does A Diuretic Help Back Pain
When To See A Doctor
If your lower back pain is so severe that youre unable to perform daily activities, its time to see your doctor. They might perform a variety of tests to see whether you have endometriosis or another condition causing your severe pain.
Even if theres no underlying condition, you and your doctor can discuss both medical and at-home treatment methods to reduce the pain.
Why Do Some People Get Back Pain Around Their Period
Typically, if youre going to experience period back pain, its within the first six days of your cycle, Dr. Missmer says. The back discomfort is usually associated with primary dysmenorrhea, a medical term to describe cramps or pelvic pain that come along with your period each month. Over 80 percent of people who menstruate likely have some kind of primary dysmenorrhea during their periods.
Period back pain likely has to do with changes in prostaglandins, which are hormones that cause the uterus to contract during your period in order to shed its liningand that added pressure can also contribute to pelvic and back pain, says Lisa Masterson, MD, ob-gyn and founder of Ocean Oasis Day Spa in Santa Monica, California. Dysmenorrhea can be mild and easily cured by popping an over-the-counter pain reliever, or the pain can be severe enough where its difficult to function.
In some cases, back pain may happen before your period actually does, but its less common. PMS symptoms are more commonly breast tenderness, bloating, irritability, and headaches, explains Dr. Masterson. Symptoms of premenstrual dypshoric disorder can include physical pain like cramps and back aches. But PMDD more often impacts mental health, causing crippling depression, mood swings, and brain fog.
Don’t Miss: Aleve Or Advil For Back Pain
You Have Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where eating gluten causes serious damage to the small intestine.
Many health care practitioners dont realize that the symptoms of celiac disease can vary, so many people go undiagnosed. In fact, less than half of people with celiac disease have the classic symptoms of GI pain and diarrhea.
Skin rashes, neurological symptoms, fatigue, painful sex and menstrual pain can all be clues that you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Remember, anything that causes inflammation in the gut will cause inflammation in the rest of your body!
Why Do I Have Cramps But No Period
If youre having period cramps but no period, or a late period and cramps at an unexpected time of the month, it could be due to a number of things. Common causes include pregnancy, cysts, or IBS. Lets dive into 9 of the most common reasons women experiencing cramping and what it means for your health.
Also Check: Will Naproxen Help Back Pain
On The Lookout For Changes
Even though there are a wide array of experiences of period pain, it’s also important to learn what’s normal for you, so you can be on the lookout for any changes.
If you experience a sudden increase in your ‘usual’ levels of period pain, or if you start to get period pain when previously you had none, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor to rule out anything serious.
For more information on pelvic pain including pain that occurs at times outside of your period read our recent article, Pelvic pain: know the different causes and when to seek help.
Why Am I Having Cramps After My Period
Is it normal to have ramps after period? Sometimes, yes! Ovulation is considered to be the main cause for cramps after periods. This happens when the egg exist the ovaries. Generally there isn`t any pain, but some women claim to have pelvic cramps after a period, when ovulation starts. This pain is usually rather different than that experienced during menstruation.
If your period ended but still cramping, there may be several causes for experiencing this:
- Hormonal imbalance When a women doesn`t have her hormones in balance, some of the body`s processes evolve rather fast. There are several symptoms of a hormonal imbalance and one of the involve cramps.
- Uterine cysts Cysts may form in the uterus and may cause cramps or bleeding after period. More info!
- Implantation Some experience bleeding when implantation occurs. When this happens, the lining of the uterus shed and may cause light bleeding which doesn`t last for more than 1 2 days. Sometimes, this might be accompanied by abdominal cramps or sharp pain which usually disappears rapidly.
- Birth Control A lot of women who are taking birth control pills may notice bleeding and cramps after the period ends. Again, this may be cause by hormonal changes.
Also Check: Is Aleve Good For Lower Back Pain
Lower Back Pain A Week Before Your Period
Lower back pain a week before your period may be a part of PMS. PMS is a combination of emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms that occur before your period. PMS usually occurs in the second part of the luteal phase but can also begin right after ovulation and continue until the period starts. Lifestyle changes may help prevent the symptoms. If your symptoms are severe or unmanageable, talk to a health care provider.
Uterine Defects: Structural Oddities That Can Lead To Menstrual Cramps And Infertility Too
While a female fetus is still in its mother’s uterus, its own uterus develops from two structures known as Müllerian ducts. In some cases, the uterus does not form correctly, which can cause infertility, period pain, and painful intercourse. For women with structural anomalies such as a bicornuate uterus , septate uterus , unicornuate uterus , uterus didelphys menstrual cramps stem from blockages and membranes dividing the uterus and vagina.
You May Like: Aleve Lower Back Pain
Cramps A Week Before Period: Pregnant Or Not 7 Main Causes
Question: what causes cramps a week before period? Am I pregnant?
Just when you are preparing for your next period, a sudden mild or severe cramps in your lower abdomen will get you concerned.
Cramping one week from your period can be due to many reasons, and there is a possibility that it could be due to pregnancy.
If youve had sexual intercourse or youre trying to conceive, cramping and spotting a week before period is an early pregnancy sign.
Apart from pregnancy, you may also experience abdominal cramps for some other reasons.
Endometriosis, pelvic infections, early miscarriage at three weeks, ectopic pregnancy, urinary tract infections, adenomyosis, and sometimes, an ovarian cyst may cause you to feel lower abdomen pain.
Here an email I received from Perri
Hi Dr. Dunn
I saw your post about cramps and Im wondering if you could help
About a week away from my menstrual period and I felt sharp pain in my abdomen that continued till the start of my period.
During menstruation, the pain got even worse as I could hardly do anything. I took Tylenol but yet could not ease the pains.
Is this pain normal, or due to pregnancy?
The truth is, most teenage girls will experience cramps before and during menstruation, and as you grow old, menstruation pain will decrease.
This article explains
What Are Some Tricks I Can Use At Home For Period Back Pain
In many cases, you can treat your typical monthly period back pain with home remedies. Here are some expert-recommended tips to soothe your back aches during that time of the month.
Also Check: Mayo Clinic Low Back Pain Exercises
Referral To A Specialist
If your period pain has not been controlled after 3 months of treatment with painkillers or a suitable hormonal contraceptive, your GP may refer you to a specialist, which will usually be a gynaecologist.
The specialist will carry out further tests to help confirm or rule out an underlying medical condition. Tests you may have include:
- a urine or blood test
- pelvic ultrasound where high-frequency sound waves are used to produce an image of the inside of your body it’s painless and will show any abnormalities in your reproductive organs
- laparoscopy under general anaesthetic, a small cut is made in your abdomen through which a fibro-optic telescope is inserted it can be used to look at your internal organs as well as take samples of tissue
- hysteroscopy allows the inside of the womb to be examined using a fibro-optic telescope it’s passed through your vagina and into the womb to check for abnormalities