Many say that they do experience some discomfort during the first day of menstruation, sometimes longer. But only about 5-10% of women have stated that their period pains slow down their everyday lives. Period pains such as mild menstrual cramps can be common, however, intense menstrual cramps are not.
Here are a few signs that your period pains are abnormal:
Cramps don’t improve after taking over-the-counter pain medication.
Period pains interfere with your daily activities.
You experience heavy bleeding or clotting during your cycle.
Your cycle is irregular.
Your menstrual cramps cause nausea or diarrhea.
You experience spotting between cycles.
What can cause period pain?
If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s likely not just due to your period ... there’s a possibility that a more serious issue could be at work. Here are a few reasons why you might be experiencing abnormal period pains:
Abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman's uterus. Sometimes these tumors become quite large and can cause severe abdominal pain along with heavy periods.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
An infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the cervix.
An often painful disorder in which the tissue, normally found inside the uterus, can be found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the intestines.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
A hormonal disorder that is common in women of reproductive age where the ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
Common menstrual cramps are easily treated through exercise, OTC pain medication or diet. However, if you tend to experience severe cramping accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, fever, or unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, you should contact your doctor immediately.
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