5 Reasons for Painful Periods and Menstrual Cramps

Submitted and Medically Reviewed By: Richard Honaker M.D.

Painful periods and menstrual cramping are as hard as it gets when it comes to that time of the month.

You can experience heavy bleeding, sharp stabbing pain, and fatigue that affect your daily routine. And painful periods and menstrual cramps are not too uncommon.

A study published in the Journal of Pain Research (2012), found very high menstrual pain in 84.1 percent of women studied.

The research also concluded that 43.1 percent of women studied had painful menstruation nearly every period. And 41 percent reported some pain during that time of the month.

Let’s take a closer look at five reasons for painful periods and menstrual cramps that you may be experiencing during every period.

1. Uterine Fibroids Cause Painful Periods and Menstrual Cramps

One in three women will get uterine fibroids. “Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

These fibroids come in a variety of sizes with some large enough to actually change the shape of your uterus.

The painful periods and menstrual cramps occur when the uterus cannot contract and get rid of the large blood clots during your period.

2. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Cause Painful Periods and Menstrual Cramps

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that women get in the reproductive tract. It is often the result of an untreated STD.

PID can cause painful periods and menstrual cramps due to the scar tissue and adhesions in the uterus and other areas near it.

Pain and cramps are not the only risks you are subject to. One in eight women with a PID may have problems getting pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

PIDs can be treated with antibiotics. However, the damage may be long-lasting. Practicing safe sex will help you prevent PIDs from occurring.


3. Endometriosis Causes Painful Periods and Menstrual Cramps

Endometriosis is an OBGYN issue that results in the lining of your uterus is on the outside. This causes significant painful periods and menstrual cramps.

It may also be on the pelvis, ovaries, pelvic floor, bladder, and even the bowel, liver, and lungs in severe cases.

“Endometriosis affects 176 million women worldwide, and 1 in 10 girls and women in the US,” explains the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

4. Adenomyosis Causes Painful Periods and Menstrual Cramps

Adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis, only that instead of being outside the uterus, it is found deep in the uterine muscle.

Women with adenomyosis will feel as if they have a bruised muscle and may cause painful intercourse.

Anti-inflammatory and hormonal medication is often prescribed to help with the pain of adenomyosis, says Healthline. However, more complicated procedures may be necessary.

5. Primary Dysmenorrhea Causes Painful Periods and Menstrual Cramps

Primary dysmenorrhea will occur in nearly half of all women at some point in their lives.

It is a condition term that is used when other painful periods and menstrual cramps incidences cannot be explained.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests that it is caused by an imbalance of prostaglandins. These are hormones that make the uterus contract.  

Painful Periods and menstrual cramps are certainly no fun. They can be debilitating and ruin your day, and sometimes a week.

Don’t let these monthly pains and cramps keep you in bed. Get the answers to all your women’s issues questions today.

Talk with a doctor to get a medical advice on period cramps

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