Your Period Cramps May Not be Normal: Watch Out for These 7 Signs
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Period pain is a constant in a woman’s life. Aches and pains during periods are normal and common among most young women. Almost half of the people who menstruate experience pelvic pain and discomfort during periods. That said, it is not normal to experience debilitating pain during periods. Painful periods or menstrual cramps that impact your ability to go about your day may be a warning sign of fertility problems.
Talk to a doctor and understand the signs to address the problem. It will help you feel better during your period and reduce the risk of severe period pain. It will also ensure that your reproductive system is healthy and problem-free.
Here are seven signs you can watch out for if your period pain is worse than usual:
1. Your Menstrual Bleeding is Heavy & Prolonged – If your period lasts longer than seven days, or if the bleeding is so heavy that you need to change pads or tampons every few hours – you fall in this category. Heavy or prolonged periods are not typical. Excessive bleeding may lead to iron deficiency or signal an underlying medical condition. Talk to a gynaecologist about your periods to resolve the problem.
2. You Experience Pelvic Pain Even Besides Your Period – It is common to experience pelvic discomfort a day before or after your period. Some women also experience sensitivity in their pelvis around ovulation. But if you have pelvic pain at any other time of the month besides your period days – it may signal a problem. It is also not normal to experience pelvic pain during sex.
3. Menstrual Cramps that Last Longer than Three Days – Even if your menstrual bleeding lasts seven days, menstrual cramps typically subside within the first two or three days of your period. If your period pain starts before your bleeding begins and lasts throughout your period, it is not normal.
4. Pain Medications Don’t Work – Many women who experience menstrual discomfort opt for pain medications. Usually, over the counter pain medicines such as Mefenamic Acid are enough to offer relief. If over-the-counter drugs are not enough to relieve your period pain, it is not normal. If you experience excessive period pain, refrain from overdosing on painkillers. Instead, talk to a doctor who can recommend the proper course of treatment for your painful menstruation cycle.
5. Breast Tenderness – It is normal to experience mild breast tenderness during your periods. However, consult a doctor if –
- Your breast tenderness is severe
- Occurs at other times besides your period days
- Accompanies other symptoms such as a lump in your breast, skin colour changes, or nipple.
Severe breast tenderness is not a normal condition during periods and may indicate underlying health problems.
6. Skipped Periods – Most women have regular periods with a cycle lasting between 28 to 32 days. If your periods suddenly stop, there could be a reason for it. The first possible reason is, of course, pregnancy. Take a home pregnancy test to determine if you are pregnant. Other reasons for a skipped period maybe –
- Significant weight loss or intense exercise
- Weight gain
- Use birth control pills that prevent your periods
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Extreme stress
- Perimenopause – for women in their late 40s
7. Diarrhea or Vomiting – Periods may affect your digestive system once. Many women experience abdominal pain, mild diarrhoea, vomiting, and increased flatulence during their periods. However, if you repeatedly experience diarrhoea or vomiting during your periods, it may result in dehydration. Talk to a doctor about this symptom to get the treatment you need.
When to See a Doctor?
Suppose you experience one or more of the symptoms described above. In that case, it is advisable to see a doctor and discuss your symptoms with them. It is not advisable to delay medical help in this case, as abnormal period pain or menstrual cramps can be indicative of serious conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease. A gynaecologist will be able to recommend the proper treatment to you.
Apart from the symptoms discussed above, you should also see a doctor if you observe unusual vaginal discharge, a burning sensation during urination, fever, or severe pain.
Finally, the best way to judge your period pain is that your cramps should feel like an ache or pressure rather than sharp, stabbing pain. People who menstruate should be mindful of their menstrual health just as they are about the rest of their bodies. No one deserves to experience excessive pain due to menstruation. Put a stop to your suffering by getting the medical attention you need.
Book an online consultation with our doctors at MedsNow. They will analyse your symptoms and recommend the best possible treatment for you. Order the medication online on MedsNow and get it to your doorstep.
Krishma Patel: Co-founder and the Superintendent Pharmacist at MedsNow, an online pharmacy in the UK that provides health and wellness products and treatments along with free online consultations. She is passionate about showcasing the integral function community pharmacies can play in supporting the healthcare system and the NHS by providing patients with high quality, safe and discreet access to healthcare at their convenience. Along with being the co-founder of MedsNow, Krishma is also the Director and the Superintendent Pharmacist of Enimed Ltd., an independent pharmacy group comprising 32 branches.