We get it, periods can hurt! But sometimes, too much period pain can be the result of a more serious issue. Let’s talk about it!
How Do I Know If I Have “Severe” Period Pain?
There are several ways that you can do a quick self-check to see if your period pain is excessive:
- If you take over-the-counter pain medicine (such as ibuprofen) and your symptoms do not improve
- If you can’t perform your normal daily activities
Keep in mind that cramps typically begin 24-48 hours before the start of your menstrual cycle, and peak about 24 hours after your cycle begins.
What Can Cause Severe Menstrual Cramps?
There are many different causes of severe menstrual cramps. For some women, painful periods can come without any clear reasoning. For others it may be occurring because of one of these reasons:
- Endometriosis – a condition where extra tissue growth in the uterus causes blockage in your fallopian tubes. Other symptoms of endometriosis are:
- heavy periods
- periods that last longer than a week
- trouble getting pregnant
- PCOS (Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome) – a condition where small cysts grow on the ovaries (making it more difficult for your body to ovulate).
- We offer kits that can shed light on whether or not this is the culprit for your pain!
- Uterine Fibroids – very similar to endometriosis
- PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) – a bacterial infection that is typically causes by sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other symptoms of PID are:
- painful intercourse
- burning sensation with urinating
What Can I Do About My Period Pain?
If you’ve read some of our other articles, you’ll notice a recurring theme with our recommendations for improving health and fertility. It’s because they go hand-in-hand! By improving your overall health, your fertility will surely improve.
For example, taking some steps to regularly exercise will do wonders for your overall health. In a 2015 study done by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week reduced the severity of menstrual cramps (over the course of 8 weeks).
Another way to reduce your period pain is take steps to reduce your stress. Stress can negatively impact our bodies in many ways. Stress causes our hormones to get out of balance, which can create other health issues. Try some breathing exercises one or twice a day. For example, close your eyes and breath in and out for 8 counts each for two minutes; you’ll be surprised at how relaxing this simple trick can be!
Lastly, try soaking in a warm bath or using a small heating pad. Applying heat is very useful tool in opening your capillaries and getting blood to areas of your body that are in pain.