Menstrual pain: What’s normal and what’s not

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All women know what period pain is like. But we may not often think about what causes it and to which extent having cramps is normal. 

Period cramps happen due to a hormone-like substance, prostaglandins, which cause the uterus walls to contract and then shed its lining, resulting in your period. If the levels of prostaglandins are higher, more pain is often associated with the cramps. Your doctor calls it dysmenorrhea. 

The severity of the cramps varies from woman to woman. They are likely to become less painful as you get older or after childbirth. 

There are other conditions which can cause cramps. It may be called secondary dysmenorrhea, meaning that your period cramps are caused by a problem in your reproductive organs. Several conditions can cause it:

Signs that may tell you that your period cramps are not OK

In most cases, period cramps are a sign of a healthy body reacting to the natural shedding of the uterus wall. However, if menstrual cramps are disrupting your life every cycle, see your doctor.


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