If you have unusual bleeding pattern please see a doctor.
The symptoms of menstrual cramps include:
- Aching pain in the abdomen (Pain can be severe at times.)
- Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
- Pain in the hips, lower back, and inner thighs
When cramps are severe, symptoms may include:
- Upset stomach, sometimes with vomiting
- Loose stools
To relieve menstrual cramps, you should also:
- Rest when needed.
- Avoid foods that contain caffeine and salt.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Massage your lower back and abdomen
Take a hot bath, or place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower belly, just below your belly button, suggests Sherry Thomas, MD, MPH, a gynaecologist at Los Angeles-based Mission Community Hospital. Those stick-on heat packs that you can find on drugstore shelves can work, too, if you don’t have time to sit at home. Heat opens vessels and improves blood flow, so pain dissipates.
Regular aerobic exercise that gets your heart rate up and makes you break out in a sweat. “The better shape you’re in and the more physically active you are, the less likely you are to suffer from chronic aches and pains, including menstrual cramps,” he says. Exercise also releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins. “They don’t take away your pain," he says, "but they can make it so you don’t care you have the pain.”
When a woman has a disease in her reproductive organs, cramping can be a problem. This type of cramping is called secondary dysmenorrhea. Conditions that can cause secondary dysmenorrhea include:
- Endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside of the uterus
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs
- Stenosis (narrowing) of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a baby grows), often caused by scarring
- Tumours (also called "fibroids"), or growths on the inner wall of the uterus