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Are your period cramps too intense? PCOS and 6 other reasons could be behind it!

Severe period cramps can be because of several health issues. Read on to find out what's making your period pain so intense.
severe period cramps
Speak to your doctor if pain is intense. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 20 Sep 2022, 14:11 pm IST
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Ah, those period pains! Every month the menstrual cycle hits and gives us moderate to severe abdominal cramps. While we all have our own so-called home remedies to tackle PMS symptoms. But what if period pain becomes unmanageable sometimes? Well, ladies, that’s an alarm for an underlying problem. Here, let’s talk about what causes severe period cramps.

Causes of severe period pain

Dysmenorrhoea is the medical term for menstrual cramps. A woman typically feels soreness in her lower back, thighs, and abdomen one to two days prior to or during her menstrual cycle. It is possible for this pain to be mild or unbearably severe, interfering in their everyday activities. There is something wrong with you if your discomfort or pain is intense and doesn’t go away despite numerous attempts.

Health Shots spoke to Dr Shefali Tyagi, Consultant – Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, to find the causes behind severe period cramps.

What causes severe cramps?

Dr Tyagi says various health conditions can be responsible for severe period cramps such as:

1. Endometriosis: It is a chronic, noncancerous condition in which endometrial cells grow outside the uterus.

severe period cramps
Endometriosis is a serious and painful condition. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Fibroids: They are non cancerous extensions that grow around the uterus lining.

3. PCOS: It is a hormone disorder that impacts your menstrual cycle.

4. Pelvic inflammatory disease: It is a bacterial infection in the reproductive organs of women which is usually caused by sexually transmitted infection (STI) like gonorrhea.

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5. Cervical stenosis: This condition happens when the opening of your cervix is narrowed down or is closed.

6. Intrauterine device (IUD): It is a birth control device that is inserted in your uterus. They generally do not cause any harm but may affect menstruation in some cases.

7. Secondary dysmenorrhoea: Unlike primary dysmenorrhoea, secondary dysmenorrhoea can cause pain that lasts during the entire menstrual cycle. It might cause heavy flow in addition to exacerbating period pain.

severe period cramps
You need to speak with a doctor if you’re experiencing severe pain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to know if your period cramps are normal and not serious?

When you get menstrual cramps, your lower abdomen feels like it is throbbing, and the pain may also spread to your back and legs. Cramping typically starts a day before the start of your period and lasts for two to three days. Dr Tyagi says, “It comes with symptoms such as weariness, headache, dizziness, loose stools, and nausea. But these cramps respond effectively to preventative measures like ibuprofen and other painkillers. On the other hand, painful cramps may last for a longer time and not respond to painkillers. They hamper your regular activities and frequently accompany severe bleeding and clotting.”


If you have been facing severe cramps regularly, it is advisable to get it checked from a doctor to diagnose the underlying condition

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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