Cramps after Period: Normal or Abnormal?
Periods are a pain in the ass for all women as they bring along cramps, mood swings, bloating and what not. But thankfully the misery lasts for a week only or maybe longer in some cases but it subsides eventually. The abdominal cramping during or before the menstrual cycle is completely normal and one should not worry much about it. It is a result of your uterus contracting after it sheds its lining resulting in the cramping called primary dysmenorrhea.
Some women, however, might also suffer from a severe form of abdominal pain often referred to as post-period cramps. Painful cramps after periods are called secondary dysmenorrhea. These cramps mostly indicate an underlying condition that needs to be addressed. In most cases, these cramps are not something that you should be worried about. But one should always keep their eyes open and try ruling out the problem if post-period cramps persist for a longer time.
Most women consider this pain a part of their cycle, which may not be true in some cases and the pain must be mimicking some serious underlying conditions. Considering this pain normal and not harmful can cost a lot because it might keep you from a timely diagnosis of the underlying problem.
5 Reasons Why You Get Post Period Cramps
The post-period cramps are not something to worry about but if the pain continues for more than a week, one must definitely seek medical advice. In most cases, the reason behind severe post-period pain is an underlying cause. Here are 5 possible reasons why you get post-period cramps.
1. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
This disease is caused when bacteria infect female reproductive organs. These bacteria spread from your vagina to your uterus and then to your ovaries and fallopian tubes. PID causes mild symptoms which include lower abdominal pain, heavy vaginal discharge, painful urination, and fever with chills, uncomfortable bowel movements, bleeding or pain during intercourse and tiredness or fatigue. It can be treated with the help of abstinence and antibiotics. If not treated rightly PID can badly damage your reproductive organs. PID is often caused by sexually transmitted diseases therefore sexual partners are also needed to be examined and treated to prevent infections from recurring.
It is a painful disorder in which tissues that line the inside of your uterus (endometrium) start growing on the outside of your uterus. When this situation occurs the endometrial tissues lining the outside of your uterus begin acting like normal endometrial tissues i.e thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. These tissues have no way out of your body, so they are trapped inside. Other surrounding tissues can become irritated forming scar tissues and adhesions i.e. fibrous bands of abnormal tissue that cause pelvic organs and tissues to stick with each other. Endometriosis can also cause fertility problems. Fortunately, effective treatments are now available which help eliminate this disease completely from your body.
Adenomyosis is a disease that causes abnormal tissue growth. When tissues, instead of forming the uterine lining start growing in the muscular wall of the uterus it is called adenomyosis. Its symptoms include prolonged menstruation, pain during intercourse, blood clots during menstruation, severe pelvic pain and growth in the lower abdomen. The frequent pain and heavy bleeding associated with adenomyosis badly impacts the quality of a woman’s life. Adenomyosis is treated with the help of hormone therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, endometrial ablation, and uterine artery embolization. However, the only definite cure to adenomyosis is the removal of the uterus.
4. Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled pockets or sacs that form inside your ovaries and may become the reason behind post-period cramps and bleeding. Most ovarian cysts are harmless and they cause little to no discomfort, they tend to disappear naturally without any treatment within a few months. These cysts develop as a result of your natural menstrual cycle. The larger the cyst, the more the risk of further problems. You must keep a regular check on them by scheduling regular pelvic exams with your doctor. If you encounter severe abdominal pain suddenly with fever or vomiting then you should seek immediate medical attention.
5. Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy takes place when a fertilized egg plants itself somewhere outside the uterus. This egg usually plants itself in the fallopian tubes. In the beginning stages, ectopic pregnancy appears as a normal one. However, you may begin to develop symptoms later on which include sharp lower abdominal pain, uterine bleeding extreme lightheadedness, and fainting. An ectopic pregnancy cannot proceed normally and the growing tissues can cause life-threatening bleeding if left untreated. It normally is caused when a fertilized egg gets stuck somewhere on its way to the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy leads to serious rupture of fallopian tubes and it should be treated on an immediate basis. Smoking can also be a reason behind ectopic pregnancy.
Cramps and Brown Discharge after Period: Is it a Concern?
Anything, be it cramps or brown discharge after a period if it doesn’t seem normal to you and rings a bell in your gut you should never wait another minute and get yourself examined. If these cramps and discharge don’t seem to be a bothering factor to you then also you should keep your eyes open and keep track of it. It's better to be safe than sorry if your post-period cramps start becoming intense and last longer than a week then you should pay a visit to your health care practitioner without a second thought.
3 Effective Natural Remedies for Post Period Cramps
Be it pre or post period cramps, they are an extremely uncomfortable phase of every woman's life. Though severe pain can be normal for many women, you should not bear the pain if you can ease it naturally. Instead of taking off the counter medicines for pain relief, you should consider using natural remedies which are quite effective in many cases. Here we are mentioning 3 effective natural remedies for post-period cramps which will make your life a little easier and help make those misery filled days of the month a breeze.
1. Improve Your Diet
Reducing fats and increasing intake of vegetables and fruits can turn out to be really helpful. You may be craving for sugar-packed and fatty foods but don’t forget they're your biggest enemies if you want to get rid of post-period cramps. Low-fat diets decrease inflammation levels in the body. You can start by swapping less healthy fats like saturated fats with unsaturated fats i.e. fats found in olive oil. Try getting 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats found in fish, vegetable oil and nuts. For dairy, you can go for low fat or fat-free products. It is always easier to treat mild problems with a good diet instead of going for medicines.
2. Hydrate Yourself
Drinking more water can be very helpful as it will ease up bloating which can make these cramps worse. 6 to 8 glasses of water can act as a charm in reducing post-period cramps. Alcohol should be avoided at any cost as it increases the chances of dehydration. If drinking 8 glasses of plain water is not easy for you, you can add mint or lime to it to make it more palatable. You can also use fruit infused water, chamomile or ginger tea or sodium broth. Staying well hydrated will not only help reduce post-period cramps but it is also good for your overall health.
3. Try Fennel and Chamomile
Fennel and chamomile work miraculously in reducing post-period cramps. If you take 30 milligrams of fennel extract capsules four times a day 3 days prior to your period then you will definitely experience a reduction in your post-period cramps. Fennel seeds restrain uterine contractions that are caused by prostaglandins (The cells present in the endometrium of a woman's uterus make and release prostaglandins which provoke muscle contractions in the uterus). Chamomile tea is full of anti-inflammatory substances and works wonders when it comes to reducing post-period cramps. It inhibits prostaglandins and increases the menstrual flow to reduce pre and post period symptoms.
Periods are a period of pure misery for women. They bring along so many pains and problems. The pain that comes along with periods, be it pre-period cramps or post-period cramps they are often taken casually and considered a part of the cycle.
Here is something that you should keep in mind if your post-period cramps last longer than a week then you should definitely pay a visit to your gynecologist and get yourself examined. Never be ignorant towards a pain that is bothering you because treating things at an early stage is far better than crying over spilled milk.