What Are Menstrual Cramps?
Menstrual cramps also called dysmenorrhea in medical term are tender or cramping pains in the lower abdomen. Just before and during their menstrual periods women face the problem of period cramps.
For some women, period cramp is merely annoying. For others, it can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities for a few days every month.
Period cramps are some of the most common, annoying parts of your period. They can strike right before or during that time of the month. Many women get them routinely.
Cramps can range from mild to severe. They usually happen for the first time a year or two after a girl first gets her period. With age, they usually become less painful and may stop entirely after you have your first baby.
Inflammation can cause the worsening of other premenstrual symptoms, like mood changes.
Period Cramp Symptoms
You may have:
- Severe or moderate kind of aching pain in your belly mostly in lower stomach
- Usually period pain starts 1 to 3 days before your period, peaks 24 hours after the onset of your period and subsides in 2 to 3 days
- A feeling of pressure in your belly
- Pain in various parts of body like hips, lower back, and inner thighs
When cramps get more severe, symptoms may include:
- Upset stomach
- Loose stools
- The ache may be dull and even continuous
- Pain slowly radiates to lower back and thighs
Causes of Menstrual cramps are:
- The tissue that lines uterus begins to grow into the muscular walls of the uterus.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease. This infection of the female reproductive organs is usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.
- Excess secretion of hormones called prostaglandins
- Smoking, and alcohol consumption also causes adverse cramps.
- People are more likely to have painful periods if they have heavy or long period bleeding, if they started menstruating early in life,
- Irregular periods.
- Other factors that have been associated with painful periods include being thin, being younger than 30
- Having a pelvic infection, and being sterilized.
Causes of period cramps being worse at night
- Menstrual cramps are most likely caused by an excess of prostaglandins. it is the hormone-like compounds that are released from the uterine lining also called as endometrium is prepared to be shed. Prostaglandins help the uterus contract and relax, so that the endometrium can detach and flow out of your body. But at night our body doesn’t do any work especially while sleeping whole body will be in relax so do our uterus. Due to which the hormone prostaglandins only needs to contracts the uterus. Hormone will be in excess because it is not supposed to perform properly at night. So the excess of prostaglandin cause excess cramps.
- While sleeping at night due to our incorrect sleeping pattern, blood flow is reduced, and the supply of oxygen to the uterus muscle tissue decreases, causing pain
- Cervical stenosis is also the cause of period cramps. In some women, the opening of the cervix is small enough to block menstrual flow, causing a painful increase of pressure within the uterus. So during night uterus tends to flow more blood outside because of this pressure will be increased and cramps get more severe at night.
- During menstruation, the uterus contracts more strongly than normal contraction. If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissue of the uterus. Pain results when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.
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