what causes period cramps

What Causes Period Cramps?

Each women experiences different symptoms with her period every month. The most common symptom of menstruation is period cramps, or abdominal cramping. Just because this symptom is common doesn’t mean it’s not difficult to deal with. Many women suffer from painful period cramps to the point they have miss work or cancel plans.

If you are wondering what causes period cramps, you are not alone. There are millions of women searching for answers for their discomfort and pain. Most of the time period cramps are not a cause for concern, however, sometimes they could indicate an ongoing health condition that may require treatment.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign tumors they grow inside the uterus or along the uterine walls. This condition is very common and affects nearly 11 million women in the US every year. If you are wondering what causes period cramps, it may be due to uterine fibroids.

A growing body of research about what causes fibroid tumors is helping us better understand this complex health issue. Doctors believe there are several contributing factors to the development of fibroids: Genetics, hormones, other growth factors, and Extracellular Matrix (ECM). Along with these possible causes, a number of lifestyle-related risk factors have been identified, such as frequently eating red meat, not getting enough fruits or vegetables, regularly drinking alcohol or caffeine, and not drinking enough water.

Uterine fibroids come in four main types, classified by location within the uterus:

Causes of Period Cramps

During menstruation, there is a hormone-like agent called prostaglandins that cause the uterus to shed its lining and cause bleeding. If you have high levels of prostaglandins, you will likely experience more painful cramping during your period. Usually as women age their hormones begin to level out more which usually helps reduce some of the painful cramps. There are, however, several serious conditions that are also known to cause painful abdominal cramping during menstruation.

These conditions include:

  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Cervical Stenosis

What Do Period Cramps Feel Like?

Every women will experience pain differently, however when it comes to period cramps, most women notice the pain is most severe 1-2 days before the period has actually begun. Some women even experience cramping throughout the entire duration of their period. It is also not uncommon to experience nausea, diarrhea, or pain the lower back.

Treatment for Painful Menstrual Cramps

If you are experiencing painful cramps with your period and you are over the age of 25, we recommend speaking with your doctor about your symptoms. If you show any symptoms of fibroids like heavy irregular bleeding or frequent urination, we have a solution for you at USA Fibroid Centers. We exclusively treat fibroids through the use of a minimally-invasive procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization. UFE allows for a quick recovery and no hospital stay, meaning that you can be back to living your life fibroid-free in no time.

Reach out to us to schedule a consultation with one of our fibroid specialists.  They will discuss your symptoms and help create a treatment plan that is right for you. If you have any questions about insurance coverage before you schedule, just give us a call at 855.655.2155. We accept most insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid.

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