Extreme Menstrual Cramps
Let’s face it – that time of the month is not expected to be enjoyable, but it also shouldn’t knock you down. Unfortunately, uterine fibroids can cause a woman to experience extreme menstrual cramps. Fibroid pain can impact numerous areas like the pelvis, abdomen, back, and legs. On top of that, additional fibroid symptoms such as heavy bleeding, frequent urination, and low energy levels can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and frustrating.
Women with symptomatic fibroids often miss work or skip social events because of pain and other symptoms. Personal relationships and self-esteem can also be affected. All of this can dramatically impact a woman’s life, especially when it happens month after month and the symptoms only worsen over time. Sometimes, when a woman also experiences bleeding in between periods, it may feel like it’s never-ending.
The good news is that uterine fibroids are treatable without surgery. Following treatment recommendations from a fibroid specialist can help relieve your symptoms. This will improve your quality of life tremendously. If you are experiencing fibroids and period cramps, or other debilitating fibroid symptoms, here’s what we’d like you to know.
What Causes Extreme Menstrual Cramps?
Several conditions can cause you to experience extreme menstrual cramps. Our first suggestion is this: If you have severe menstrual cramps, we recommend contacting your doctor. This is important for any woman having debilitating pain during her period since painful cramps can also be a sign of other conditions than fibroids in the female reproductive tract. Some of these issues are serious and can be potentially fatal.
However, the most likely cause of severe menstrual cramps for women with fibroids is the fibroids themselves. If this is your situation, you have options. However, you should be aware that the only way to solve the problem truly is to treat the actual fibroids.
To discover the best treatment option for extreme menstrual cramps, discuss all of your fibroid symptoms with your doctor. These may include:
- Pelvic Pain and Pressure
- Anemia causing fatigue
- A swollen abdomen
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Constipation and bloating
- Heavy Bleeding
Normal Menstrual Cramps
Normal menstrual cramps are uncomfortable and can range from mild to severe. They are a throbbing or cramping ache in your lower abdomen that occurs before and during your period. Menstrual cramps can also cause pain in your low back and hips.
Menstrual cramps happen because the uterus contracts during your period, often pressing against blood vessels and cutting off oxygen supply to the uterus. This is what causes the pain and cramping you experience.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between normal severe cramps and cramping from fibroids. If you notice that your cramps have gotten more severe as you get older, it could be a sign of fibroids growing in your uterus. It’s best to have any changes in menstrual cramps checked out by a doctor.
Normal cramps tend to start the day or two before your period and stop a day or so after your period begins. They also respond to OTC medications. Extreme menstrual cramps may start earlier and last longer. Pain medication may not help.
Extreme Menstrual Cramp Risk Factors
Several conditions can cause menstrual cramps that are more painful than normal. It’s important to be aware of these health problems and visit your doctor to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop inside or outside the ovary. These cysts often cause no symptoms and can even go away without treatment. They can, however, produce abdominal pain and necessitate medical attention.
This condition occurs when endometrial cells begin to grow outside the uterus. Pain in your abdomen is the most common symptom, leading to heavy and prolonged periods.
Adenomyosis is a condition that results from the uterus becoming thicker. The uterus lining grows into the muscles and causes the uterus to become two to three times its regular size. Many times, this condition doesn’t have any symptoms, but cramping may occur along with heavy bleeding.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID is caused by a bacterial infection in the reproductive organs, often caused by STIs. However, other non-sexually transmitted infections can lead to PID as well. Stomach cramps is one of the most common symptoms of this condition.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a hormonal condition with an unknown cause. It can start right after puberty or later in the woman’s life. If you suffer from this condition, you may have irregular periods and cysts on the ovaries. The levels of androgen, a male hormone, are often higher in women with PCOS than normal.
What to Do if Fibroids are Causing Excruciating Menstrual Cramps
If you suffer from fibroids and menstrual cramps, we can help. If you are tired of constantly reaching for painkillers, a better solution may be available. At USA Fibroid Centers, we recommend a nonsurgical procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). UFE can address the root cause of painful cramps and other uncomfortable symptoms by shrinking your fibroids.
Because Uterine Fibroid Embolization is performed as an outpatient procedure, you can return home the same day. It takes only 30 to 45 minutes, plus a brief recovery period afterward. Even better, most women can get back to their normal, daily activities in just one to two weeks.
Treat Menstrual Cramps, Contact USA Fibroid Centers
To improve your fibroids and extreme menstrual cramps, schedule a consultation with one of our top-rated fibroid specialists today. Our expert care is conveniently available at dozens of locations nationwide with top-rated doctors. No matter where we see you, we look forward to helping you take control of your fibroids, menstrual cramps, and quality of life.