Cramping abdominal pain

For some women, cramping severe pain during menstruation is almost the norm of existence, to which they try to get used. However, medical specialists do not consider patient attitude to the negative symptoms accompanying the natural cyclic process to be correct. Physical condition during menstruation should be satisfactory, inconvenience – barely noticeable and not interfere with daily activities. But in 10% of women, the cycle begins with the development of cramping pain in the lower abdomen. A symptom is of varying degrees of intensity and duration, accompanies only critical days, or makes itself felt long before them. Often, pains like contractions during menstruation are described by women with low pain thresholds, individual physiological features and hidden pathologies.

Causes of colicy pain

Contractions of the uterus during menstruation can cause physical discomfort or cause slight short-term pain due to microspasms in the fibers of smooth muscles. Similar phenomena occur in the majority of the fair sex and are due to excessive activity of the muscular walls of the uterus, getting rid of the contents.

As a rule, symptoms such as severity and slight squeezing in the lower part of the peritoneum, which do not violate general well-being, can be felt. Severe cramping pain is considered a sign of menstrual dysfunction – algomenorrhea. The condition may be accompanied by other negative symptoms:

  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • temperature rise to subfebrile values;
  • aching muscles and joints;
  • irritability and other emotional disturbances.

The nature of the cramping pain in the lower abdomen is different: they can periodically subside and increase, radiating to the bladder, lower back, anus. Sometimes spasmodic signs do not develop at the beginning, but at the end of menstruation.

Natural causes

Physiological factors that cause severe pain during menstruation are considered natural in the conventional sense. Primary algomenorrhea develops during the first years after menarche, may accompany a woman throughout the reproductive period, disappear spontaneously or after childbirth. The mechanism of the formation of painful menstruation is not fully understood. Among the causes of cramps are the following:

  • an excess of prostaglandins – hormone-like substances that increase the sensitivity of pain receptors;
  • lack of natural endorphins;
  • violation of the lute phase of the cycle, provoking an increased contraction of the uterus;
  • features of the structure of the endometrium, complicating its separation;
  • congenital anomalies of the structure or location of internal genital organs: the presence of pronounced displacement, bends, uterus dvuhrogosti.

The reasons mentioned above include premenstrual syndrome, which is caused by significant fluctuations in the hormonal background of a woman. The course and severity of PMS is determined by the level of dopamine and noradrenaline. The higher it is, the harder the subsequent painful sensations. Symptoms of malaise appear already a week before menstruation: there are sharp mood swings, nervousness, severe irritability, nervous tic, and hysterical seizures. Sharp severe pain in such cases periodically occur before the onset of bleeding and reach a peak in the first days of menstruation.


Cramping pain during menstruation may indicate a dangerous condition of the body or disease. Common pathologies in which such signs develop:

  • Unsuitable contraception – randomly used oral hormones cause a sharp imbalance of the endocrine systems; an improperly selected IUD places mechanical pressure on the walls or cervix of the uterus.
  • Infectious and inflammatory diseases of the internal genital organs: adnexitis, adenomyosis often worsen during menstruation, provoking painful attacks.
  • Neoplasms of internal genital organs: fibroids, polyps, cysts. With uterine myoma, strong cramps during menstruation are the hallmark. The larger the node, the more painful the symptoms. The so-called node birth, the exit of a tumor growing on a thin leg from the cervical canal to the outside, is accompanied by real labor contractions.
  • Scar formation, adhesions, strictures and other violations of the integrity of the genital organs as a result of traumas, abortions, surgical treatment.
  • Ectopic pregnancy. In some patients with menstrual pain, referring to the gynecologist for severe symptoms, in the lumen of the fallopian tube is found fertilized egg. His detachment and exit causes severe abdominal cramps and bleeding that can be confused with menstruation.
  • Early miscarriages can also be misleading. Bleeding as a result of spontaneous abortion is taken for the beginning of the next cycle, in most cases accompanied by sharp jerking pains caused by a contracting uterus.
  • Pathology of internal organs. Severe renal or intestinal colic, hernia bite, which coincided with the onset of menstruation, are painful cramps and are perceived as algomenorrhea.

Symptomatology before menstruation

The intensity, time of onset of painful symptoms depend on the hormonal status, age, general health of the woman. The cramping pain in the lower abdomen, which occurs before menstruation, can have both physiological and pathological causes. Spasms on the background of PMS are often accompanied by a complex of symptoms:

  • breast engorgement;
  • sleepiness;
  • crying, depressive state;
  • swelling of the hands and feet;
  • weight gain;
  • headache, physical weakness.

Cramping abdominal pain

With the presence of vascular or endocrine disorders of the body, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, increased sweating join the painful sensations.

Tumor formations of the uterus, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, adhesions in the pelvic area not only cause spasms, but also a disturbance of the cycle, a dark brown discharge after the end of menstruation.

In inflammatory processes, severe cramping in the abdomen before menstruation can be triggered by hypothermia, stress, physical overstrain.

Sharp spasms during and after intercourse may indicate ectopic pregnancy. The pain is very strong, tearing, radiating to the anus.

Symptoms during menstruation

Even in the absence of any obvious pathologies – the so-called natural algomenorrhea, painful sensations are very intense and can lead to loss of consciousness. In especially severe cases, the first 2-3 days of menstruation, women are unable to lead an active life, are forced to lie down for a long time, trying to find a position in which the pain will be less painful. The type of discharge during physiological contractions does not differ from the norm.

In the presence of pathologies, including violations of the menstrual cycle, organic lesions and tumors, contractions and pain during menstruation do not always occur. Severe symptoms may indicate the development of the disease in some characteristic disorders: massive blood clots, too heavy or scanty discharge, their foamy structure, impurities of pus, putrefactive smell. Treatment of pain in such situations must be preceded by a detailed medical examination.

How to eliminate pain

For the relief of physiological menstrual pain, medications, herbs, physiotherapy are used. Rapid action drugs prescribed in such cases should have an antispasmodic and analgesic effect. No-shpa, papaverine, ibuprofen, nise, ketorol, trigan-d are applied. If hormonal correction is necessary, a gynecologist may prescribe oral contraceptives: Yarina, Diane – 35, Ovidon. To compensate for the deficiency of minerals and vitamins in the body with algomenori, in addition to the means of menstrual pain, it is often necessary to drink a course of medical complexes containing calcium, magnesium, folic acid, riboflavin.

Relieving the painful symptoms of electrophoresis with novocaine and other anesthetics. At home, in the absence of contraindications, a warm heating pad can be applied to the lower abdomen.

It is recommended to avoid stress, alcohol and smoking. Doctors recommend doing light exercise


Painful critical days may indicate undiagnosed pathologies. In any cases, you should consult a doctor to clarify the diagnosis, especially if menstruation is often accompanied by sharp painful spasms. With most gynecological and neurological problems, delay in treatment increases the risk of complications. The “normal” nature of the pain is also not a reason to endure them patiently. The specialist will recommend many ways to alleviate the condition and restore the quality of life.

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