Menstrual Cramps - Other Causes

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Do foods, stress, daily activities or other factors worsen menstrual cramps? How do you manage and treat these other causes or triggers?

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What other factors influence menstrual cramps?

  • As mentioned above, an unusually narrow cervical canal tends to increase menstrual cramps.
  • Another anatomical factor thought to contribute to menstrual cramps is a backwards tilting of the uterus (a retroverted uterus).
  • Lack of exercise is now recognized to contribute to painful menstrual cramps, because exercise releases endorphins that relieve pain.
  • It has long been thought that psychological factors also play a role. For example, it is widely accepted that emotional stress can increase the discomfort of menstrual cramps.
  • Adenomyosis and endometriosis can increase the severity of menstrual cramps
  • Having uterine fibroids can worsen menstrual cramping
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See what others are saying

Comment from: IMineMeMine, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I began my period in my early teens and had a normal flow. I did not have menstrual cramps the first 3 years of it beginning. When I hit about 18-19 they began to get really bad. For me the first two days of my cycle are the worst. I get abdominal cramping, lower back pain, leg pains and will get very nauseous. I would have to say that I throw up about 3-4 times a year from the nausea. What helps me is not eating heavy foods during my nausea and drinking warm tea. A hot water bottle or warm cloth on my lower back helps me more so then a bottle on my lower belly.

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Comment from: Lalala, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

My periods last usually three to four days at most, which I"m grateful for! Cramps usually show up a few hours before on the starting day so I know that"s when it"s here. The first day and a half to two days are when I cramp up the most because those are my "heavy days". Hot baths help, heating pad helps, sitting in a squat position (legs apart with feet out and rear almost touching the floor) helps when the former don"t work. As far as food I try to drink plenty of water and for me protein helps the pain. I take two ibuprofen every couple of hours too.

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