What are menstrual cramps?
Menstruation or 'your period' is a natural process, in which the lining of the uterus is changed about once a month, causing vaginal bleeding, stomach cramps and possibly other complaints. Women usually get their first period between the age of 8 and 16. How bad the complaints get during menstruation vary greatly from person to person.
What are symptoms of menstrual cramps?
Once a month:
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Stomach cramps
- Sensitive breasts
- Bloated feeling
- When you have serious complaints during your menstruation
- Complaints of blacking out and frequent dizziness during menstruation
- Menstruation at irregular intervals
- Tylenol can help to alleviate the pain
- Stretching and relaxation exercises for your lower back can alleviate complaints
- Certain forms of contraceptives like the birth control pill or an IUD can reduce the complaints of menstruation or even suppress it completely
- The doctor can discuss with you what the best form of contraceptives is for your complaints
Is menstruation serious and should I see a doctor?
Menstruation or 'your period' generally isn't serious at all. The blood loss is completely natural and harmless.
Contact a doctor:
What can I do about menstrual cramps myself?
How does menstruation affect my body?
During menstruation the lining of the uterus is expelled. This happens around every 28 days, but the exact number of days can differ from person to person. Every month an egg cell is released from the ovaries and is transported to the uterus. The uterus has a lining in which the egg can nest after it has been fertilized by a sperm cell. When this doesn't happen, the lining and the egg are expelled, through contraction of the uterus. These contractions cause a cramping pain.