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Cramps are normal during periods. However, you should consult with a doctor in case you experience the same discomfort when you’re not menstruating.
Cramps during periods is a common menace that millions of women face across the world. It signifies the onset of the menstruation cycle, and is associated with pain, discomfort, and bloating. However, in certain instances, you might experience abdominal cramps even when not on your periods.
To better understand the link between periods and cramps, and when to consult with a doctor, we spoke to Dr Uma Vaidyanathan, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi.
What are cramps?
Dr Vaidyanathan explained to us that when a period is about to start, women could experience cramps, which manifests in the form of lower-back discomfort, followed by pain in the lower abdomen region, and then resulting in bleeding. This is the usual menstrual pattern, she highlighted, and the pain is associated with ovulation. “Ovulation means that eggs are released and there is a good hormonal interplay happening that causes pain,” she mentioned.
Why do we experience cramps when not on periods?
Women could also go through cramps when they are not on their periods, and that is associated with certain factors, as mentioned by Dr. Vaidyanathan.
You should consider consulting a doctor in case you experience the following factors:
Menstrual disorder: Either there is some disorder or delay in menstrual pattern, for a particular month. This is a common cause for cramps even when periods have not yet set-in.
Pregnancy: If a female is sexually activated and is experiencing lower abdomen pain, while not being on her periods, then she must get her urine pregnancy test. In case a person is pregnant, then some pain is normal, however, it should not be so much that it impairs day-to-day functionality. A persistent pain could also signify ectopic pregnancy, which means that pregnancy is not implanted in the uterus but outside it. This could be a reason for cramps.
Other factors: In case a person is not pregnant, then the doctors could prescribe pain relief medicines, and ask the patient to wait for a week. In case of no improvement in severity of pain, the doctor would advise an ultrasound to check the thickness of the uterus lining, or identify an ovarian cyst. Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor could then prescribe pain relief medicine, antibiotics for infections in the pelvic areas or urinary tract, or hormonal support for 3 to 4 days in case of delayed periods.
So, ladies, be mindful of cramps, and consult a doctor especially when not on your periods.