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Do Not Overlook Cramps After Period

  • Jessica
  • Health Blog
  • October 14th, 2014
  • Comments Off on Do Not Overlook Cramps After Period

cramps after period

Although painful menstruation or dysmenorrhea is a normal and commonly experienced disorder, painful cramps after period ends should not be overlooked. It may be the start of certain reproductive illness.

Dysmenorrhea (pain associated with menstruation) is commonly experienced by women of reproductive age. Apart from the painful cramps in the lower abdomen, pain in lower back and thighs, fatigue, dizziness and nausea are also experienced. Cramping and mild pain during periods is normal, and is considered natural. But, persistent pain that continues even after the period ends, and get serious with age is a symptom of an underlying reproductive system illness.

What cause cramps after period?

More than half of the menstruating women experience cramping and pain that starts one or two days before the period starts, and disappears by the end of the menstrual cycle. Such a state is considered as primary dysmenorrhea. This state is termed as normal, and is the result of changing levels of a hormone referred to as prostaglandin hormone. The uterine muscles contract and relax normally. But, during menstruation, such contraction and relaxation increases because of the action of prostaglandin hormone, resulting to cramps. Immediately the uterine lining is shed, the level of prostaglandin hormone decreases, and the pain and cramping subsides.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is characterized by painful cramps that start before the period begins, and continues even after the period ends. It’s one of the most under diagnosed conditions, and it’s usually associated with the following disorders:


This is a condition that involves the strange growth of uterine tissues into areas outside of the uterus, such as the ovaries, and it can also cause irregular pain. These strange growths cannot exist on their own like typical uterine tissue, but they usually behave in a similar way by bleeding and breaking down during the menstrual cycle. The tissue then heals with time and can later lead to adhesions that damage or irritate nearby organs. Constant pelvic cramps are one of the main symptoms of endometriosis,however for many women; the pain is more evident during their periods and may come with severe swelling.


Adenomyosis occurs due to the strange growth of endometrial glandular tissue within the myometrium (the muscular wall) of the uterus. It’s usually common between women of 35 to 50 years of age. Heavy menstruation, discharge of blood clots, and abnormal uterine bleeding are some of the common symptoms associated with this disorder.

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow from the smooth muscle tissues of the uterus. The associated symptoms include irregular bleeding, increase in waist size and dysmenorrhea.

Ovarian Cysts

The formation of cysts (fluid filled sacs) in ovaries is one of the main causes for secondary dysmenorrhea. These fluid filled sacs cause dysmenorrhea when they expand, bleed or disrupt the normal functions of the ovaries. What’s more, they may even cause infertility. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is another condition that may also cause the formation of ovarian cysts.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease is the result of bacterial infection in the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the uterus. Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhea and vaginal microflora are some of the common causative agents of this disease. The associated symptoms include abnormal vaginal discharge, fever, and irregular menstrual bleeding. This disease may even lead to infertility and tissue scarring.

Treatment to Cramps After Period condition

Cramps after period treatment include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, hormonal birth control pills, and hormonal therapies. Severe conditions may call for surgery for the removal of cysts or fibroids. The exact treatment will depend on the symptoms that one has, and for the precise reasons for cramps, as revealed by the diagnostic examinations.


Even though such pain and cramping are unavoidable, there are several different ways to reduce the discomfort and uneasiness. Some of these are:

Taking painkillers or over the counter analgesics

Taking a warm shower

Drinking warm beverages

Relaxation techniques and mild work outs

Applying a heating pad and slowly massaging the area around the lower abdomen
Persistent and severe cramps after period may occur due to certain reproductive system diseases. A balanced diet, a healthy lifestyle and appropriate measures to deal with the ever increasing amount of stress are some of the most recommended ways to deal with or prevent these disorders.

– Simon Kiruthi
(Clinical Research Assistant, NHID)


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