What Are Menstrual Cramps?


Most ladies have been woken up in the middle of the night by stabbing and unbearable menstrual cramps. Many have to take medication every month to deal with it. While we can all agree that women are powerful creatures, imagine battling with this pain and still being able to meet expectations placed by families, work, and other platforms. Despite women’s exemplary performance in various sectors, menstrual cramps remain a great distraction. Let’s get some insight into what it means to have menstrual cramps.

Definition of menstrual cramps.

Menstrual cramps, scientifically known as dysmenorrheal, are throbbing pains felt in the lower abdomen. Most women suffer from menstrual cramps one or two days before and during menstruation. This is a discomfort for many women and can interfere with their normal functioning for a few days.

Certain conditions are related to the development of cramps, such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis, which can be treatable. However, normal menstrual cramps should get less intense as one gets older or after childbirth.

What causes menstrual cramps?

During menstruation, your uterus will contract to help disintegrate its lining. Prostaglandins, which are involved in pain, triggers the uterine muscle contractions. The higher the levels of prostaglandins produced, the more painful the menstrual cramps will be.

As mentioned, endometriosis can be a cause of severe menstrual cramps. This happens when the tissue that lines one’s uterus gets implanted outside the womb. It may be embedded along the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the pelvis’s tissue lining. Noncancerous growths that can be in the wall of the uterus may also cause cramps. These are known as uterine fibroids.

Adenomyosis may be another contributing cause, whereby the tissue that lines one’s uterus starts growing toward the muscular walls of the uterus.  Other causes include pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection caused by bacteria that are sexually transmitted. Cervical stenosis is where the cervical opening is too small to properly facilitate menstrual flow, thus creating a painful feeling of pressure in the uterus. 

Symptoms of menstrual cramps.

Symptoms that one may experience include cramping pain felt in the lower abdomen, which can be intense at times.  This pain will start between one to two days before the period begins and can extend to two or three days during the entire period.  One may also feel a dull and continuous pain that extends to the lower back and the thighs.  Other women may also experience nausea, loose stools, headache, and dizziness.


Menstrual cramps can be disheartening at times. They may not cause other medical issues but can mess with work, school, or any other activities. If you have experienced these symptoms and they seem to worsen every month, you may need to visit your doctor. For regular menstrual cramp relief, try Comforté®.