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terrible menstrual cramps
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terrible menstrual cramps

Hi, I was wondering if anyone else gets HORRID period cramping like I do. It starts about 30 min. after I begin bleeding. I literally lie on my couch or bed, with a trash bag to the side to vomit in. My cramps feel as if someone is shredding my uterus with a knife. I vomit, wiggle in pain, cramp, scream and cry for about 6 hrs. or until I fall to sleep. Then when I wake up, it's 95 % better. I am 20 years old and have no known health problem. I have had my period since I was 9 and have had to miss 1 day of school or work every month since. It is almost unbearable. I was on birth control at one point that seemed to calm it down but also made me gain weight so I stopped. If anyone else has this problem and knows a solution PLEASE let me know. I have never been to a doctor for this.
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Everyone woman knows what a menstrual cramp is. It may come as a surprise to many that menstrual cramps have another name. The medical term for these abdominal and pelvic pains is “dysmenorrhea”. More than 50% of women are affected each month by a certain degree of dysmenorrhea, and 15% of those women are experiencing severe cramping.
Isn’t this PMS?
No, the discomfort associated with premenstrual syndrome is different and occurs before the actual expulsion of the uterus lining, although it may seem to the woman that they are the same if they are experienced in one continual process.
Menstrual cramps are very similar to the ones a woman has during an induced labor and occur when the uterus contracts (to help expel the lining). If there are clots or bloody tissues passing through the cervix, the cramping is intensified. Women who experience menstrual cramps have 5-13 times more prostaglandin (a molecular compound found in the lining of the uterus) in their blood than women who do not. Prostaglandin (PGF2alpha) is given to women to induce labor.
Two Kinds of Cramps
Women have been dividing menstrual cramps into categories since the beginning of time: bearable and miserable. Meanwhile, the medical world has had them split into primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. The mildest form of menstrual cramps are sometimes just a minor discomfort, a heavy feeling in the abdominal region. Women suffering the most extreme menstrual cramps are sometimes forced to change their regular routine for a few days.
In primary dysmenorrhea, there is no underlying physical condition causing the pain. Secondary dysmenorrhea involves another physical condition, usually gynecological (related to a woman’s reproductive system).
Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea
The most common sign of both primary and secondary dysmenorrhea include a throbbing pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen and pelvis that might radiate to the lower back and/or legs.
The cramps usually began shortly before the onset of the period and peak within 24 hours. Some women also experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. The prostaglandin found in both the uterus and intestinal tract causes smooth muscles to retract, therefore some women are prone to experience diarrhea or constipation during menstruation.
Risk Factors
***Most things that put you at risk for painful periods are out of your control. You are more likely to have severe menstrual cramps if they run in your family history and/or you had an early puberty (eleven years old or younger). Anatomically (physical make-up of the body) speaking, a backwards tilting of the uterus (a retroverted uterus) and/or a very narrow cervical canal can also play a role.
Some things you do have some control over, at least partially. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the severity of your cramping; women who exercise on a regular basis are much less likely to complain of painful periods. In some (not all) medical circles it is accepted that emotional stress can increase the discomfort of dysmenorrhea.
Treatments
If you are afflicted with primary dysmenorrhea, you can expect the intensity of the cramping to decrease as you get older. For many women, cramping decreases or disappears completely after a pregnancy. In the meanwhile, several options are available to you.
Pain control for minor cramping can often be achieved with the use of over-the-counter drugs like aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Some women combine Tylenol with a diuretic. For more painful cramps, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) offer more relief. Unlike aspirin which has a very limited effect on prostaglandin, NSAIDs lower the production of prostaglandin and lessen its strength.
Some of the NSAIDs that can be purchased over the counter are naproxen sodium (Aleve), ibuprofen (Midol IB, Motrin, Nuprin, Advil), and ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis KT).
In cases of severe cramping, some doctors suggest low-dose oral contraceptives (birth control pills) to help reduce the production of prostaglandins by preventing ovulation. Sometimes women with very painful and heavy periods have the uterus lining vaporized or burned away with a heat-generating device. This process is called endometrial ablation. Others with severe cases have opted to have a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
It is interesting to note that menstrual cramps can be measured by the pressure within the uterus and the frequency and number of contractions. The average woman experiencing a normal menstrual period has low-pressure contractions, 15-30 second long, with 1-4 contractions per minute. A woman with menstrual cramps has contractions of a higher pressure (sometimes more than 5 times higher than her counterpart), over 90 seconds long, and often less than 15 seconds apart.
**If your cramps disrupt your life for several days a month or suddenly change in location or severity from your normal monthly experience, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist. If your doctor thinks it is necessary, you will receive a pelvic exam (with a pap smear) to check for abnormal reproductive organs and infections.
If you are suffering from secondary dysmenorrhea, the underlying cause of your cramping must be treated. This may include antibiotics to treat infections or surgery to remove offending tissues. Some of the conditions that cause secondary dysmenorrhea are:
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): An infection found in female reproductive organs that is usually attributed to sexually transmitted bacteria.
Adhesions: Abnormal fibrous attachments between organs.
Andenomyosis: The cells of the inner uterine lining invade its muscular wall (a benign condition).
Endometriosis: A painful condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus become implanted outside of it, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or pelvis lining.
Using an intrauterine device (IUD): A small, plastic, T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into the uterus.
Uterine fibroids and uterine polyps: Benign (noncancerous) tumors and growths protruding from the uterus lining.

Sorry I know this was long, but I hope this helps, please go to a GYN, they will be able to help you.
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6 Comments
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1386405_tn?1291591400
You REALLY need to go see your GYN for this it could be a couple different things and once your doctor pinpoints what the cause is they will be able to better treat your problem specifically for example if it's endometriosis you could be treated with the Depo Provera Shot if that is indeed what you have and IF that is how the dr chooses to treat it. You should not have to live in so much pain ESPECIALLY if you can get a diagnosis and treatment I wish you the best of LUCK and I hope you feel better. I really do suggest making an appointment especially since you always have to miss a day of work.
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Avatar_f_tn
Everyone woman knows what a menstrual cramp is. It may come as a surprise to many that menstrual cramps have another name. The medical term for these abdominal and pelvic pains is “dysmenorrhea”. More than 50% of women are affected each month by a certain degree of dysmenorrhea, and 15% of those women are experiencing severe cramping.
Isn’t this PMS?
No, the discomfort associated with premenstrual syndrome is different and occurs before the actual expulsion of the uterus lining, although it may seem to the woman that they are the same if they are experienced in one continual process.
Menstrual cramps are very similar to the ones a woman has during an induced labor and occur when the uterus contracts (to help expel the lining). If there are clots or bloody tissues passing through the cervix, the cramping is intensified. Women who experience menstrual cramps have 5-13 times more prostaglandin (a molecular compound found in the lining of the uterus) in their blood than women who do not. Prostaglandin (PGF2alpha) is given to women to induce labor.
Two Kinds of Cramps
Women have been dividing menstrual cramps into categories since the beginning of time: bearable and miserable. Meanwhile, the medical world has had them split into primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. The mildest form of menstrual cramps are sometimes just a minor discomfort, a heavy feeling in the abdominal region. Women suffering the most extreme menstrual cramps are sometimes forced to change their regular routine for a few days.
In primary dysmenorrhea, there is no underlying physical condition causing the pain. Secondary dysmenorrhea involves another physical condition, usually gynecological (related to a woman’s reproductive system).
Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea
The most common sign of both primary and secondary dysmenorrhea include a throbbing pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen and pelvis that might radiate to the lower back and/or legs.
The cramps usually began shortly before the onset of the period and peak within 24 hours. Some women also experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. The prostaglandin found in both the uterus and intestinal tract causes smooth muscles to retract, therefore some women are prone to experience diarrhea or constipation during menstruation.
Risk Factors
***Most things that put you at risk for painful periods are out of your control. You are more likely to have severe menstrual cramps if they run in your family history and/or you had an early puberty (eleven years old or younger). Anatomically (physical make-up of the body) speaking, a backwards tilting of the uterus (a retroverted uterus) and/or a very narrow cervical canal can also play a role.
Some things you do have some control over, at least partially. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to the severity of your cramping; women who exercise on a regular basis are much less likely to complain of painful periods. In some (not all) medical circles it is accepted that emotional stress can increase the discomfort of dysmenorrhea.
Treatments
If you are afflicted with primary dysmenorrhea, you can expect the intensity of the cramping to decrease as you get older. For many women, cramping decreases or disappears completely after a pregnancy. In the meanwhile, several options are available to you.
Pain control for minor cramping can often be achieved with the use of over-the-counter drugs like aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Some women combine Tylenol with a diuretic. For more painful cramps, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) offer more relief. Unlike aspirin which has a very limited effect on prostaglandin, NSAIDs lower the production of prostaglandin and lessen its strength.
Some of the NSAIDs that can be purchased over the counter are naproxen sodium (Aleve), ibuprofen (Midol IB, Motrin, Nuprin, Advil), and ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis KT).
In cases of severe cramping, some doctors suggest low-dose oral contraceptives (birth control pills) to help reduce the production of prostaglandins by preventing ovulation. Sometimes women with very painful and heavy periods have the uterus lining vaporized or burned away with a heat-generating device. This process is called endometrial ablation. Others with severe cases have opted to have a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
It is interesting to note that menstrual cramps can be measured by the pressure within the uterus and the frequency and number of contractions. The average woman experiencing a normal menstrual period has low-pressure contractions, 15-30 second long, with 1-4 contractions per minute. A woman with menstrual cramps has contractions of a higher pressure (sometimes more than 5 times higher than her counterpart), over 90 seconds long, and often less than 15 seconds apart.
**If your cramps disrupt your life for several days a month or suddenly change in location or severity from your normal monthly experience, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist. If your doctor thinks it is necessary, you will receive a pelvic exam (with a pap smear) to check for abnormal reproductive organs and infections.
If you are suffering from secondary dysmenorrhea, the underlying cause of your cramping must be treated. This may include antibiotics to treat infections or surgery to remove offending tissues. Some of the conditions that cause secondary dysmenorrhea are:
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): An infection found in female reproductive organs that is usually attributed to sexually transmitted bacteria.
Adhesions: Abnormal fibrous attachments between organs.
Andenomyosis: The cells of the inner uterine lining invade its muscular wall (a benign condition).
Endometriosis: A painful condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus become implanted outside of it, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or pelvis lining.
Using an intrauterine device (IUD): A small, plastic, T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into the uterus.
Uterine fibroids and uterine polyps: Benign (noncancerous) tumors and growths protruding from the uterus lining.

Sorry I know this was long, but I hope this helps, please go to a GYN, they will be able to help you.
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Avatar_f_tn
dearest,

as I read your problem, I felt I must say something; cause I was as bad as like you, worse actually... and then a friend of mine gave me the book : "Women's body Women's wisdom" Christiane Northrup M.D and now I feel so great!!! I did what she explains in the book for getting period...
and I studied sexual biology and I am genetician; usually we do not "believe" such those things.. but I tell you not the "medicine" thought me, but what I learned from my own body..

get the book and start having a quality of life through the book.. :)
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
There are two kinds of cramping. Spasmodic cramping is caused by chemicals called prostaglandins. Generally your gynecologist will prescribe either contraceptive pills or some other tablets to overcome these symptoms. Congestive cramping causes the body to retain fluids and salt. For relief start avoiding wheat and dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugar a day or two before the periods are due to begin. There is another possibility: uterine fibroids and polycystic disease of the ovary also cause severe cramps. Hence it is important to get an appointment with a gynecologist to check this out.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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1395422_tn?1308019851
thank you! I am very heavy with dairy products and caffeine. ha! but i think i probably have cysts or something. I will def. get it checked out next time I go.
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Avatar_f_tn
For me I get terrible lower back pains. Some weeks it fine some weeks I have to lie on the floor all day strait as can be take a couple advil and hope for the best. At one point this year the pain was getting worse every month and then one month it hardly bothers me at all weird! It usto only bother me on the first day but slowly it has worked it's way up to a few days to a week befor and and tell the second or 3rd day mines not really followig any pattern. Though at least now I know when it's coming! Lol I don't know if that sounds normal???
But I have never had it that bad. I know my sister has had her period since she was 9 as well and she said one day shewas crying in class from the cramps and everyone though she was faking it including her teacher. But even then she wasent that bad. I think you should get it checked. Cramps are normal and I'm not doctor bur I don't think that bad of cramps os normal!!!
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