Menstrual Cramps occur when the uterus contracts before or during the start of your period and are one of the most common causes of pain in the pelvis.

 They can occur just before or during the menstrual cycle and can be mild and short-lived, or cause severe pain that lasts for a number of days and make everyday activities extremely difficult. In some cases, they may also be accompanied by nausea, fatigue, loose stools, headaches, or dizziness.

In addition, cramps may also continue after your period. This isn’t necessarily a sign that something serious is wrong though if persistent pain does continue it could be a sign of an underlying condition.



This occurs when the cell lining of the uterus begins to grow on the outside, and on places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

 Symptoms include:

  • Painful cramps that occur before, during, and after your These may be accompanied by pain in your abdomen and lower back.
  • Pain during or after intercourse.
  • Pain during bowel movements or urination (these usually occur are on your period)
  • Excessive bleeding during or between your periods
  • Nausea and bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infertility

Those experiencing some or all of these symptoms should consult their doctor immediately. Although Endometriosis can be a long-term condition that is difficult to manage, there are a number of treatments available such as medication, hormone therapy, or surgery.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

This condition occurs when reproductive organs are infected with bacteria (usually from a sexually transmitted infection) that can spread to the vagina, the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes.

Though Pelvic Inflammatory Disease may be symptomless, some people may experience some of the following:

  • Heavy or painful menstruation.
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis.
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex.
  • Pain when urinating.
  • Feeling generally unwell and sick (this may be accompanied by a fever)

 You should consult your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease can usually be treated with antibiotics and a period of sexual abstinence.


This is a condition where tissue begins to grow in the muscular wall of the uterus instead of the inner lining.

Symptoms include:

  • Heavy or prolonged menstruation.
  • Extremely painful cramping or chronic pelvic pain during menstruation.
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Blood clots during menstruation
  • Enlarged uterus (tenderness or pressure in the lower abdomen can be signs of an enlarged uterus)

You should consult a doctor if you experience prolonged heavy bleeding and chronic pain or cramping during your period. Adenomyosis can usually be treated with medications, though in some severe cases, a hysterectomy may be required.

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that appear on the uterus, typically during childbearing years (approx. age 16-50)

Although they are frequently symptomless, depending on their size, their number, and location, they may cause some of the following symptoms:

  • Heavy or prolonged menstruation
  • Pain in the abdomen or lower back.
  • Painful cramping.
  • Pain or discomfort during sex.
  • Needing to urinate frequently or difficulty urinating.
  • Infertility (in rare cases)

Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms persistently. Uterine fibroids can usually be treated with medication, though in some cases medical procedures or surgery may be required.

Ovarian Cysts

 Ovarian Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that grow on or inside the ovaries. In most cases, they are harmless and often symptomless, and will disappear within a few months without any treatment, though in some cases they may cause the following:

  • Irregular periods.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis.
  • Vomiting and/or fever (in rare cases)

See your doctor immediately if you experience sudden, severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis, vomiting, or fever.

Ectopic pregnancy

This occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.

Ectopic pregnancies will show up as positive on a pregnancy test and early symptoms are often like those of a normal pregnancy:

  • Missed period.
  • Tenderness in the breasts.
  • Nausea

However, you may also develop the following symptoms:

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen (often down one side) or the pelvis.
  • Severe cramps.
  • Shoulder pain.


Known as Implantation Bleeding, this occurs during pregnancy  (usually 1 and 2 weeks after conception) when the lining of the uterus is shed.

 Although this doesn’t always occur, as the uterine lining is often instead shed during the normal monthly period, it is completely normal, though may cause the following symptoms:

  • Light bleeding.
  • Sore or tender breasts.
  • Mood swings.
  • Change in your resting body temperature.

Implantation is a normal process during pregnancy. If you experience these symptoms you should take a pregnancy test.

Ovulation cramps (mittelschmerz)

Ovulation cramp is pain down one side of the lower abdomen that occurs during ovulation (around 14 days before your period).

Though it is usually a dull sensation similar to cramp, it can be very sharp and appear very suddenly and may be accompanied by light bleeding or vaginal discharge.

Although only some people experience Ovulation Cramp, it is a completely normal part of the menstrual cycle and doesn’t require treatment. However, if you have fever or nausea or if the pain worsens, then you should consult your doctor as these symptoms could be signs of some other condition.