Written by Yoppie
01 Oct 2021
What actually are cramps?
Why am I cramping after my period? Isn’t this supposed to happen during?
Could it be something else?
Should I see a doctor?
How can I reduce cramps?
Monthly cramps before, during and after your period?! The gift that keeps on giving! But why? We’re taking a closer look at how this happens, why it might be happening to you, and how to handle cramps throughout the month. But first...
If you’re lucky enough to not get cramps, then it’s normal to wonder what the heck they are. Pain in the abdomen due to a period is often described as cramping, but some simply refer to it as ‘pain’, and this feels like anything from intense spasms, to a throbbing sensation from around 1-3 days before your period, hitting its worst point around 24 hours after. Cramps should disappear entirely around 2-3 days after.
Cramps happen as a result of certain hormones and prostaglandins triggering the uterus to contract and shed its lining, causing you to bleed each month. Those with higher levels of prostaglandins may experience more severe cramping.
Most people only experience cramps before or during their period, but they are occasionally felt after. If you are still feeling cramps when you have stopped bleeding, this is likely leftover uterus contractions from your period, but it could be due to other reasons, like:
Ovulation - Sometimes cramps are felt during ovulation in the middle of your cycle, when an egg is released from the ovary. These cramps are called ‘Mittelschmerz’, which is German for ‘middle pain’. Appropriate! Most people don’t feel ovulation happening, while others feel it on one side of the body, lasting between a few minutes and a few days.
Implantation - Many people don’t feel implantation happening, but others experience light cramps and bleeding. Implantation is when a fertilised egg attaches in the uterus around 7-14 days after conception. If you suspect this could be what you are feeling, take a pregnancy test to confirm.
If you’re feeling cramps for days after your period, or further into the month, this could be due to an underlying health concern. Here are a few of the conditions that could be to blame:
Cramping after your period may simply be related to your monthly menstruation, but if you suspect any of the above symptoms relate to you, or you experience severe cramps before, during or after your period, speak to your GP to get checked. You shouldn’t be suffering with excess pain each month, so don’t delay getting their opinion, and being treated for whatever the underlying cause may be.
If you know your cramps are not the result of an underlying condition, you can look for ways to reduce the intensity. After all, who wants to deal with uterus spasms before, during and after a period?! (No one, that’s who). If you’re looking for a little relief, here are our top tips:
Do you experience cramps after your period? We’d love to know your tips for managing it! Chat with us on our Full Stop FB group, or get in touch on Instagram at @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, period cramp supplements and much more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox. That's one less thing to worry about each month, whenever the aches decide to hit you.
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