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badcrampswondergirl's avatar

What can I do about these severe menstrual cramps?

Asked by badcrampswondergirl (7points) September 28th, 2009

Sorry i’m new to this, I didn’t know this is where you put the details so here goes….I have severe cramps, yes they are around my period. They double me over and I can’t move, severe pain in my abdomen, pain in lower back, and nausea. Can you suggest why it is so bad? I have severe abdominal pain and pain in lower back, can’t move, can’t do anything for a few hours until tylenol, ibprofen, etc, kicks in. It’s been getting worse over the last few months.

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11 Answers

Sariperana's avatar

Have you had your iron levels checked?
I had a friend who had similar symptoms and it was because she had a really bad iron deficiency. When she had her period, it really weakened her and she couldnt do anything at all. her Dr. put her on Iron injections.
Either way, if it is that bad – you should probably book in with your GP and get it checked out.

casheroo's avatar

Could be endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or just an unlucky woman with nasty cramps.

I’d see a doctor, to see if they can do anything to help. Whenever I’ve gone, they just put me on the pill to regular my period, and make me not ovulate so I don’t develop cysts. I was diagnosed with endometriosis without surgery, but I’m doubting it now because I am able to get pregnant pretty easily

Pain relief wise, you can use heating pads..they always help me.

Darwin's avatar

Go to your doctor and get things checked out. You could have fibroids, you could over-produce prostaglandins, you could have a particularly narrow cervix, endometriosis, adhesions, adenomyosis, or even PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) or some other possibilities.

The solution could be as simple as taking aspirin before your period starts (aspirin suppresses prostaglandin production), or going on an oral contraceptive, or it may be something more elaborate, such as having an endometrial ablation.

In any case, most doctors say if a woman begins to experience changes in her menstrual cramps, such as in their severity, timing, or location, she should consult her physician, especially if the changes are of sudden onset.

badcrampswondergirl's avatar

I have my tubes tied. My family said it might be endometriosis, so possibly hysterectomy, but i don’t have health insurance. I just wanted to know what I could do to get by because it’s severe painful.

Darwin's avatar

Try taking aspirin starting several days before your menstrual period is due to start. Aspirin works by inhibiting prostaglandin production and menstrual cramps are produced by prostaglandins.

However, taking an oral contraceptive (even though you don’t need it to prevent pregnancy) may also help.

If this has come on suddenly, then you really should get it checked out. Sometimes Planned Parenthood clinics are low cost alternatives to going to a regular and expensive gynecologist.

MagsRags's avatar

Ibuprofen or Aleve will do an equally good job as aspirin with menstrual cramps with the added bonus of possibly decreasing overall blood flow while aspirin works more as a blood thinner – good for heart disease prevention, not so good for women with heavy flow.

Prescription strength Motrin is 600 or 800 mg of ibuprofen, which equals either 3 or 4 OTC Over The Counter tablets. I agree that it can be helpful to start a little before the cramping usually starts, and stay on top of it by taking another dose every 6 to 8 hours until you know you’re past the worst of it. Never take more than 3200mg a day, and ideally keep it under 2400mg a day. Overdosing on NSAIDs (includes both ibuprofen and naprosyn) can cause permanent kidney damage. Some folks get stomach discomfort from NSAIDs, and in rare cases GI bleeding, so take it with food if possible.

badcrampswondergirl's avatar

i do take otc meds, and your right bout heavy flow lol, is why i don’t take aspirin. Anywayz I do take them as soon as i can with my pain, but it comes sudden and doesn’t give any warning last few months. Okay I’ve had three children, and the last few months the severe pain has come with sharp pains in my abdomen with contractions for like 4 hours non-stop.

MagsRags's avatar

Sounds like it’s time to get help. Once you’ve had an exam to make sure there’s no evidence of infection or other problems, they’ll probably offer you some treatment options. Even if they think it is endometriosis, it may respond to birth control pills, the depo shot, or mirena IUD. These days, hysterectomy is usually last resort, after everything else has been tried, or in cases where the woman is unwilling or unable to try other approaches.

Imacatch's avatar

Perhaps, watch what you eat. extremely cold water makes the blood clot which may make it hard for the “center” to do its thing. I had ate an ice cream cone, went walking and gulpped some bottled water to find the next day when my menstrual started, i was damn near doing labor techniques to easy the pain LOL. ofcourse get ya body checked but also watch your intakes. Take vitamines, drink water especially, eat foods with protien and iron like peanuts and trail mix- do you part to help nature have its way – Happy camping

Darwin's avatar

I suggested the aspirin because you said you did not have health insurance and thus did not want to go to the doctor. Aspirin is relatively inexpensive and easy to get, and it is something that has been recommended to me by a doctor.

Since menstrual blood has already clotted, I should think that taking aspirin might help things in that menstrual clots can be a source of additional cramping. In any case, you can always counteract any possible blood-thinning effect by consuming foods high in Vitamin K, such as romaine or leafy green lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and kale.

I was first told to take aspirin in advance of my period by my gynecologist because I have always had severe cramps. She said that if you wait until the cramps have already started the prostaglandins have already been produced and so aspirin will have a lesser effect. She said to start 24 to 48 hours before I expected my period to start.

However, when I hit my forties and was in perimenopause the remaining estrogen in my system caused my fibroids to enlarge, causing even more severe cramps and heavy flow. In that case, menopause itself solved the problem as without estrogen the fibroids shrank. However, there are estrogen agonists you can take.

As to drinking cold water, by the time the water hits your stomach it is already warming up, and by the time it has anything to do with either the blood stream or the uterus it is at body temperature.

MagsRags's avatar

@darwin, it can be confusing when recommendations change over time. Aspirin was a mainstay for OTC cramp remedies up until ibuprofen and then naprosyn went OTC with the introduction of Advil and Aleve. Aspirin does inhibit prostaglandins, but not as well as NSAIDs NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and in some women will cause heavier bleeding. That’s why we don’t use it as much anymore.

Aspirin keeps platelets from sticking together – vitamin K is needed to produce prothrombin, an important but different clotting factor.

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