Cramping Before Periods

What Causes Cramping Before Periods? Your Answer Has Finally Arrived

Experiencing cramps before periods is one of the reasons why women dread and hate that time of the month! Well, why do they happen? Let's learn about them, shall we?
HerHaleness Staff
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2018
Cramps prior to your period can be very torturous. I know many women who love the fact that they are women, except on those days of the month. I strongly believe that it is the cramping that makes the period more dreadful than it really is. To all you women who have cramps prior to periods, I know what you go through. You are not alone. So let's try to understand this phenomenon.
Why do You Get Cramps Prior to a Period?
Well, the body basically releases a whole lot of menstrual fluid from the body. This causes added stress in the abdominal, and back muscles which causes them to cramp up. This pain often spreads to the thighs, which is also an effect of cramping up of the muscles.

The actual culprit is a chemical, prostaglandin, which is released by the body to help contract the uterine muscles to shed the uterine lining. In some women, the level of prostaglandins is higher, causing severe menstrual cramps.
However, wait till your due date before you come to any conclusion. If you get your period, then there is a possibility that you are not pregnant. If the delay goes beyond five days, you need to get a pregnancy test done. However, it is best that you get a pregnancy test done right away.
Or Could the Reason be ...
Birth Control Pills
If you are on a birth control pill, you are putting a tad more stress on your body. It is difficult to determine how your body reacts to this stress. Studies reveal that many people have normal cramps before a period begins, when on birth control pills.

In a few cases, women have said that since the time they have started with birth control pills, their cramps seem to have "disappeared". Some women, experience really bad cramps before a period begins. So, it cannot be deciphered definitely.
Endometriosis
During a normal cycle, endometrial cells lining the uterus get thicker/swell, and fall off when your periods commence. If endometrial cells grow outside the uterus in other areas (bowel, uterus, rectum, bladder and rectal lining), then this condition is called endometriosis. These tissue implants or cells that grow outside the uterus stay there and grow again when you get your succeeding period.

During this condition, it is noted that cramping (as one of the symptoms) is experienced a week or two before menstruation. So, ideally get yourself examined by a gynecologist to know whether you suffer from this condition.
Mittelschmerz
Also called middle pains, abdominal cramping due to this condition occurs before, during and after the process of ovulation. Occurring in 20% of the women, the pain/cramping may be due to stretching of the ovary during ovulation or due to release of fluid from an egg (as per research).
Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids are benign growths that occur within the womb. Although the cause of this growth is unknown, studies reveal the cause behind it to be the hormone, estrogen. Fibroids are very tiny and going by their size, it is even tougher to diagnose them in overweight women. Menstrual cramps are one of the symptoms of this non-cancerous growth occurrence, and hence it is best to go visit your health care provider if you have a doubt.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purpose only. Do not use the information presented herein as a substitute for medical practitioner's advice.