Women`s Health

Cramps before Period: All You should know about this


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Cramping or certain discomfort in the abdomen is normally experienced by a woman a few days before her period arrives. Common spasms that occur a few days before menstruation are called primary dysmenorrhea. They are felt in the back and lower stomach. In rare cases cramps before period occur even a week before, leading to rather serious character changes.

These aren’t spasms during menstruation. They linger long enough and soon can transform into cycle spasms and this is mainly why many doctors say that pre-menstrual pain never leaves on its own or without consequences. The intensity ranges. There may be just a slight pressure from over-the-top to all-the-way, from cant-stand-up to double-over. Whatever intensity or severity is, it shouldn’t be taken for granted, but treated.

Causes of Cramps before Period

Causes of Cramps before Period

Why do women have cramping before period? Reasons can be different: there are both common and rare ones. Any of them leads to the occurrence of additional stress and pain in muscles and the abdominal. There are types of cramps that may spread even to the thighs and affect leg muscles. There is no single identical case. All women are different and so are their bodies. While one feels no discomfort at all, another one can hardly stand. Let’s see what diseases, disorders and processes can possibly lead to these painful sensations.

  • Eating Disorder

Anorexia and bulimia are two world-known eating disorders. Women, who have any of the issues, usually face the problems of irregular cycles or their cessation altogether. And when, finally, the menstruation is about to begin a woman experiences severe spasms a few days before.

  • Birth Control Pills

FYI, birth control pills may be the reason of ache before, during and even after the cycle. When a woman is on pills, she puts more stress on her body. And, unfortunately, no one can forecast how the body will react to the stress.

Recently, multiple studies have been performed to find out whether pills really lead to unpleasant sensations. Neither of them provided accurate evidence that they do/don’t lead to negative consequences in 100% of cases. Anyway, a woman on birth control pills should get ready to the severest spasms a few days before her period. They may be severe this time. But who knows, maybe they won’t occur the next time.

  • Autoimmune Oophoritis

It is also referred as an autoimmune disorder during which the body’s cells are actively attacked by the immune system. Why? The immune systems takes them for invaders, thus causes inflammation. The process makes the ovaries harden and shrink. It can cause the hormone level reduction and result in infertility. Cramps are only mild symptoms of disorder. They appear before the cycle is due or even when there is no one.

  • Mittelschmerz

Abdominal cramping or middle pains occur because of this condition either before or during ovulation. Spasms triggered by mittelschmerz happen only in 20% of all women. Because of the ovary stretching and the fluid release, they have spasms and rare convulsions.

  • Gas & Constipation

These conditions lead to cramping before period, too. They normally have nothing to do with the menstrual cycle. Yet whenever the menstruation is about to appear and a woman has spasms, gases can be reasons.

  • Uterine Fibroids

Benign growths that appear within the womb are called fibroids. World’s best researchers and scientists are still puzzled over the real triggers of the growth. Many believe that estrogen has something to do with it, yet this idea hasn’t been proven yet. Tiny fibroids are difficult to diagnose because of their size. They happen in overweight women more often than in skinny ones. These non-cancerous growths are the common reasons of pre-menstrual cramps. And when no medication can help, it’s better to consult a health-care provider.

  • Irregular Cycle

Recently it has been discovered that irregular cycles are secondary causes of pre-menstrual spasms, yet they do occur in some women. Cycles that are between 23 and 35 days are common, but due to a significant weight loss or gain, alcohol abuse, smoking, specified medications or stress some women experience bleeding episodes once per 2 or 3 months. And whenever the period is due they have really painful cramps.

What if there are cramps 2-3 days before period, but menstruation doesn’t occur? These may be pregnancy spasms. Cramping often appears during early pregnancy and there’s nothing much to get worried about. This is the commonest symptom that accompanies implantation and can go along with light bleeding in 6-12 days after fertilization. This is why many inexperienced women think they have pre-menstrual spasms and a light period that lasts for 2 days, not more.

From the medical point of view the condition is called round ligament pain that occurs when the uterus expands in order to accommodate the growing baby. The ache is rather dull, but can also become pretty sharp during physical activity.

Whenever the symptoms become very severe (blood clots, heavy bleeding before the menstruation is due) and nothing seems to help, they can be signs of real problems. It is highly important to consult a doctor immediately to prevent an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

How to Reduce Cramps before Period

How to Reduce Cramps before Period

You are going to be really surprised at the variety of options for relieving spasms. Some of them are pretty easy, while others seem to be crazy. Judging by the experience and researches, the craziest ideas are the most working, aren’t they?

Eat bananas. Why these fruits? They contain potassium – the element which is top effective for cramps reduction. If you don’t like bananas and want to try other foods that contain the same element, here’s the list for you:

  1. kale and spinach;
  2. soy, Lima beans and Adzuki;
  3. salmon, tuna and halibut;
  4. dried apricots, raisins and prunes.

Drink decaffeinated chamomile tea. Any sort of pain that is triggered by menstrual spasms is easy to relieve with the help of German chamomile tea. It has amino acid – glycine – that relieves muscle spasms and relaxes the uterus.

Drink raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf extract relieves different sorts of pain in the reproductive region. It has been known and used for centuries already. It contains high minerals that relax the uterus muscles and high fragrene levels. In addition it is capable of strengthening the uterus and pelvic floor. Over the past few years it has become popular among women, who experience very severe pains before their cycles. Why? This tea decreases menstrual bleeding, thus reducing the amount of spasms.

Drink basil tea. Is there any sign of pain that you start experiencing? Make some basil tea immediately! It has proven its efficacy in reducing back and stomach ache/cramps before the cycle. Those, who often suffer from severe health conditions and persistent pain, should better drink a cup of basil tea three-four times daily a week before menstruation. Though its taste is far from being excellent, the results are always impressive. If it’s hard to stand the taste, sprinkle some cinnamon powder. Still can’t drink it? Add basil leaves to your food instead.

Take omega-3 fatty acids. When you tend to experiencing cramping a week before period, take s fish-oil supplement daily. It is very high in omega-3 fatty acid that reduces pain. Women, who take the supplements daily, have less pain before and during menstruation, report no spasms and feel great.

Use ginger. Did you know that ginger is perhaps one of the commonest home remedies that help in getting rid of pre-menstrual spasms? Ginger can be used in several ways and deals with pain elimination quite differently: either speedy or step by step. Ginger tea is the most usual variant. Unlike other herbal teas, it is tasty, especially with some lemon juice and honey in it. Whenever there are first signs of discomfort, make tea and drink it at regular intervals during the whole day. It will relieve the pain, help forget about first symptoms and prepare the body to the cycle. Besides, other uncomfortable menstruation symptoms will vanish too.

Aside from making ginger tea, you can also add ginger to your food while cooking. When there’s no time to do either of these procedures, just suck one of ginger candies.


Have a spoon of blackstrap molasses. This is nutrient-rich syrup that is derived from the sugar refining process. Its consumption provides needed amounts of manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, selenium and Vitamin B6 – everything that is so important and effective for muscles relaxation, blood clots elimination, nutrient levels restoration and cramps reduction.

Place a heating pad. If there’s nothing you can take or drink for pain elimination, try to place a heating pat/bottle with hot water on the stomach or your lower back. Use two bottles if needed to make any pain step aside.

Jog a bit. It sounds crazy, isn’t it? Most women want to lie down any time when spasms appear. However, jogging is enough to keep a woman in less pain. Aerobic exercises are effective too. They are frequently used in preventive measures: jog and exercise for at least 30 minutes every day and overcoming pre-menstrual pain will be easier. The same refers to biking, dancing and swimming, playing basketball or soccer.

Treating with drugs. It’s surely effective. When pain is unbearable, take painkillers that are designed especially for cramps before period. If there isn’t any at hand, take paracetamol or ibuprofen. Most doctors also prescribe OTC medications for a really severe pain. They are taken 2-3 days before menstruation is due. These are anti-prostaglandins that block the prostaglandins selection, relieve the discomfort and lighten up the bleeding. The only possible drawback is that these medications upset the stomach, so taking them with foods is a must.

Eat more vegetables and fruit. Mineral or vitamin deficiency results in spasms before menstruation. To ease the symptoms and cramps it is recommended to consume only fresh vegetables and fruit. They contain minerals, vitamins and essential nutrients that assist in avoiding health problems. Choose green leafy veggies like spinach and cabbage more often than others before your period is about to start.

Add flax seeds and whole grains to the ration. One of the main factors why you can get cramps before period is the prostaglandin production. When you eat flax seeds, its production reduces greatly. Thus, spasms amount and intensity minimize. Before the cycle is due, consume 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed. Some women even sprinkle ground flax seed over their meals: yoghurt, smoothie, morning cereal or salad.

Why whole grains? They play one of the major roles in the elimination of pain and spasms. However, most women choose products with ‘enriched’ in their names. We suggest refusing from them for one reason only: they are hardly made from actual whole grains. We insist on choosing foods that are made from 100% whole wheat or whole grains.

Refuse from meat, choose fish. Why fish? Because of its anti-inflammatory purposes, of course! Eating more fish than usual just before the cycle will allow you to minimize risks before and during menstruation. Those women, who experience great spasms and pain, will be able to remain active even during the cycle.

Give way to nuts. Vitamin E, magnesium and calcium are of top efficacy whenever it comes to pain relief. And most nuts contain all of them. This is how they assist in forgetting about cramps and bloating.

Whatever has caused your discomfort and pain, the results should be treated in the most effective way. Most women start with pills as they are effective, always at hand and are affordable. But they also need to think of a healthier way to treat cramps before period. Different studies have proven that certain foods are an effective power that reduces pain and discomfort symptoms before, during and after the cycle. Pay attention to the above-mentioned options, restore your energy levels and reduce lethargy, weakness, fatigue and tiredness.

Related Information: Cramps After Period: Causes and Problem Solution