Periods hurt, but why?

Periods hurt, but why?

Cramps or pain in other parts of the body is something all menstruators have faced during their periods at some point in their lives. And therefore, we often end up wondering why periods come with so much pain and discomfort. Let's find out the reason for it.

During periods when the uterine lining prepares to shed, it leads to the release of a hormone known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help the uterus muscles contract and relax so as to ease the process of uterine lining shedding. Though prostaglandins are a necessary part of the process, when these hormones are released in excess, they can cause menstrual cramps. These cramps can start just before the periods begin and continue for a few days after that.

Another reason for having menstrual cramps is excess estrogen. The excess estrogen hormone leads to more thickening of the endometrium lining, which in turn leads to the production of more prostaglandins in the process and thus heavier and more painful periods. Menstrual cramps that normally occur without any underlying condition are bearable and do not cause any interruption in day-to-day activities. But if there is any underlying condition like endometriosis,
fibroids, PCOD, etc., then the cramps can be excessive as well as unbearable.

You should consult a doctor if your cramps last more than two to three days, are very painful, and are accompanied by heavy periods. Otherwise, cramps can easily be treated with multiple home remedies or over-the-counter pain medications as well.

Some of the common methods you can try to deal with painful periods are applying heat to the abdominal area to relax the muscles and reduce the pain; doing some gentle exercise, which will help to release endorphins, which are natural pain relievers; massaging with essential oils to relax the muscles; and, on a daily basis, consuming magnesium-rich food items, which leads to a reduction of excess prostaglandins in the body.


Cramps are therefore a natural part of the menstrual cycle and about 84% of the people who menstruate have some amount of period cramps. Period cramps and irregularities can be reduced by maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a good diet, and exercising regularly.

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