A visit from Aunt Flo every month is quite bothersome for many women. You have to be extra careful about the way you walk or sit, you feel moody, and are low on energy during this time. The only thing more bothersome than this messy ordeal is the dull, sometimes excruciating, cramps that you often get before your period starts. Some women even get cramps when they are already on their periods. But what if you get those cramps way before the actual start of your period? It may be completely normal as it may indicate your dates have changed or, in some cases, it may indicate something completely different, such as pregnancy.
What Do Period Cramps Feel Like?
Since each woman’s body is different, period cramps will feel different for different women. Some may just experience mild cramping, while others may feel sharp, grinding pain that makes it extremely difficult for them to go about their normal ways. For some, the pain may be so unbearable that they have to take medication to get some relief.
Such pain is caused by your uterus tightening and relaxing at the same time. The uterus lining releases chemicals called prostaglandins, which increase the intensity of the contractions. Such contractions aid the shedding of the uterus lining. If your contractions are too painful, then it may be a sign that your prostaglandin levels are too high.
Are Your Periods Painful Or Difficult?
Women often experience cramps a few days before their period starts, but in rare cases, some may experience them about 2 weeks before the actual date of their periods. This is quite common if you have dysmenorrhea, which causes you to have difficult or painful periods. It is divided into 2 categories, primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common form of dysmenorrhea. In this form, you can feel pain in your back or lower stomach 1 to 2 days before your period begins. Secondary dysmenorrhea causes back pain or cramps a few days before your period.
You will generally experience severe cramping the night before your period begins, but if your periods are still not here even after you suffer through such cramps, then it could be a sign of implantation. After the egg and the sperm fertilize, the fertilized egg makes its way into the uterus and implants itself. This may cause sudden cramping that lasts a few minutes and you may even experience light bleeding. Some of you may be able to tell the difference between period cramps, while some of you may not.
What Do Pregnancy Cramps Feel Like?
It is normal to feel mild cramping when pregnancy first takes place. Some will even get cramps when they are already pregnant and it’s usually nothing to worry about. These cramps feel different from period cramps. They will be milder than normal cramps and will be slightly lower down than usual. You will also experience such cramps on both sides of your lower abdomen. You may even feel sharp, recurring pain in your lower abdomen months after your pregnancy occurs as they may be caused by the stretching of your muscles and uterus in order to accommodate the baby.
Are Cramps Normal During Pregnancy?
If you are trying to get pregnant, and if you notice any form of cramping, you should get a pregnancy test done to be sure. You should start monitoring your cramps once you confirm your pregnancy. Mild cramps before and during pregnancy are not much cause for concern. But if the cramps are extremely painful and consistent and are accompanied by bleeding, you should visit your doctor to make sure that your baby is safe and healthy.