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Each month, you know it’s coming. You start to feel irritable, bloated. Your head hurts and you start to feel cramping. Then your period strikes and those painful cramps really set in. You try to get through it — until next month when it all repeats.
Many experts believe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is related to changes in estrogen and progesterone levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. During your period, cramps are caused by uterine contractions to help shed built-up lining.
Most women have some degree of period pain, but for some, the pain keeps them from normal activities for days every month.
The women more likely to have more intense period pain are those who are under age 30, started puberty early (age 11 or younger), have heavy periods or smoke. Some conditions can cause painful periods, such as:
Your period is a good indicator of what’s going on with your body and your overall health. Pay attention to what’s normal for you. If at any time you experience any unusual symptoms or sudden changes to your menstrual cycle, let your doctor know, especially if you notice:
If you’re tired of painful periods and bothersome PMS every month, your first step is to talk with your OB-GYN. Your doctor may suggest ways to ease pain and discomfort caused by your period, such as:
Need an OB-GYN? Edward-Elmhurst Health has hundreds of medical board-certified physicians to choose from. You can book online today to set up your first appointment.
Learn more about women’s health at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
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