Abdominal cramping or abdominal pain
is one of the most common symptoms that people experience, and it is usually no cause for concern. However, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor
, so that he or she can obtain a more complete history, perform a physical exam, and run any tests that are indicated.
A few of the most common causes of abdominal cramping include indigestion, constipation, a GI virus, food allergies or menstrual cramps. However, there are more concerning conditions that also cause abdominal pain, such as endometriosis, ovarian torsion, inflammatory bowel disease, hernia, pelvic inflammatory disease or a urinary tract infection. In this case, if this feels similar to your prior episodes of menstrual cramping before your period, this is the most likely cause. Menstrual cramping does not always occur at the same time, even if your menstrual cycle is regular. Some women also experience what is called Mittelschmerz phenomenon, which is a discomfort in their lower abdomen that occurs with ovulation. On the other hand, it is important to recognize if you have any changes in your bowel movements, such as diarrhea or blood in your stool, as this could indicate more of a GI process. It is also important to note any changes in your vaginal discharge, as this could indicate a vaginal infection
, or changes in your urination (such as burning or increased frequency of urination), as this could indicate a UTI.
Although there is likely not a concerning process underlying your cramps, especially if it feels like your prior menstrual cramps, if they do not resolve or if you notice any changes mentioned above, I would recommend making an appointment to see your doctor and to undergo a full evaluation.