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"Is it normal to feel severe menstrual cramps all of a sudden?"

ZocdocAnswersIs it normal to feel severe menstrual cramps all of a sudden?


hello. I am 28 and I was woken up at 5am due to SEVERE menstrual cramps! I have PCOS and have had irregular periods for most of my life. however, lately they have been a little more regular. But, I never had any issues with cramps ever. Is this normal to have this happen all of a sudden? I can barely move, this pain is not subsiding. I have tried two naproxen (220mg) and a heating pad. NOTHING is working. please please help. I'm just nervous that something else could be going on. Should I go to the ER??


The general response is that it is not normal to feel severe cramps in your abdomen. Your symptoms are concerning, and you should go to your nearest emergency department to be evaluated. Typically, menstrual cramps do not develop suddenly as described. Pain in your abdomen or pelvis can be caused by both the reproductive system and the gastrointestinal system. Without evaluation, the proper physical examination, and imaging studies, if appropriate, it is not possible to know which system is the cause of the pain. There are a few gynecologic emergencies that require prompt evaluation, therefore I would not delay being seen at your nearest hospital. These can include ovarian torsion, where the fallopian tube connecting the uterus and the ovary can twist and cut off blood flow to the ovary. This can result in loss of the ovary if the twisting does not resolve. In addition, if you are sexually active, pregnancy can cause pain if the pregnancy is outside of the uterus, for example in the ovary. This is termed ectopic pregnancy and can be life threatening if untreated. Patients with PCOS can develop ovarian cysts, as can any woman. If a cyst ruptures, this can cause sudden, exquisite pain. This pain can last a few days, however it typically improves. It is possible that you are having menstrual cramps, however based on your story the best step for your health would be to go to the ER. Please be evaluated as soon as possible.

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