Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I get cramping a week before my period?"
I am a 20 year old woman. I am active and I run 5 days a week and I am training for a half marathon. I eat relatively healthy but I do overindulge in sweets. I am in college and do have some stress in my daily life. My periods are regular and I also have other pms symptoms during that week.
Having cramps and other premenstrual symptoms prior to the actual beginning of your period is a relatively normal condition that affects many healthy women. If these symptoms do not interfere with your daily life then there is probably no need to worry about them further or get them worked up. Many women find that taking regular doses of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen during these days is sufficient to keep their symptoms under control. On the other hand, you should seek advice from your OB GYN doctor or your primary care doctor if the symptoms are interfering with your life. This could be either from excessive pain or from other symptoms, such as mood problems. Sometimes medications are indicated for these premenstrual symptoms. For example, birth control pills have been used successfully to control cramping and other pain symptoms, whereas sometimes a low dose of an antidepressant medication can be used to control the mood problems that precede menstruation. Other lifestyle measures, such as making sure to drink plenty of liquids, exercise regularly, and have a normal sleep schedule can also help to minimize symptoms. Don't hesitate to call your doctor if you have further questions or concerns!
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