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Does abdominal pain mean my period is coming?

Is it normal to get abdominal pain before my period starts?
It can be very common to have some abdominal pain or abdominal cramping right before your period starts. This is because the process that eventually leads to the menstrual blood flow is actually already beginning a few days before you actually begin to bleed. Therefore, for many women, the most uncomfortable days are the few days before the period and the first few days of the period. Fortunately, this is not usually a serious medical problem, and it can usually be managed with over the counter anti inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naprosyn. However, if you feel that the abdominal pain is debilitating or is interfering with your life then you should talk to your primary care doctor or your OB GYN doctor. Dysmenorrhea is the clinical word that is used to describe unusually painful periods. If you have dysmenorrhea, this may need to be treated. After a complete physical examination and asking you several questions, your doctor will be able to make this diagnosis. Treatments for dysmenorrhea usually start with an oral contraceptive pill, which tends to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce pain. Your doctor will be able to help you decide whether this is right for you.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
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  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Mass General Hospital
  • Beth Israel Medical Center
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