ZocdocAnswersCan my period cause me to cramp for a month?

Question

Can my period cause me to cramp for a month?

I have bad periods but they're been worse than usual. Now I cramp for a few weeks before and a few weeks after it ends. What can I do?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you are suffering such long-lasting, painful cramps. Chronic lower abdominal or pelvic pain can have many causes, some of which do require immediate medical attention and treatment. Menstrual cramps are contractions of the uterus caused by hormones prostaglandins that trigger muscular contracts necessary for shedding the uterine lining. If you have been experiencing cramps that are too intense or long-lasting to be normal no matter what time of the month it is, there are several causes of pelvic or abdominal pain that can exacerbate or mimic menstrual cramping. For instance, women suffering from adenomyosis may have uterine cramping all month long, with particular aggravation during the menstrual flow. In the condition adenomyosis, the muscle wall of the uterus is invaded by tissue from the lining. Similarly, an overgrown uterine-lining condition called endometriosis can also cause this type of pain. An ovary cyst generally has one localized spot of cramping. Fibroids can also cause painful periods at all times of the month. A urinary tract infection and pelvic inflammatory disease can also contribute to painful cramps. Yeast infections and sexual transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are very common causes of menstrual-like pain between periods. As you can see, there are multiple sources of cramping that relate to reproductive system that I would recommend an appointment with a primary care doctor or gynecologist to evaluate your pain problems for appropriate treatment.

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