Health & Fitness
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Cramps

I have always gotten horrible menstrual cramps, ever since I was 14. Sometimes I would just lie down in a ball crying. I went on the BC pill at 16 and it really helped my cramps quite a bit. I would still get the odd time where they were very painful, but less often. I went off BC about 6 months ago or so and I'm 24 now. My cramps are back to being what I would often call severe. Of course we can't all tell what each other's cramps feel like, but what crosses the line between "normal" menstrual cramps and ones that are not normal and are just over the top painful? 

Re: Cramps

  • If it is doubling you over in pain and causing you to cry, that is pretty bad and not normal. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about it. Have you tried any OTC pain relievers?
  • I think I am pretty tolerable to pain, I really will put up with it quite well, but when it comes to these cramps it's just ridiculous sometimes. I take 2 extra strength tylenols and usually that is just enough to dull it down. My mom and sister both get/got really bad cramps, so I just thought it was normal. But when I talk to other girls or read about it, sometimes I think maybe mine are a bit over the top? It's just hard to tell because every women's tolerance to it is different I'm sure. But maybe I'll mention it to my doctor next time I'm there.
  • I'd definitely check with your Dr.  If you're doubling over, it's not normal.  I have a decent tolerance to pain but I have terrible cramps.  I went to OB/GYN and she told me it's probably Endometriosis and often times women are put on BC to control it better.  You might want to do a bit of research into that.  It's often the case with terrible menstrual cramps that are out of the ordinary as well as some other symptoms.

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  • Talk to you doctor about it since it is not getting better.

    I had cramps just like yours with heavy bleeding for 7 days. I was out of camisdion for a week from 12 to 18 when I got on birth control. Taking bc made it so I only had one bad day. I stopped bc around 22 and only had one or two bad days at the start and shorter periods. It's gotten slightly better. Sometimes I have a month where I cramp but it doesn't hurt nearly as much/ can function. So I sympathize with you. But I really do think some people just have it worse then others even if they don't have a problem/ medical condition.

  • I'm lucky in that I only get cramps on the first day of my period and only if I'm not strict with my diet which is hard to be.  I started doing yoga exercises for my cramps last month and didn't experience them on my last cycle.  I hope it was the yoga that helped.  In general I don't take pain killers for my cramps since they are not that bad to begin with.
  • I forgot to add. I take tylonal and use thema care heat packs. You can pick them up at Walmart. The heat helps more then any over the counter drug.
  • Thanks everyone for your thoughts, I'll mention it to my doctor at my next check up. I know I do get ovarian cysts that come and go.. I've had two pelvic ultrasounds and both times cysts have shown up. My doctor said I "shouldn't get them" while on the pill, but I did. The pain with these cramps just radiates down my thighs to my knees, through to my back etc and just feels like constant pain that I can't really describe. The cramps don't come and go, it's just a constant pain. I do use a heating pad that really helps and feels so good and I put it to the highest setting lol. My cramps usually just last the first 2-3 days so I'm hoping by tomorrow they will be better, because today, especially this morning, was just awful. What kind of yoga exercises can you do? I'd really like to try that. Luckily my periods are fairly short, they're all done and over with in 4 days usually.
  • I had a doc that chose to give me Vicodin. It helped, but I was loopy and couldn't drive...and super cheery almost manic. Better, but still not satisfied. I went to a new doc who suggested taking three advils (600mg total of ibuprofen) every six hours for the 24 hours BEFORE my period started, with food and a big glass of water. This is pretty easy to predict on BCPs. She also put me on a different hormonal pill. Ask your doc if taking this much ibuprofen like this is ok. For me, it's been amazing. I still cramp, but nowhere near unbearable, more like just an annoyance. The first time I tried it and it worked, I wanted to cry I was so happy.

    Also ask about a bcp that will give you fewer periods, or about getting a prescription written to allow you to skip the placebos. No period = no cramps. You might have spotting initially but for me that would've been better. Also, my doc suggested the shot because most women don't get periods, but if you don't like it, you are stuck for three months.

     Your doc may have other methods that have worked for other women. I was getting fibroids even though they said I shouldn't on the pill, so I understand your frustration with cysts. But I told my doc enough is enough, she listened and gave options, and I was happy.

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  • fabkfabk member
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    I don't have too much new info to add here, but just wanted to let you know that you should def talk to your doctor. My story is pretty much the same as yours, I got my period at age 11, started the BCP at 14 because I was missing a week of school every month because my cramps were so bad. There were times even after I was on the pill where I would black out from the pain. I have been on numerous BCP, and pain killers for the pain. Now I am off the pill and the pain is back (long story but I had a 5 month relief of pain). Like HB's girl  said there are a lot of painkillers/muscle relaxers the dr can give you, I have a prescription to aponaproxon, but I really don't like to take it, because I am out of it while on it, and can't properly function (drive, rationally think, etc). So while it may help with the pain, it may not help you live your life.

    Like PP said, heat is a great help. I buy those Hothands packages (that you wear in your gloves in the winter to keep your hands warm) in bulk. I shake one up and wear it either in my pant pockets or in the band of my pants while I am at work, sleeping, etc. They really do help, and aren't big and bulky, so you can use it when not at home.

    I hope things get better for you soon.

  • The first day or two, before I was on BC, my cramps were killer.  I would wake up in the middle of night with cramps, and sure enough, I'd have my friend the next morning.

    Motrin 800s worked great.  They are rx stregnth, but they don't make you 'loopy'.

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  • image berrygreen:
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts, I'll mention it to my doctor at my next check up. I know I do get ovarian cysts that come and go.. I've had two pelvic ultrasounds and both times cysts have shown up. My doctor said I "shouldn't get them" while on the pill, but I did. The pain with these cramps just radiates down my thighs to my knees, through to my back etc and just feels like constant pain that I can't really describe. The cramps don't come and go, it's just a constant pain. I do use a heating pad that really helps and feels so good and I put it to the highest setting lol. My cramps usually just last the first 2-3 days so I'm hoping by tomorrow they will be better, because today, especially this morning, was just awful. What kind of yoga exercises can you do? I'd really like to try that. Luckily my periods are fairly short, they're all done and over with in 4 days usually.

    This pretty much explains my periods, off BCP, to a tee but add vomiting to the first day.  I can barely crawl to the washroom. I also bloat VERY badly a day or two before.  I have endometriosis and have been been taking BCP back to back, allowing a period only every 3 months, for about 5 years now and that seems to have decreased symptoms a lot.  The back and leg pain (for me) comes from endometrial tissue adhering to internal organs as it spreads.  Endometiosis does not show up in an ultrasound.  I dont know syptoms of cysts so I dont know if they are similar to this as well but if I had to guess, I'd think you have endo.

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  • image Wine Enthusiast:

    This pretty much explains my periods, off BCP, to a tee but add vomiting to the first day.  I can barely crawl to the washroom. I also bloat VERY badly a day or two before.  I have endometriosis and have been been taking BCP back to back, allowing a period only every 3 months, for about 5 years now and that seems to have decreased symptoms a lot.  The back and leg pain (for me) comes from endometrial tissue adhering to internal organs as it spreads.  Endometiosis does not show up in an ultrasound.  I dont know syptoms of cysts so I dont know if they are similar to this as well but if I had to guess, I'd think you have endo.

     

    Really?? I thought the pain spreading down your legs/through your back was normal, though painful and annoying. I thought a lot of women felt that type of pain. It goes to my knees, sometimes even past it. As far as I know cysts don't cause the pain to spread like that, but the cysts definitely makes the pelvic area very tender even to the touch or even bending over etc when not on my period or having cramps. 

  • And thanks again everyone for your replies. I will definitely talk to my doctor about it when I manage to see her again, most likely this fall or something. I'm glad I got your thoughts, so now I'll ask my doctor about it and we can rule anything out!
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