It is not uncommon for women to experience pre-menstrual syndrome before their period starts.
Having cramps before period is part of PMS(Premenstrual syndrome) symptoms.
Other Common PMS Symptoms are:
- Feeling bloated
- Skin Issues
- Breast Pain
- Mood swings
- Loss of sexual desire
What are premenstrual cramps
Premenstrual cramps are period pains that happen before your period even begins.
These are painful sensations felt in the lower abdomen that occurs before a woman's menstrual period.
You can get cramps up to two weeks before your period starts. Or it could also happen just a day or 2 before period commences.
what Causes of cramping before period starts
Pre-period cramps are caused by the uterine contractions(the tightening and relaxation of the muscles of the uterus) to allow the uterine lining to be shed as your period.
The uterus is always contracting throughout a woman's menstrual cycle. But few days before and also during menstruation, it contracts strongly.
Menstrual cramps may occur before a period, during a period and after a period.
In fact, Painful cramps before, during and after period is known as Dysmenorrhea. There exist 2 types of painful cramps (dysmenorrhea), namely primary and secondary cramps.
This is the same thing as menstrual or period cramping pain in the lower abdomen. It is caused mainly by the uterine contractions. And it can happen few days to your period to few days after your period.
These cramps is in the absence of all other identifiable pelvic diseases such as endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory diseases.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea is a cramping pain that is caused by an identifiable disorder in a females's reproductive system. This type of cramp is different from the common menstrual cramps.
other Causes of premenstrual cramps
Pains before period is likely to occur If there is an imbalance between the two hormones that control the menstrual cycle. The estrogen hormone and the progesterone hormone. The estrogen hormone is responsible for the 1st half of the menstrual cycle up until ovulation. After the egg is released the level of the progesterone hormone starts increasing to thicken the lining of the uterus as a home for a new baby.
If the released egg at ovulation is not fertilised, then the level of the progesterone hormone starts decreasing gradually. And the lining of the uterus is shed as the next period.
If a woman does not have enough or has excess of these 2 hormones. It may lead to infertility problems and an increase in PMS symptoms.
Hormonal imbalance can be treated with a natural herb called Vitex or chaste berry.
Endometriosis is a serious medical condition, that causes the tissues of the lining of the uterus to grow in other parts of the female reproductive organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes or the pelvis.
Symptoms of endometriosis are: Cramps before or during periods, pain with intercourse, lower back pain, pain when urinating during periods, pelvic pain, heavy bleeding and irregular periods.
According to studies in the journal of women's health, women who are highly stressed are more likely to have PMS symptoms such as cramps, crying, headaches, lower back pains in the two weeks before period starts.
It is possible to get cramps as early as a week after ovulation if pregnant. This cramp is known as implantation cramping. It occurs when the fertilised egg travels down the fallopian tube into its new home (uterus). The cramping is caused when the egg tries to attach itself to the lining of the uterus. It does this by burrowing (digging deep) into the walls of the uterus.
It may be accompanied by some blood known as spotting.
Difference between Implantation Cramps and premenstrual Cramps
The symptoms of early pregnancy and PMS are very alike. Making it difficult to know if you are pregnant or it is just your period coming.
The best way to test for pregnancy is to wait a week after your missed period to perform a home pregnancy test.
The major difference between the two is that implantation cramps happen around 6-7 days past ovulation when the embryo attaches itself to the walls of the uterus. While premenstrual cramps are common within 1-3 days before your period starts.
Another difference is that implantation cramps may be accompanied by mild spotting or light bleeding.
what do cramps a week before period mean?
Cramping a week before period is a sign of early pregnancy or premenstrual syndrome.
If you had unprotected sex at ovulation, this is most likely to be implantation cramps that you are experiencing. Although it is still too early to test for pregnancy as you may get a negative and false result. It is advisable you wait until you have a missed period to test for pregnancy.
what do cramps 2 weeks before period mean?
If you are cramping 2 weeks before your period is due, this may be ovulation cramps. Ovulation normally happens 2 weeks before your next period.
what happens if you get cramps but no period
It is not uncommon for women to have irregular periods. But it can be worrying when you still experience period cramps without having a period. Period pains but no period could be caused by a variety of reasons. Some of which are:
- Late period
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Ovarian cysts
- Ovarian cancer