What Causes Menstrual Cramps?

The primary is caused by a normal contractions of the uterus while the secondary is due to a disease or other serious health issue.

It happens in the absence of any medical condition or illnesses.

Cause of Primary Dysmenorrhea

1. Prostaglandins

When the uterus contracts and relaxes, hormone-like substances are produced. This hormone-like chemical substances are known as prostaglandins.

Women with normal but painful menstrual pains have increased production of the hormone-like substance prostaglandins.

An increased production level of prostaglandins, is responsible for a stronger and a more toned uterus contractions.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is common among older women. It is defined as menstrual pains caused by female gynaecological conditions in women or a disorder.

The pain is often related with problems in the pelvic region or the uterus.

Causes of secondary dysmenorrhea are:

1. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissues in the lining of the uterus are found outside the uterus. The tissues are found in the fallopian tubes, ovaries and pelvic region.

These can cause serious pains during your mensuration.​

2. Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids are muscular benign tumours or growth found on the walls of the uterus.

Uterine Fibroids is common during the childbearing age. Most women who have it don't even realise because they have no symptom.

3. Intra Uterine Device (IUD)

AN intra uterine device also known as coil, is a small t shaped birth control device that is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.

IUD can sometimes lead to cramps during sex and menses cramps.​

4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection or inflammation of the upper part of the female's reproductive organs.

The female reproductive organs such as the womb, ovaries and fallopian tube.

PID is caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea.

5. Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome(PMS) is a group of symptoms that women or girls have around 1-2 weeks before their period starts.

Common PMS symptoms are: Mood swings, Acne, breast tenderness, Bloating, depression, food craving, fatigue.

6. Sexually Transmitted Infection

Sexually transmitted infections are diseases that are transmitted during sex. You get them when you have sexual contact with an infected person.

Most common types of STDs are : Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, ​HPV, Genital Herpes, Syphillis.

7. Stress and Anxiety

Stress and Anxiety has been linked to painful periods. A research conducted on women who worked in a factory in china showed a correlation between stress and dysmenorrhea.


If you have a mild menstrual cramp. Take a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin or ibuprofen. You can also make use of an heating pad to relief the pain.

If you have a severe or bad cramps, go and see your doctor who would perform a medical examination to properly diagnose you. This examination will help determine if your cramps are normal or a more serious gynaecological condition.

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