If you never suffer from period pain or menstrual cramps you’re extremely lucky. Unfortunately for many women, it’s just a fact of life that before and during a period they may suffer from menstrual cramps. Severe period pain is called dysmenorrhea.
Usually menstrual cramp pain is mild. But sometimes it can be severe. The pains can vary from sharp stabs that make you double over to a nagging pain that spreads through your belly and lower back. Some women also experience dizziness, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting.
There are two types of menstrual cramps: primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea is more common in young women and often becomes less severe from the mid-20s onward and after giving birth. Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by other conditions such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors, pelvic adhesions and ovarian cysts – or by using an intrauterine device (IUD) for contraception.