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For the period of menstruation, cramps are a very common phenomenon, but sometimes they can disturb women after the end of the period. Usually, such cramps are not caused by serious problems, but sometimes can indicate the presence of a dangerous disease. In this article, we will disclose 10 possible causes of cramp after menstruation. In addition, we will consider the symptoms and methods of easing pain caused by uterine cramps in any period of the menstrual cycle.
What causes cramps after menstruation?
Cramps caused by any other factors, other than menstruation, in medicine are usually called secondary dysmenorrhea. They can be observed at any time of the menstrual cycle.
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Secondary dysmenorrhea may be a normal condition of the body, but in some cases, it requires diagnostic procedures and subsequent treatment. Below are several possible causes of cramps after menstruation.
Women can feel cramps during ovulation, that is, when the ovary releases the egg. Ovulation occurs around the middle of the menstrual cycle. Such cramps doctors call an ovulatory syndrome.
Ovulation is a normal part of most regular menstrual cycles. Women might or might not feel how it happens.
Cramps associated with ovulation often affect only one-half of the body. They last from a few minutes to several days, and then disappear.
Small cramps of the uterus can be a very early sign of pregnancy. These cramps are associated with implantation – a process where a fertilized egg or embryo attaches to the inner lining layer of the uterus.
Cramps associated with implantation are of a temporary nature and are rarely strong. In addition, they are often accompanied by dark red or brown discharge, which is called implantation bleeding. These discharges appear around the time when the next monthly period should begin.
Other symptoms of pregnancy, characteristic for this period are breast augmentation, increased urination and mood swings.
The best way to verify pregnancy is a test that can be done at home or in the doctor’s office.
3. Ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a condition when a fertilized egg is attached to any area located outside the uterus.
Ectopic pregnancy begins like a normal pregnancy, but soon a woman begins to face severe cramps and pain in the uterus.
4. Hematometra (accumulation of blood in the uterine cavity)
Sometimes after the end of menstruation, a certain amount of blood remains in the uterus. When this happens, the uterus contracts in order to remove the remaining blood.
Such contractions can cause cramps and lead to brown or black discharge, which are the result of the release of old blood.
Symptoms of hematometra usually go away in a few days, as the body gets rid of the remaining blood.
Endometriosis can cause menstrual cramps. Symptoms of this disease should be managed neatly. Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining layer of the inner surface of the uterine wall grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can not be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled.
Pain associated with endometriosis can appear 1-2 weeks before menstruation. This pain usually worsens 1-2 days before the onset of menstruation.
Adenomyosis is a condition in which the endometrial tissue grows in the muscles of the uterus, and not in its lining layer.
This makes the walls of the uterus thicker, which leads to especially severe menstrual bleeding and prolonged cramps.
Adenomyosis is treated with special medications. In particularly acute cases, a woman with this disease may need a hysterectomy.
7. Ovarian Cysts
The cysts that form in the ovaries can cause cramps and bleeding after the menstrual period ends.
In most cases, ovarian cysts pass without any treatment. However, if they are particularly large, they can cause other symptoms.
Cysts in the ovaries can cause a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen and bloating. They can also cause small bleeding before and after menstruation.
As a rule, ovarian cysts are treated with either medicinal preparations or a surgery.
8. Uterine fibroids
Fibroids are benign, non-cancerous formations that are formed at various parts of the uterus. Symptoms of this condition differ depending on the fibroids location, their size and quantity.
In some cases, uterine fibroids can lead to infertility. They are treated with the help of pharmacological products, surgeries or a combination of these two therapeutic approaches.
9. Stenosis of the cervical canal
In some women, the cervix has a narrow opening. This condition is called stenosis. It can slow down the menstrual flow, which causes painful pressure in the uterus.
Stenosis of the cervical canal can be treated with medicines and surgery.
10. Inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs (PID)
Pain in the uterus or vagina, which is accompanied by secretions with an unpleasant odor, sometimes indicates a vaginal or uterine infection. This can cause inflammation of the pelvic organs, if from the affected area the bacterium gets to another area of the reproductive system.
What uterine cramps can be?
Uterine cramps can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea and headaches. Most uterine cramps cause women about the same feelings, no matter at what time of the menstrual cycle they appear.
When cramps are observed after menstruation, they can create discomfort in the lower abdomen and back, although unpleasant sensations sometimes reach the hips.
The strength of such cramps varies among women, but they can be more acute than usual cramps observed during menstruation. Many women face other symptoms that accompany cramps.
Each woman has menstrual cramps in different ways. Some women may feel acute pain during menstruation, while others feel slight discomfort at this time.
Cramps before period vs cramps after period
Cramping before period is usually caused by ovulation and pregnancy. If cramping 2 weeks before period it is ovulation. If cramping 1 week before period or around the time of your expected period it is implantation cramping.
Ovulation and implantation cramps are usually mild and not severe. Cramping a few days or a couple of days after period could mean early ovulation or something is wrong.
If pain during or after menstruation is severe, see your healthcare provider immediately.
How to treat cramps after menstruation?
Cramps that disturb women after menstruation should be treated similarly to the rest of the uterine cramps.
The severity of cramps can be reduced by using the following strategies:
- take painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs;
- place a hot water bottle or a bottle of hot water on the stomach area;
- soft massage of the affected area;
- consumption of large volumes of water;
- consumption of a large number of fruits and vegetables;
- reduction of stress level;
- refusal to smoke and use alcohol either during menstruation, or in general;
- light exercises such as cycling or walking.
Cramps that occur after menstruation rarely indicate that a woman has serious health problems.
In some cases, cramps may indicate pregnancy or disease, so it is important for a woman to notice under what circumstances and when they appeared. Cramps treatment depends on the reasons that cause them.
If the cramps are particularly severe, if the condition does not improve and other symptoms appear, the woman should consult a doctor who can offer the necessary diagnostic procedures and the subsequent course of therapy.