Is Period Pain Normal?

How Can You Know That Your Period Pain Is Normal?

Most women experience some level of pain associated with their menstrual cycle at some point in their lives. For many women that pain is a regular occurrence and can be at a level that is very disruptive to their regular daily activities.

No one wants to be in pain for several days each month so finding ways to get relief is very important, but the more important issue is knowing whether or not your pain falls within the normal range for menstrual pain.

Today’s post will help you understand a little more about your period pain.

Painful menstrual periods

Painful menstrual periods are periods in which a woman has crampy lower abdominal pain, which can be sharp or aching and come and go. Back pain may also be present.

Some pain during your period is normal, but a large amount of pain is not. The medical term for painful menstrual periods is dysmenorrhea.


Many women have painful periods. Sometimes, the pain makes it hard to do normal household, job, or school-related activities for a few days during each menstrual cycle. Painful menstruation is the leading cause of lost time from school and work among women in their teens and 20s.


Painful menstrual periods fall into two groups, depending on the cause:

Primary dysmenorrhea
Secondary dysmenorrhea

Primary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain that occurs around the time that menstrual periods first begin in otherwise healthy young women. In most cases, this pain is not related to a specific problem with the uterus or other pelvic organs. Increased activity of the hormone prostaglandin, which is produced in the uterus, is thought to play a role in this condition.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain that develops later in women who have had normal periods. It is often related to problems in the uterus or other pelvic organs, such as:

Intrauterine device (IUD) made of copper
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Sexually transmitted infection
Stress and anxiety   – Medline Plus 


3 Signs That Your Period Pain May Not Be Normal

Without seeing your doctor it isn’t possible to be certain of the cause of your period pain. There are several signs that could indicate that period pain is from some cause besides normal cycle related issues. There are a number of signs, but here are three that could indicate you should follow up with your doctor to find the root of your period pain.

There are a number of signs, but here are three that could indicate you should follow up with your doctor to find the root of your period pain.

Whether you see anything here or anywhere else that indicates you should see your doctor there is one overarching factor to consider. If you are concerned on any level that pain you are experiencing is something outside of the norm, it is time to make an appointment and talk it over with your doctor. Pain is a warning to us that something is wrong. If you are concerned be smart and follow that warning straight to your doctor’s office to get his advice!

Over-the-Counter Pain Medication Isn’t Offering You Relief

For those 20% of women who experience monthly discomfort, most of them can get relief with over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

If over-the-counter medication is not enough to help you get on with your day, then your period cramps aren’t normal.

This is a good place to remind you that over-the-counter does not mean harmless. Over-the-counter is also not a code word for dosage-doesn’t-really-matter.

I’ve spoken to a number of women who admit to taking more than the recommended dosage in order to deal with cramps. Or they combine medications.

Don’t do this. It can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.

If the recommended dosages aren’t enough, go to your doctor.

You Experience Pelvic Pain at Times Besides Your Period

Pelvic discomfort just before your period and during the first few days of your period can be normal. You may also experience some sensitivity around ovulation.

But if you have pelvic pain at other times during your cycle, that may signal a problem.

Another possible sign your cramps aren’t normal is if you experience pain during sex. Some causes of painful sex are also responsible for abnormally bad period cramps.

Your Menstrual Cramps Last More Than Two to Three Days.

It’s normal for the bleeding during menstruation to last anywhere from two to seven days. It’s not normal, however, to have bad period cramps during that entire time.

Two or three days of menstrual discomfort is considered to be normal.

Cramps may start the day of or day just before the bleeding starts, but they should not continue all the way until the end of your period.

They certainly shouldn’t still be there after your period ends. – Very Well