Different Types of Cramps and What They Mean

Cramps

One of the evidences of menstruation in most women are Cramps. Well, I’m just going to say it, cramps suck a lot. But they can also be scary if there are not consistent. This is the reason why some ladies are alarmed when the cramps they experience suddenly begins to take a different pattern.

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You may suddenly begin to feel like the type of cramps which was once bearable becomes agonizingly different and it can be a real cause of distress. Sometimes, these alarming types of cramps may not even be experienced on the first day of your period of even during your menstrual cycle. These kinds of cramps can suddenly be experienced even after your menstrual cycle.

For some ladies, it is cramps. For other ladies, however, it may be heavy blood flow. Whatever the change is, it has signified something that is a cause for alarm. It is a warning bell that ladies must not ignore says Dr Alyssa Dewek, a gynecologist in mount Kisco hospital, New York.

If you have any kind of surprising changes in your menstrual cycle or you protect as change in how your cramps feel, don’t ignore it. It may be a symptom to a particular condition. If you experience any of the signs outlined below, be sure not to ignore them.

1. Heavy blood flow and severely painful cramps

Having a severely increased blood flow or agonizing cramps can be an indication to uterine fibroids. These benign growths starts to grow from the inside towards the outer muscular layer of the endometrium.

The causes of fibroids are not known but fibroids are a common occurrence among women of reproductive ages. It is most especially common in women who are within their thirties or within their forties.

The intense agonizing pain you feel may be as a result of a severe inflammation occurring within your uterus or it could be your body telling you that the fibroid has begun pressing against your uterus hence the intense discomfort you feel around your abdominal region.

If you are experiencing this kinds of pains, Endeavour to immediately visit your gynecologist as he or she will run some tests and scans on you. These scans in which you have undergone will help determine if these fibroids are in a place where they can be safely removed or the are in dangerous locations. This scan will also help you determine the number of fibroids present in your uterus.

However, fibroids are very much sensitive to estrogen in the sense that estrogen can help reduce the pains, getting a prescription for some birth control pills because they contain loads of estrogen can help you in feeling better.

2. Reduced Constant pain

For some ladies, they do feel pain but it is not as intense as that of people in the first category.  However, these pains they feel are very consistent. If you are in this category, you might be Pelvic inflammatory disease.

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This is a very serious disease that can affect the uterus, the fallopian tube, and/or the ovaries. This can be caused by a severe infection which was left untreated for a long period of time. Infections such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea are the usual culprits that causes this disease. Another mind bugging thing is that these STDs don’t have any symptom. This means that you may even have them for a long per kid of time but you won’t know.

The kind of pain you feel isn’t the backstabbing kind of pain, it is a subtle kind of pain however it is quite uncomfortable. When you get your periods and you usual cramps begin, this pain intensifies making you feel much worse.

For ladies whom are experiencing this uncomfortable feeling, ensure you book an appointment with your gynecologist immediately. Although Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases are not usually a cause for an emergency, however the doctor would loke to know the underlying cause of the disease and treat it pronto.

You will be immediately placed on antibiotics and the doses which you will be given will be determined by the severity of the infection. Under normal circumstances, the disease is totally a curable one however, if the infection is left for too long, it could cause the formation of scar tissues either in the uterus, cervix or fallopian tube. This could be cause severe disruptions and alter your fertility.

If the scar tissues are found within the uterus or cervix, it could prevent the swimming of the sperm to meet the egg hence no fertilization. However, if the scar tissue is found in the fallopian tube, it can prevent implantation of the fertilized egg.

3.  One-sided sharp pains

If you are experiencing severe pains on one side of your uterus or on your abdominal area, you could be experiencing what is called ovarian Torsion. An ovarian Torsion will occur when a mass almost looking like a cyst causes the ovary to keep twisting hereby cutting off blood supply to the ovary.

The pain usually comes very sharp and very painful in an intense way. When you start experiencing this, you need immediate medical help. When you get to the ER, the emergency doctor will most likely perform an ultrasound on you and possibly other scans to confirm the very cause of the pain.

When it has been confirmed that it is a torsion, you would need an emergency laparoscopy  surgery that is minimally invasive. This surgery is to unwind the ovary so that its blood supply can flow normally.

However, if during the scan , the ovary has a blackish colour or dead (I.e nonviable), then it will need to be removed. Once there is a removal of one ovary, the second ovary will assume the position of the production of estrogen as well as control ovulation.

4. Intense and painful cramps that doesn’t get better even after the use of medications

Once as a lady, you begin experiencing severe pains which doesn’t get better with the use of drugs and medications, then that’s really a tell-tale that you have endometriosis. Endometriosis is a medical condition that causes the migration of tissues of the uterine wall to migrate towards  other organs mainly the fallopian tube and the cervix where it sticks.

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Over the time, these abnormally cited tissues will develop into cysts which are benign. More than 10% of women have been seen to have endometriosis. This disease can take very long before they are diagnosed. This is because women who experience these kinds of pains think they are absolutely normal hence they don’t speak up or go for checkups.

If you are experiencing these pains, before you rule them out as normal and nothing out of the ordinary, go see your gynecologist. It is better you are clarified that these pains are nothing but cramps than for you to think they are merely cramps but they are other things entirely.

For your pain your doctor may advice you to take contraceptive pills. This is because these pills are hormone-filled and because endometriosis is hormonally oversensitive, they would respond to this pain hence the relief you feel.

For you to be properly diagnosed of endometriosis, you may need to undergo a laparoscopy  invasive surgery. The aim of this surgery is to remove as much of the abnormally cited tissues as possible.

5. Significant cramps due to post intrauterine Device

After the implantation of an ill-fitting non-hormonal copper device for some months for example after 3 months, you are not supposed to experience cramps after the initial cramps experienced.

If you are experiencing cramps of such, you will need to do a follow-up with your doctor.

Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker