Periods can be a pain, literally!
Here’s the lowdown on that other thing that might come with your period… menstrual cramps a.k.a period pain.
A few things to know about period pain…
• Period pain (known as dysmenorrhea by boffins) is basically muscle cramps.
• When a muscle contracts too hard or fast, blood flow is constricted, producing pain. In this case, the muscles are in the uterus (womb).
• Cramps could also be the result of things other than your period, so see your GP if you are worried.
Does everybody get cramps?
No! Many girls don't feel pain at all. Some just feel a little discomfort. But a lot of girls do get painful cramps in their stomachs or back area. If it happens to you, talk to your parents, doctor, or school nurse. Moderate exercise, a hot bath, or a heating pad can be comforting. There are also helpful painkillers you can get from the chemist.
If your mother has bad period pain, does that mean you'll get them too?
There's no medical reason to believe that a girl will get period pain just because her mum does. It's important to realise that menstruation is a normal, healthy, event that doesn’t have to be painful.
Does using tampons make period pain worse?
Many women get period pain, but there’s no evidence that the use of tampons causes pain or makes it worse. But if you ever experience pain from using tampons, talk to your doctor or school nurse.
Is exercise good or bad for period pain?
Exercise can help to relieve tension that may cause cramps. It also increases flow of blood to muscles, which can help during your period.