Why don’t I get period cramps? What is and isn’t normal

Period cramps can be annoying or painful, but not everyone experiences uncomfortable menstrual symptoms.

Period cramps can be annoying or painful, but not everyone experiences uncomfortable menstrual symptoms. If you don’t get period cramps, you shouldn’t be concerned. An absence of discomfort could be a sign of a healthy period.

What causes period cramps?

Cramps in the lower abdomen and bloating are very common, and most people experience them to some degree around the time of their period. These symptoms signify the hormonal changes that occur during a menstrual cycle and the subsequent physical changes that involve the uterus preparing to shed its lining, otherwise known as the period.

Cramps may appear a few days before your period starts, when the uterus begins to contract due to an increase in the hormone called prostaglandin, which encourages the uterine lining to break down. It can be normal for cramps to stick around for the first two to three days of your period.

Some people, however, experience mild to no symptoms of period cramps or discomfort, according to Kathryn R. Bradley, M.D., OB/GYN with Norton Women’s Care.

“Similarly, while many patients experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings, tender breasts, or food cravings, some report no PMS symptoms, and that’s perfectly normal, too,” Dr. Bradley said.

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How to prevent period cramps

  • Over-the-counter pain relief
    • Opt for ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin, as it can increase bleeding.
  • Exercise
  • Heating pad
  • Rest
  • Hormonal birth control
  • A nutrient-dense diet
    • Avoid caffeine and excess sugar.

When to be concerned

While some period cramping is normal, severe cramps should not be ignored. Painful cramps could be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or uterine fibroids. Endometriosis can start in the teens and early 20s.

If you have any concerns about your menstrual cycle, whether you don’t have period cramps or experience painful ones, you should talk to your provider.

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