As per a study, over 50% of women experience cramps during menstruation. (1) But if they continue or start after your period ends then it can be a matter of concern. In some cases, due to increased sensitivity, it can be normal. However, it is better to rule out other causes to identify any internal issues.
Possible Causes of Cramping After Periods
There are several possible reasons for getting abdominal or pelvic pain after periods. Sometimes, you can also observe spotting along with it. Below, we have mentioned possible causes of abdominal pain after periods in detail…
1. Birth Control
Birth control pills or devices can be one of the reasons for the cramps after period. If you have started taking oral contraceptive pills then it might be interfering with hormone functioning which can lead to stomach cramps after period.
Birth control methods like IUD (Intrauterine Device) can cause period like pain after menstruation ends. IUD is actually inserted into the uterus. So, pain caused due to it can be due to our body adjusting to the new physical feature added into it. However, if the pain continues for more than a day or doesn’t decrease then consult a doctor immediately.
2. Uterine Incapacity
Some women can have experience this condition – in which the uterus will not be able to expel the blood completely by end of the period. Due to this, left over blood will be expelled after period. In this case, you can experience spotting along with cramping after period.
3. Hormonal Imbalance
When woman’s hormones experience fluctuation in a rapid pace then this imbalance can be a reason for cramping after periods and irregular menstrual cycles. Some of the other symptoms of hormonal imbalance are fatigue, dizziness, acne and hair thinning.
4. Uterine Cysts or Fibroids
This condition occurs when non-cancerous growths occur on the uterine muscle tissue. These abnormal growths can cause severe cramps after periods. Apart from that, it can also cause other symptoms like frequent urination, increase in waistline, spotting and irregular bleeding
This condition is defined as unusual growth of uterine lining on other areas of the reproductive organs like ovaries, fallopian tube and pelvic region. This can be one of the reasons for spotting and cramping after a period. Other symptoms that indicate endometriosis are lower back pain, pain during intercourse and spotting between periods.
6. Health Issues
Some major health issues like cancer, thyroids or others can affect the body’s menstrual cycle. This can lead to abdominal pain and cramping after period ends.
Cramps after period can sometimes mean you are pregnant. If you have been trying to get pregnant then you might have experiencing an implantation bleeding. This bleeding can be misunderstood with normal menstruation. As fertilized egg implants itself into the uterus lining it can cause bleeding which may last 2 – 3 days. Implantation bleeding can be accompanied by cramps similar to menstruation. In some cases, it can start after bleeding stops. So, take a pregnancy test.
Possible Causes of Pelvic Pain after Period
In some cases, women may experience pelvic pain after period. Actually it is a bit hard to find out the exact reason for the pain. However, here are some of the reasons…
In this condition, the uterus lining extends itself into the uterus wall itself. This leads to menstrual cramps after, bleeding and bloating after periods. Surgery or medication are two option often suggested by gynecologists for this condition.
Due to this condition, cramps usually start with menstruation and continues even after the period ends. It can be caused due to many reasons like uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.
This condition occurs in 2 women out of 3. Pains caused by this condition are usually milk to severe which is usually more intense after having an intercourse. Physical and emotional stress are the reasons to be blamed for this condition.
If you are experiencing cramps 2 weeks after periods then it can be due to ovulation. The severity of ovulation pain differs from woman to woman. It occurs when egg is released into the fallopian tubes from the ovaries.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This disease is caused by bacteria infections in the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This infection can lead to tissue scaring and infertility. In this condition, the pelvic pain can be accompanied with fever and abnormal vaginal discharge.
How to Deal with Cramps after Period
If you are experiencing medium to severe cramps after period then we recommend consulting a gynecologist. Meanwhile until you reach for a medical help and in case of mild pain, you can try below methods to get relief.
- Place a warm compress on the area where you are experiencing cramps. The warmth of the compress allows the muscles to relax and speeds up the healing process in cases of any injury. Cold compress is not recommended in case of post-menstrual cramps.
- Take aspirin tablets or over-the-counter NSAID to reduce the cramps. This should be the first course of action in most of the situations.
- Stretching can also help to reduce cramps. So, try to sleep in a different position (preferably on your stomach) to get relief.
- Doing yoga also helps to get relief from menstrual cramps and regulate hormones.
- Massaging with essential oils on the cramping areas also helps to relax the muscles. Best oils to get relief from period pain are lavender, chamomile, cinnamon and marjoram.
- You can also try some home remedies to get relief from cramps after period. Like ginger, fennel or raspberry leaf tea. As per Midwifery study conducted in Iran, extracts were helpful in reducing menstrual cramps, regulate hormone levels and control PMS.
Things that can worsen the Post-Menstrual Cramps
Following are some of the things that can worsen the cramps. So, it is better to avoid taking them or doing them at least until the pain resides…
- Lack of exercise.
- Not getting enough sleep.
- Processed foods.
- Deep fried and junk foods.
Dietary Changes to Prevent Cramps after Period
Here’s a list of what you should include in your diet and what you should avoid to reduce post-menstrual cramps.
- Vegetables should make a large portion of your meal. Make sure to take 6 servings per day like one green leafy vegetable, one serving of beans, 1 serving of tomatoes, onions or garlic. Prefer eating asparagus, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots and green beans. These vegetables help to initiate detoxification in the body that includes your reproductive organs as well.
- Make sure you are eating enough amounts of recommended fiber per day. You can also take a supplement in case you are not sure of getting it from food. Being constipated can get toxins accumulated in the colon and abdominal region. Taking fiber rich foods helps to regulate your bowels and decrease the toxins. Foods rich in fiber include spinach, prunes, pears, blackberries, black beans, lentils, apples and oat bran.
- Make sure to avoid hydrogenated foods as they can cause inflammation and hormonal imbalance in the body. Check the label of the foods before taking them.
- Take multivitamin supplements. We live in a time period where food cultivation has become polluted. GMO seeds and fertilizers are used to produce foods. It is very difficult to get enough nutrition from them. So, it is better to take multivitamin supplements to make sure your health stays on track.
- Eat foods rich in magnesium like avocado, yogurt, dark leafy vegetables and almonds as they help to fight dysmenorrhea.
- Eliminate sugar from your diet as it can impact your insulin resistance which can directly affect hormonal balance.
In most of the cases, cramps after period mean serious medical issue. However, in some cases when implantation bleeding is misunderstood with menstruation, cramps after period can state pregnancy. In either of the cases, it is better to consult a doctor and know further course of action.
It is always better to live a lifestyle that supports your hormones which in turn benefits your health.
If you have any further questions, write to us in the comment section below. We are happy to clarify them.