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AIBU to ask what is a normal level of period pain?

(150 Posts)
Rhubarbpeony Wed 11-Mar-20 18:11:36

I’m trying to get a feel for whether my pain is out of the ordinary or not. Could people let me know how often you experience any of the following:


Cramps bad enough to make you vocalise the pain

Cramps bad enough to make you cry


Pain so severe you are unable to concentrate and struggle to keep up a conversation

Pain that makes your legs feel weak / your body wobbly

Cramps that you have to use breathing exercises to control

Pain severe enough for you to miss work or social engagements

Pain that isn’t resolved by over the counter medication

Pain that disrupts your sleep / cramps that awaken you in the night

Cramps that last 2 or more days

If you don’t mind doing so, could you also let me know your rough age (like a decade - I’m in my thirties)

I experience most or all of the above most months, and I have had investigations done (inc a transvaginal ultrasound) which haven’t revealed anything untoward, and I honestly just don’t know if I can carry on experiencing this level of pain every month. Am I just a wuss? Is everyone just dealing with this better than me? I am so miserable about it. I spend easily half the month dreading my period. It’s such a waste of emotion.

OP’s posts: |
stopfundinghate Wed 11-Mar-20 18:14:31

I'd be asking for more investigations. I don't know what but this is not normal and you shouldn't have to put up with it

DesLynamsMoustache Wed 11-Mar-20 18:16:32

I used to experience most of those but since having DD I get very mild cramps for maybe an hour or two and that's all. It's amazing. I think a not insignificant number of women do suffer from quite debilitating period pains, but that level of pain shouldn't be seen as 'normal'. If the root cause isn't solvable (in my case there was nothing 'wrong'; it seems to just be genetic as my mum suffered the same until she had me) then at least proper pain relief needs to be available.

DesLynamsMoustache Wed 11-Mar-20 18:19:08

I think there's also a lack of understanding about how painful periods can be; even women can be a bit dismissive about them IME if they've never suffered that level of pain myself. If I had only ever had my post-baby periods I'd wonder what all the fuss was.

Rhubarbpeony Wed 11-Mar-20 18:20:33

Thank you - it’s reassuring that this isn’t just the shitty norm. I’m currently ttc and if getting pregnant causes my periods to improve I would seriously nominate my baby for sainthood

OP’s posts: |
DuploTower Wed 11-Mar-20 18:23:18

It's definitely not normal

Has your doctor prescribed you some stronger cocodamol?

RandomMess Wed 11-Mar-20 18:23:17

I have had a handful of periods in my life (late 40s) where I've needed to take pain killers.

I have horrific mastalgia and suffer with constipation PMT wise but no pain isn't normal. Anything that paracetamol or ibuprofen doesn't deal with is not ok and shouldn't just be tolerated.

LefttoherownDevizes Wed 11-Mar-20 18:24:08

Can tick most of those. Am 44, 3 kids. Had lap for endo and nothing found but clearly something wrong. Pooing during period excruciating and sometimes faint.

I've given up fighting but that's cos not having any more kids and hopefully starting menopause soon

LefttoherownDevizes Wed 11-Mar-20 18:24:38

Sorry meant to add but I don't think it's right and I think you should definitely push for more tests

mnthrowaway202020 Wed 11-Mar-20 18:25:50

I had none of those symptoms on my periods, just cramping day before/first couple of days. Maybe a bit of an upset stomach/bowel changes.

I would miss pe at school, but that was more because I could get away with it rather than due to being completely unable to function.

mnthrowaway202020 Wed 11-Mar-20 18:26:02

Early 20s

Double3xposure Wed 11-Mar-20 18:26:52

It’s not normal. See your GP.

GrumpyHoonMain Wed 11-Mar-20 18:27:30

I was told when I was induced that pessary pains were like period pains and not to worry as most women find they need another one afterwards. I have painful periods and so managed to soldier on until I was 5cm dilated and my waters broke before the pain got too bad for me. Before that I never really thought I had painful periods

aroseaday Wed 11-Mar-20 18:28:35

I rarely am get through one of my periods without strong ibuprofen at least. Usually write off the first day too as struggle with back pain (which causes nausea) and diarrhoea.

I have nearly fainted twice so I know not to over exert myself on the first day now.

aLilNonnyMouse Wed 11-Mar-20 18:30:00


Cramps bad enough to make you vocalise the pain
For about 6 hours on the second day

Cramps bad enough to make you cry


Pain so severe you are unable to concentrate and struggle to keep up a conversation
For about 6 hours on the second day but painkillers do take it away

Pain that makes your legs feel weak / your body wobbly

Cramps that you have to use breathing exercises to control
Every 2-3 months for a couple of hours

Pain severe enough for you to miss work or social engagements
When I was younger but this has trailed off. I sometimes miss things because of flooding though.

Pain that isn’t resolved by over the counter medication
Paracetamol works for mine, but morphine doesn't (I'm on it for other things). Different painkillers work on different things. An anti spasmodic like Buscopan might help

Pain that disrupts your sleep / cramps that awaken you in the night
Maybe 3-4 times a year

Cramps that last 2 or more days
Sometimes but not every month.

I'm 30 and have fairly heavy periods, if I wasn't TTC my doctor would have me on birth control to try and control it. I bleed enough that I have anemia and have to take high doses of Iron 3 times a day.

Yours sounds so much worse than mine, it's not normal and you need to talk to a doctor about it.

Dozer Wed 11-Mar-20 18:30:12

None of those.


RandomMess Wed 11-Mar-20 18:31:45

Makes me so angry that the medics think it's acceptable to leave women suffering like this angryangryangryangryangryangryangryangry

RedRed9 Wed 11-Mar-20 18:32:40

It sounds very likely that you have endometriosis.

You need a gyne referral and possibly a laparoscopy.

Skeeter2020 Wed 11-Mar-20 18:34:13

Oh bless you OP. This was my experience during my late teens/ early twenties, in fact I could've written your exact post. I too had investigations but there was nothing untoward. My symptoms improved when I had the implant though use of contraceptives obviously isn't an option for you if you're ttc. Since having a baby my symptoms have again improved - I still experience pain and discomfort but on a far lesser level. Perhaps go back to your GP as they'll be able to discuss prescription pain relief with you? In the meantime I would recommend taking feminax at the first sign of your period and using this interchangeably with ibrupofen. Good luck

Stayawayfromitsmouth Wed 11-Mar-20 18:34:23

Um. I'm nearly 40 and have never had anything more than a few twinges and the occasional minor cramp. I've had worse indigestion.
My flow is generally light to moderate.
I was induced with a hormonal drip with one child and that was horrendous, unnatural cramping. I had a natural build up of contractions with ds2 which became painfully intense but gave birth with no pain relief and was fine.
I'd say your menstruation is not normal and you should push for further medical investigations.

Dozer Wed 11-Mar-20 18:35:36

Article with link to women talking about endo.

Wavescrashingonthebeach Wed 11-Mar-20 18:36:07

Oh my word that sounds horrendous. Do not put up with that or let any Dr fob you off that it is normal.
When i come on i normally feel relief tbh as the week before im tearful / ragey.
I have cramps for the first day but not bad enough that i would have to take painkillers. Maybe 2 ibuprofen.
I am well aware i am extremely lucky in this regard and i keep my mouth shut when some of my friends in the office are talking how bad they have it and they come in with heat pads & hw bottles or id imagine theyd want to kick me in the face!

granadagirl Wed 11-Mar-20 18:36:58

Have you just put up with all this pain without seeing a gp?
If so I’d make an appointment asap, it’s not normal to have that much pain
Ask to see gynaecologist

I used to faint when I first started periods at 12, but I’ve got a low pain threshold I think
When I was in labour with ds at 32, when I was induced and the pains eventually started
I didn’t get to far along before I was shouting for an epidural

Defo get it checked

MyTwoPence Wed 11-Mar-20 18:37:02

It could be endometriosis. My understanding (I'm not an expert, it's just what I've heard from my own experiences with gynaecologists), is that unless it causes cysts/ is deeply infiltrating - which most cases of endometriosis are not it won't show on an ultrasound. Instead you need a laparoscopy to diagnose it.
I'd ask your GP for a referral to an endometriosis specialist.

Oh and no, my periods are nothing like that. Until I developed an endometrioma my periods involved a maximum of two days of low level discomfort/aching in my lower abdomen, which was relieved by ibuprofen - I mainly took the ibuprofen to reduce the bleeding. With the endometrioma I got pain which radiated down my legs, (that would also disrupt my sleep and keep me awake) but was still eased by OTC painkillers except for short periods of time when either the ovary twisted/the cyst burst which was pain that was so bad I could do nothing but writhe around in pain and made me vomit.

Wavescrashingonthebeach Wed 11-Mar-20 18:37:03

Im mid 30's btw and my periods have always been like this

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