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Why does menstruation hurt? I want you theories and cures.

(45 Posts)
AtYourCervix Tue 27-Sep-11 10:45:52

I don't care if they are true scientific fact or your own ponderings.

I don't care if cures are pharmaceutical, holistic, alternative or just a little bit woo.

I don't care for randomised control trials or anecdotes.

The fact of the matter is that every 28 days or so, something to do with moons, tides, calenders or curses makes women hurt. alot. and it's not fair, funny or useful.


AtYourCervix Tue 27-Sep-11 10:47:11

So far today the drugs don't work, the wheat bag doesn't work, the TENS doesn't work, the sodding chunk of bloody malachite doesn't work.

mumblechum1 Tue 27-Sep-11 10:48:01

Go on the pill.

I've been on it for donkeys years and barely notice my period at all.

AtYourCervix Tue 27-Sep-11 10:50:58

doesn't agree with me. tried lots over the years. also unnecessary from a contraceptive point of view.

SparkleRainbow Tue 27-Sep-11 10:51:34

For me it was all to do with the angle of my cervix, which caused a build up of pressure, and resulting dreadful cramps. Having 3 dc put an end to that as they completely "redesigned" my insides. I have a merina coil now, which means I have no periods at all, and no side effects, so I am dancing on the ceiling now....ok vaguely staggering with a smile on my face, as I am knackered!

BedHog Tue 27-Sep-11 10:53:07

Having a baby worked for me. I used to get horrible pains every month. Since having DS my periods have been virtually painless.

AtYourCervix Tue 27-Sep-11 10:55:35

maybe should have another baby? at least i'd get a year off? would it be worth it though? babies are alright but i don't much like children.

SparkleRainbow Tue 27-Sep-11 10:56:54


farfallarocks Tue 27-Sep-11 11:01:45

Right, my accupuncture lady says periods should not hurt AT ALL and if they do then it is a sign of another imbalance. Have been seeing her for 3/4 months and in that time my cycles have regulated a lot and I get very mild cramps on day one (no pain killers necessary)

lickthemarmiteknife Tue 27-Sep-11 11:01:56

Never suffered with period cramps (lucky me!) but I get the weirdest 'whooshing' sensation through my head accompanied by headaches when my period is due. Why is that?? Its just come back after having DS3 8 months ago. I almost welcomed it this time as a sign I was ovulating, makes me want to howl at the moon! grin

OneHandFlapping Tue 27-Sep-11 11:04:44

I never had any pain with my periods - well maybe a slight dragging sensation on the first day. Nor did I get PMT. Obviously I was very well balanced - or alternatively just lucky.

AtYourCervix Tue 27-Sep-11 11:06:33

medically there is nothing wrong with me (apart from hypochondria). At leats there wasn't when they had a look around inside about 5 years ago and things haven't changed. It has always hurt. every single bloody period I have had for the last 24 years. My ovaries also hurt mid cycle every bloody month too. I bloat, I get the runs, my hips hurt, my back hurts, my uterus hurts, my bloody sodding vulva hurts. IT ALL HURTS.

notcitrus Tue 27-Sep-11 11:13:53

I was always annoyed with patronising GPs who would tell me as a teenager that once I had a baby it'll be much better.
I'm almost more annoyed that they've turned out to be right, 20 years later! But doesn't work for everyone.

I went on the pill for years, took mefenemic acid, avoided caffiene during my period, used hot water bottles, and it became a lot better, though sometimes it was still really bad. One theory was I had one good ovary and one bad ovary and the 'bad' one signalled my uterus to clamp up. Nancy Friday referred to a theory that the more anxious you were about periods starting, the more pain you're likely to experience - apparently girls who start periods without knowing what's happening are much more likely to have painful ones, ditto girls who have embarrassing early experiences. How this affects your body to have pain during later periods I have no idea.

TheProvincialLady Tue 27-Sep-11 11:15:08

Things that work for me:

Cut right back on caffeine and sugar
Drink hot drinks rather than cold ones during my period
Massage back and abdomen with lavender oil
Ponstan and paracetamol
Hot water bottles and hot baths

shitmagnet Tue 27-Sep-11 11:22:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notcitrus Tue 27-Sep-11 11:28:28

Another thing I used to be told was that period pains were good prep for labour.

Which also was annoying at the time and turned out to be true - being in labour was a doddle in comparison! You got a break every minute or two!

SparkleRainbow Tue 27-Sep-11 11:31:49

TMI coming were warned

Atyourcervix - I was left with varicose veins of the vulva after dd1...which are extremely painful at every cycle, until I started on the coil. They can be fixed surgically, so if you are getting that kind of congestion pain in the vulva, go and see your gp and ask about the options, cos that was far more painful than any period pain ever was for me.

Ephiny Tue 27-Sep-11 11:35:16

The Pill helps for me, especially as you can skip some of your periods entirely. I plan to get the Mirena IUS at some point, which apparently is good as well.

Without the Pill I hurt at almost every part of my cycle. Pre-menstrual headaches for two days before, then pain, cramping and backache during the period itself, plus ovulation pains and mid-cycle breast soreness. Not fun at all.

25goingon95 Tue 27-Sep-11 12:01:01

Ive always had really bad painful periods. I used to be rolling around on the floor on day 1 of my periods as a teenager!! I would take 2 cocodamol tablets and they would knock me out for about 4 hours. It was so so painful.

Then I had DD1 and they were great! Well, as great as periods can be grin No painkillers needed.
Then i had DD2 and they are very painful again sad Just trying to convince DH that DC3 would fix the problem as DC1 did grin

GrimmaTheNome Tue 27-Sep-11 12:08:56

Notcitrus - yes, labour wasn't the awful continuous cramping, and (in my case anyway) it didn't go on nearly as long. More intense, but more bearable.

As a teen/early 20s the cramps would make me throw up from sheer pain.
I'd have to be off school for a day or even two (fortunately irregular so nowhere near monthly)

The pill (oestrogen type) solved my problems, and nary a twinge since I had DD. It helps with my PCOS symptoms too.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 27-Sep-11 20:19:07

Take a standard magnesium supplement, I find asdas better than sains.

It will lesson them a lot, something to do with muscle contractions getting faster during period.

I used to routinely have a day off work for the first day because I was in so much pain but now I just take painkillers and I'm fine all day.

ElderberrySyrup Tue 27-Sep-11 20:22:56

Definitely less painful with a Mooncup than with tampons, I find.

I would like to know what the earliest references in literature are to menstrual pain. Do we know if women have always had it? Do women in indigenous cultures have it too? Or is it an artefact of the developed world?

twotesttickles Tue 27-Sep-11 20:28:59

Hmm. I can only tell you what stopped mine hurting (but you won't like it much). I started going to they gym four times a week for an hour - my period pains vanished as did my aches, pains, the squits, everything. They even got lighter. No PMT, nada, nothing. First time in 25 odd years I had a pain free period.

Ephiny Tue 27-Sep-11 21:31:04

Historically I guess women would have had fewer periods altogether, due to later onset of menstruation, and then frequent pregnancy/breastfeeding throughout their childbearing years. Would be surprised if it didn't happen at all though.

Terpsichore Tue 27-Sep-11 21:41:21

I've always had really painful periods so I do sympathise, OP. I was eventually diagnosed with endometriosis & the jury's still out as to whether that was the cause all those years. One useful thing the specialist told me however was to take the maximum dose of painkillers 3 times a day at the first twinge, and just keep taking them - the effect builds and is more powerful than if you just take the odd dose when you feel the pain.
And a hot-water bottle is never far away from me either grin

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