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Terrible terrible period pains

(26 Posts)
AuntFini Sun 07-Oct-12 17:39:51

Since I got the copper coil over a year ago, I've developed the most terrible period pains. However, they're not the normal (horrendous) cramps that I used to get as a teen, rather the pain is like severe trapped wind. When I go (or try to go) to the loo, I get struck with such awful pain that it takes my breath away for a few moments and I'm almost frozen. The pain is like a shooting pain. It hurts to remove a tampon as well. I feel sick although I suppose that is a normal symptom of periods.
I also have some spotting throughout the month.

I'm fed up with it! Anyone have any idea what this could be? Is it part and parcel of having a copper coil? Thanks in advance.

KateShmate Sun 07-Oct-12 17:51:47

I know the pains you mean - so hard to explain but sort of like a shooting pain up through your body.
The only thing that helped me was going on the mini-pill so that I don't have a period at all - has been a life saver!
Sorry, no advice on the coil

AuntFini Sun 07-Oct-12 18:27:12

Thanks for saying you at least understand what I mean, I've described it to so many friends but they didn't get me! I used to be on the mini pill too, it was brilliant not having periods, but I'm sure the main reason it was so successful as a contraceptive was because I never wanted to have sex anymore ;-)

KateShmate Sun 07-Oct-12 18:41:06

Nope I totally understand what you mean about the pain - when mine used to be really bad I used to wonder whether I had something wrong with me because it was such a strange pain!
Gutted that the mini-pill didn't work for you! Maybe ask your GP whether a different brand is likely to have the same side-effect or not?

SirBoobAlot Sun 07-Oct-12 18:45:05

I get this a lot. I have PCOS. Breathing through it helps, and I sometimes rock gently. I don't have the coil, so no advice there.

BUT I also find tampons painful - I think because they are just so absortbant, they dry everything out (sorry!). Recent got a mooncup, and even just having used it for a few days, felt significant reduction in the frequency of the pain you're describing.

Might be worht going to see a gyne, or even just you GP to discuss it.

AuntFini Sun 07-Oct-12 18:52:40

Thanks for replying. I should probably go and see GP I suppose. Mooncup might be a good idea, I cant bear to use tampons anymore, they are difficult to insert and painful to remove. Thankfully my periods are actually very light, it's just the pain!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-Oct-12 19:16:16


I have PCOS and in my experience that condition has not caused me pain.

I also have endometriosis; that disease has been the main cause of my period pains and cyclical symptoms. Any spotting between periods should always be investigated further. The shooting pains and cramps that you describe could be related to endometriosis (it is the second most common gynae complaint seen in women after fibroids). The coil may have aggravated tissues internally but its probably not the root cause of your symptoms now.

BTW deep pain during sex is also very suggestive of endometriosis being present.

Some GPs are not all that great when it comes to such issues (also such problems are outside a GPs remit) so I would suggest you ask the GP for a referral to a gynaecologist. DO not take no for an answer!!!. In the meantime keep a daily pain and symptom diary; this will also give clues.

You will need to be persistant in order to get answers.

AuntFini Sun 07-Oct-12 19:35:49

Thanks Attila. Are the pains just around your periods or more often?
Also what do you mean by 'deep pain'. I do sometimes have pain during sex, and always have really, but I think I assumed that was normal.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-Oct-12 20:07:44

My pain used to happen mainly in the 4 -5 days leading up to and during menses (sometimes afterwards as well. During menses I used to get shooting pains. It was cyclical in nature.

Pain during sex is not normal. The pain may be felt during certain sexual positions or even make intercourse impossible. It is often very suggestive of endometriosis.

ihatethecold Sun 07-Oct-12 20:19:36

I have very bad p. pain.
I was given a low dose pill. I now take it for 3 packs in a row then stop for 7 days.
I can honestly say that the difference has been amazing.
As well as getting rid of my horrid PMT. blush
When I do have a period I also take prescribed tablets a day or 2 before so the pain doesn't kick in as bad.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 08-Oct-12 08:29:00


I would not rule out endometriosis in your case either. Has this ever been mentioned to you?.

ihatethecold Mon 08-Oct-12 10:47:22

no it hasn't, but in all honesty. things have much improved since i started on the pill.

Tamoo Mon 08-Oct-12 10:53:15

OP if you have severe period pains, pain at other times during the month and pain during sex I would go to your GP or Well Woman clinic and ask about getting checked for endometriosis, as these are three of the main symptoms. I had a similar experience and after months of getting fobbed off with "period pain is normal" I got a diagnosis. Had an op to remove cysts and had Mirena coil fitted which has been great at controlling symptoms.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 08-Oct-12 11:50:44


Pill will mask symptoms but will do nothing to address the underlying cause of your pain.

Endometriosis is something that is very much underdiagnosed and not many GPs are aware of it fully.

Pandsbear Tue 09-Oct-12 13:56:20

I think you need to see your dr too. I had the stabbing shooting pains like I was being skewered by a long knitting needle, spotting throughout my cycle, etc etc and was also diagnosed with (and treated for) endometriosis after several years of being told it was 'just' period pains and that 'some women are unlucky and have worse periods after having a child' confused.

jollymary Tue 09-Oct-12 22:13:12

can I join in? Was about to start new thread.... have had terribly painful, quite heavy periods for at least 18 months now, in same way you describe. GP gave mefenamic acid, used to work but not any more. Had an ultrasound which showed lotsa cysts on each ovary. Periods are regular and only bad for around four days, but am now struggling to cope. Was considering a Mirena, but have googled, and was put off...Just really worried may get alot more migraines or anxiety or weight gain. Just don't know what to do. Would welcome any sage thoughts (but hope have not hijacked thread!!)

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 10-Oct-12 09:30:55


Mefenamic acid is often given to women in such cases, not really surprised to read that it does not unfortunately work any longer. It only treats the symptoms and not the cause. I would put a crisp £5 note on it that endometriosis is the root cause. It after all is the second most common gynae complaint seen in women after fibroids.

Cystic follicles on each ovary could be indicative of polycystic ovaries; this in itself would not cause the period pains you describe. Also an internal ultrasound would not detect any endometriosis as it is so very small. It is usually diagnosed through a keyhole surgery op called a laparoscopy.

Some GPs are pretty much ignorant when it comes to gynae issues anyway as it is outside their generalist remit. I would insist to the GP now that you are referred to a gynae cons asap. Do not take no for an answer or let the GP mess around in ignorance any longer.

In the meantime too keep a daily pain and symptom diary; this can also assist in further investigations. is a useful website.

Practicalpam Wed 10-Oct-12 09:56:08

Why were you put off Mirena?
I have fibroids and was having very heavy and long (12 days) periods so have had Mirena for 9 years now. Result is no bleeding at all and no period pain.
Can't say what that terrible pain is down to AuntFini, but you should def get it checked out ASAP.

ScaryBOOAlot Wed 10-Oct-12 10:43:38

Can I ask you all of you with endo - was it spotted immediately? I had a lapraoscopy in April, and a grapefruit sized cyst was removed from my left ovary. Also have a dozen small cysts on each ovary that they wouldn't do anything for. Since been diagnosed with PCOS.

Now everyone keeps saying that PCOS shouldn't / doesn't cause pain, but I am in agony, constantly. I also have ME / CFS so am used to being in pain, but for the last 18 months or so this has just got worse. Having the cyst removed made very little difference - possibly relieved a little bit of pressure internally, but neither I nor the doctors knew about the cyst before the op, so TBH I think once they found that, they focused on it, and didn't look for anything else. I was in surgery for a long time, it was more complicated than they expected it to be, and I nearly lost my ovary.

How many times did you have to keep going back to have anything done / be diagnosed with endo?

I'm seeing the gyne on the 25th again, mainly because I think my GP is sick of my moaning that I'm in pain and the pain killers aren't working wink Last time the gyne just tried to get me to take hormones for the PCOS which I don't want to do for several reasons.

Tamoo Wed 10-Oct-12 10:50:26

Mine wasn't spotted immediately, it took the best part of a year to get a diagnosis. I tried GP and Well Woman and they both gave me a patronising lecture about how period pains are normal. I felt like, OK, I've had periods for twenty years now, and these pains are not normal. I went back to GP and emphasised how incapacitating they were (and they literally were, I had to sit down in the street a couple of times, I simply couldn't walk and they were sudden and severe in onset). It was a locum GP that time who was fantastic and referred me for blood tests and a scan. It was the scan that picked up the cysts and I saw a specialist after that, then had an op scheduled.

Re. Mirena symptoms: if you read the advice leaflet that comes with it, it lists a whole bunch of symptoms, many of which are conflicting. Eg, you may gain weight, you may not; you may have heavier periods, your periods may disappear. (There was a thread about Mirena related weight gain on MN fairly recently, by the by.) Basically you won't know until you try it how your body will react, and it may take a few months for things to 'settle'. Fitting and removal are both simple procedures however.

ihatethecold Wed 10-Oct-12 11:15:11

I had the mirena for yrs and whilst I had no periods i did get bad pmt with.
I am now on a low dose pill and the pmt and pain has reduced greatly.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 10-Oct-12 12:44:19


Having read the account of your op, it seems that they got out of their depth very quickly.

Endometriosis often requires careful management along with highly skilled and vastly experienced gynaes (who also have up to date knowledge along with a specialist interest in this disease) to receive the best outcome. Some gynaes are far better than others when it comes to endometriosis and its management.

I was 31 when I was diagnosed and it was spotted immediately in surgery because a) the endo was extensive and all throughout my uterine cavity and b) he knew what to look for. I've had this disease since onset of menses at 14, I realise that now.

I would keep the appt on the 25th with a view to seeking a second opinion on your recent surgery.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 10-Oct-12 12:45:00 is a useful website.

ScaryBOOAlot Wed 10-Oct-12 13:10:55

Thanks Attila. The lap. was to look for endo, but as soon as they cut me open they found the large cyst. It also ruptured and was a dermatoid cyst, so had hair in it (sorry guys!!!). So yeah... Don't think it went to plan, really!

Pandsbear Wed 10-Oct-12 14:47:42

No endometriosis wasn't mentioned to start with - I had the usual 'these are just period pains' from two (different) GP appointments and the offer of a mirena coil to help with the disabling flooding I was also experiencing. I was 38 when I first went to the dr - after feeling generally for years that things were getting worse.

It took a third GP and 2 years to finally refer me for a scan where they found a mid-sized endometrioma and then about a month later I ended up with an emergency admission to the gynae ward via A&E when I collapsed at home. It took until then for me to hear the words 'likely endometriosis'. It had not been mentioned until then. Had a scheduled lap including excision surgery and removal of the endometrioma (and part of ovary) as the consultant was fully expecting to see endometriosis around my insides and went in with the expectation that he would be doing some (quite a lot it turned out) surgery.

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