Have you experienced severe menstrual cramps? These are some of the common symptoms of menstrual cycles. Studies show that 80% of women experience menstruation-related pain during their lives. The amount of pain can vary significantly. However, it’s important to deal with it effectively so it’s easier to live with the symptoms. If you experience cramps after menopause it’s also important to know what the causes are. There are various possible other causes since you’re not having a monthly period then. They can include a wide range of causes ranging from constipation to cancer. Like other health conditions, it’s important to find out what’s causing the cramps you can start using an effective treatment.
Menopause is defined by not having a menstrual cycle for 12 months in a row. Like other symptoms, there’s a chance you could still have cramps after starting menopause. There are various causes including constipation, growths, and some kinds of cancer. The seriousness of the cramps can vary from mild to severe. So it’s critical to know the possible causes after you enter the new life stage known as menopause. In some situations, the causes are still related to parts of the reproductive system. However, in other cases, they’re unrelated to such parts.
What Are Severe Menstrual Cramps?
The technical term for this condition is “dysmenorrhea.” It’s caused by contractions of the uterus. There are two main types. “Primary” dysmenorrhea is related to basic menstrual cramps. Meanwhile, “secondary” dysmenorrhea is related to disorders related to reproductive organs. The good news is there are treatments for both kinds of menstrual cramps.
Dysmenorrhea refers to pain that happens during menstrual cycles. Primary dysmenorrhea is a common type of period cramps that keep returning and other diseases don’t cause them. The pain typically starts ½ days before or during menstrual bleeding.
This pain happens in the lower stomach, thighs, or back. It can range from minor to severe and usually lasts up to 3three days. There are some other side-effects including fatigue, nausea/vomiting, and LBM. These cramps usually decrease as a woman becomes older and might stop completely if a woman gives birth.
Then there’s secondary dysmenorrhea. This is caused by reproductive organ issues. Some examples include infection and growth. These cramps typically start earlier than common cramps then last longer. Another difference is usually there aren’t symptoms like fatigue, vomiting, nausea, and LBM.
Menstrual cramps result from a tightening of the uterus muscle. It’s technically due to a chemical known as “prostaglandin.” During the menstrual cycle the uterus contracts. Then the uterus contracts more during menstruation.
However, sometimes there’s too much contraction. When that happens the uterus can push against blood vessels. This cuts oxygen supplies to the uterus’ muscle tissue. When this happens it results in muscle cramps/pain.
Meanwhile, Secondary dysmenorrhea results from female reproductive organs getting diseased. There are various conditions that can cause this symptom. They include non-cancerous tumors, inflammation, and others. It’s helpful to know the various causes of this condition.
Dysmenorrhea can cause various symptoms including:
- Pressure in abdomen
- Pain in hips, thighs, and back
- Abdominal pain
Top Causes of Menopausal Cramps
After going through menopause it’s possible to still experience cramps, which can be caused by various factors. Menopause is the health condition in which a woman doesn’t have a menstrual cycle for 12 months in a row. It usually happens between the ages of 45 to 55.
There are various symptoms women might experience when going through this condition including:
- Vaginal dryness
- Problems sleeping
- Low sex drive
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
After starting menopause it’s still possible to have cramps. There are various possible causes including:
This condition involves uterus tissues starting to grow in other regions like surrounding the ovaries. This condition is most common among women between 30 to 40 years old. However, sometimes post-menopausal women can still experience the symptoms.
Some common symptoms include:
- Pain during/after sex
- Pelvic pain
- Lower back pain
Sometimes this condition can also affect a person’s emotional state and cause feelings like depression. Sometimes treatments like hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can make the pain worse.
This is another condition that might cause menopausal cramps. This is an infection that happens in the digestive tract. It can cause abdominal/pelvic cramps. Other possible symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and LBM. Possible causes of this condition include viral infections including food poisoning and stomach flu.
These are small growths that can appear in the wall of the uterus. The growths are usually non-cancerous. It’s possible to have these growths after menopause. In most cases, the fibroids shrink after starting it. However, sometimes there are still some symptoms like cramps or pelvic pressure.
Severe constipation is another common cause of cramping. This condition is defined by having less than 3 bowel movements weekly. There also might be features of the stool that can make things difficult for the patient. You should contact your doctor if you have severe symptoms.
Natural Foods for Menopausal Symptoms
These plant-based estrogen sources might help to boost levels of hormones like estrogen. The chemical compounds can copy estrogen’s effects on the body. There’s some debate about whether such foods are effective in boosting estrogen levels. However, some studies show they might help to balance hormones.
There are various options including soybeans, sesame seeds, tofu, and beans. Make sure to go with whole foods. When there’s more processing it reduces the levels of plant-based estrogens.
These foods can help to deal with various menopausal conditions. They’re low-calorie and can help to provide various benefits like full feeling. Fruits/veggies can also help with controlling weight and weight loss.
Studies might also help to prevent various health conditions. They include type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Fruits and veggies are loaded with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants.
Eating protein during the day can help to lower the risk of muscle breakdown that takes place due to age. For example, one study discovered that eating protein during each meal might slow down age-related muscle loss.
It’s important to consume enough water to deal with menopause symptoms. A good guideline is 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. It’s believed this amount can help with menstrual symptoms. H2o can also help with bloating due to hormone changes. The water can also help prevent weight gain.
These are important nutrients to increase during menopause. It can help to prevent weaker bones and a higher risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D and calcium are both linked to good teeth/bone health. So it’s critical to increase your intake of foods like dairy, leafy greens, and some fortified foods like fruit juice and cereals.
You can also boost your Vitamin D by spending some time outdoors. Studies show that the best method is 15 minutes around noon without sunscreen to help prevent severe menstrual cramps.