Painful Periods


Feeling pain before or during your menstrual period is very common. More than half of women and girls with periods have some pain for 1 to 2 days each month. During your period, your uterus contracts. Your uterus also releases natural chemicals called prostaglandins. These chemicals can cause cramps.

Symptoms related to painful periods can include:

  • Muscle cramps in your lower belly or back
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • If pain during your period is severe, you also may have trouble sleeping.

Period pain also can be caused by medical conditions, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Cysts in the ovaries
  • Adenomyosis
  • Fibroids

Period pain that is caused by a medical condition may get worse over time. No matter if your period pain is mild or severe, you can ask your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn); or other health care professional for help. Period pain can cause you to miss school or work, or it can disrupt your everyday activities. It is especially important to get help if your pain is severe, feels worse than usual, or is making your life hard every month.

Information gathered from