Period cramps have several different names, but they all refer to the same painful feeling experienced in the lower abdomen that is felt before or during the menstrual period. There are different kinds of pains that we can refer to ranging from dull pain to extreme pain.

What causes menstrual cramps?

During every month the lining of the uterus is built in order to nourish a possible fetus in case of a pregnancy. If during that month the egg is not fertilized, there will be no pregnancy and so the lining isn’t needed anymore.

The progesterone and estrogen levels decrease, the lining becomes swollen and it sheds, so that it will be rebuilt in the next month.

What Causes Menstrual CrampsThe period pain is caused by the contractions of the uterus’ muscles that are forced to contract by molecular compounds known as prostaglandins. If the muscles contract, they decrease the blood supply of the endometrium.

This way there is no oxygen transported to the tissue, and so the tissue breaks down.

The period cramps are meant to help you get rid of this tissue that sheds after it dies. Through the contractions it is squeezed out of the uterus. It is transported through the cervix and led through the vagina with the menstrual fluid.

There are some other substances as well that have a role to play in period pains like the leukotriene that have a word to say in the inflammation responses. During this time their level is quite high and they can be linked to the presence of these cramps.

Why are the cramps painful?

Now that you know what causes menstrual cramps, you should know why they can cause so much pain. As it has been mentioned before, the contractions are caused by the contractions of the uterus.

The pain that you experience can be made worse in case there is a piece of the lining trapped in the cervix. This happens quite often in case the cervical canal is narrow.

Why is some period pain less painful than the others?

According to the specialists the level of pain can be connected to the prostaglandin levels. Those women who experience higher levels of pain have a higher prostaglandin level in the lining of the uterus than the women who experience less pain.

It is interesting to know about period cramps that the pain that you experience during these cramps is similar to the ones that the pregnant women experience in case they are given prostaglandin in order to start labor.

Symptoms of period pain

Although you might think that pain is the only symptom, you should know that there could be some other symptoms linked as well. The most common symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen, pain in the thighs and the lower back, vomiting, nausea, sweating, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bloating and lightheadedness.

Now you know what causes menstrual cramps and some associated information so that you will know what to expect when you are faced with the situation.