Feeling cramps and pain is never a pleasant event.
It's completely normal to have these symptoms, together with mood swings and headache, some days before periods.
Some women can also experience abdominal cramps in the middle of the cycle, when one of the ovaries releases an egg, giving a chance to get pregnant. This ovulation-related pain is also called “Mittelschmerz” (German word that means “middle” and “pain”).
But what's the matter of spasms and aching in the lower abdomen, which don’t have any connection with menses and ovulation?
Specialists say that these symptoms are rarely caused by serious diseases.
However sometimes it may be a sign of gynecologic, digestive or urinary disorders.
Depending on the main reason, cramps can be accompanied by nausea, dizziness, bloating and changes in bowel movements. In any case you shouldn't ignore any changes in your health. Consult with your doctor, if have any of these symptoms, or their combination.
Here is what can cause painful cramps in your pelvic area (besides periods):
#1. Uterine fibroids (myomas) – this noncancerous tumor can appear anywhere in the womb. Most women don't feel any discomfort, but the symptoms depend on location and size of the fibroid. Sometimes myomas may cause profuse menstrual bleeding, painful sensations in the belly, constipation and increased urge to urinate.
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#2. Ectopic pregnancy – fertilized egg can occasionally invade outside the normal place (the uterus). It may stay in fallopian tubes, in the ovary or in the cervix. Ectopic pregnancy can start like the normal one, but with time it results in unbearable cramps, abnormal bleeding from the private part and sharp pain. Be aware that this is medical emergency, which requires prompt intervention.
#3. Inflammatory bowel disease – some chronic digestive disorders, like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, may happen, when immune system attacks body's own digestive tract. This usually leads to changes in defecation, painful cramps, weight loss and extreme fatigue.
#4. Ovarian cyst – fluid-filled sacs may develop in the ovary and then go away, without causing any harm. But in some cases cyst may grow, pressing on the nerves, or rupture, giving you severe ache and spasms in the pelvis.
#5. Implantation – one or two weeks after conception, fertilized egg get normally implanted into the uterus. This may sometimes cause unpleasant sensations in the lower abdomen.
#6. Endometriosis – in this disorder, parts of your uterine lining spread anywhere out of their normal location. Women with endometriosis often complain of cramps, changes in bowel movements and painful intercourses.
#7. Urinary tract infection – if harmful agents penetrate into your urethra, bladder, ureters or kidneys, you may feel discomfort in the pelvic area, difficulty urination and frequent urge to go.
#8. Pelvic inflammatory disease – sexually transmitted infection cause inflammation in the reproductive organs that may be a reason for pain in the lower part of the belly, abnormal vaginal discharge, uncomfortable urination, fever and bloating.
#9. Cervical stenosis – the cervix normally connects your vagina to the womb. If this area becomes extremely narrow, you may feel pressure, tightness and cramps in the pelvis.
#10. Interstitial cystitis – chronic inflammatory process that affects the bladder, can make you experience soreness and spasms in the belly, especially when the bladder is full.
#11. Weakness of the pelvic muscles – while aging, muscles, which normally support the vagina, rectum, bladder and uterus, become weak. As a result, you may suffer from pain in the genital area, accompanied by burning during urination.
#12. Miscarriage – unfortunately, even if fertilized egg have reached the uterus, it's possible to lose unborn baby. The reasons may be different, but miscarriage symptoms are the same, as usual. Seek for medical help immediately, if you're pregnant and experience intense cramps, vaginal bleeding (or even light spotting) and lightheadedness.
#13. Ovarian cancer – it's not typical for malignancy to cause spasms. Moreover, in most cases ovarian cancer stays symptomless, till it comes to advanced stage. However when neoplasm becomes big enough, it can put pressure on the nerves, leading to painful feelings in the pelvis, constipation and frequent need to pee.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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