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Is It Normal To Cramp During Menopause

What Treatments Are Available

What happens to your periods & whats normal during menopause

If you havent completely gone through menopause and your cramps indicate that your periods are tapering off, you can treat them as you would period cramps. Your doctor might recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen .

Warmth can also help soothe your discomfort. Try putting a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen. You can also try exercise if you are not in too much pain. Walking and other physical activities help relieve discomfort as well as ease stress, which tends to make cramps worse.

When your cramps are caused by endometriosis or uterine fibroids, your doctor might recommend a medicine to relieve symptoms. Surgery can also be an option to remove the fibroid or endometrial tissue thats causing you pain.

How cancer is treated depends on its location and stage. Doctors often use surgery to remove the tumor and chemotherapy or radiation to kill cancer cells. Sometimes, doctors also use hormone medicines to slow the growth of cancer cells.

How Do Cramps All Month Occur

The cramps that you experience perimenopause are linked to your hormone levels. Hormones such as prostaglandins are released by the glands that line your uterus. It is due to these hormones that cause your uterus to contract during your period, which worsens the cramps if their levels get higher.

When the estrogen level is high, you will produce more prostaglandins and those levels often increase during perimenopause.

If youre having cramps but no period, you should check with your doctor to find out why this is happening. Keep on reading for some of the most common reasons for perimenopause cramps all month.

Causes Of Pelvic Pain

Usually, pelvic pain is not caused by a serious disorder. It is often related to the menstrual cycle. However, several disorders that cause pelvic pain can lead to peritonitis , which is a serious disorder.

Disorders that can cause pelvic pain include

  • Gynecologic disordersthose that affect the reproductive organs

  • Disorders that affect other organs in the pelvis, such as the bladder, rectum, or appendix

  • Disorders that affect organs near but outside the pelvis, such as the abdominal wall, intestine, kidneys, ureters, or lower part of the aorta

Often, doctors cannot identify what is causing pelvic pain.

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What Does Unhealthy Discharge Look Like

People who have passed menopause may develop vaginal atrophy because of the drop in estrogen levels, which causes the walls of the vagina to become thinner.

Vaginal atrophy can sometimes cause vaginal discharge, especially after something, such as sexual contact, has irritated the vagina.

If discharge appears thin, watery, and yellow or gray, it might indicate a rise in alkalinity and an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. These bacteria can lead to infections and inflammation of the vagina.

People with bacterial infections of the vagina whitish, cheese-like vaginal discharge that has a foul, fish-like smell.

Yeast infections are another cause of unhealthy vaginal discharge, but they are

If a person is concerned about their vaginal discharge and whether or not it indicates a problem, they may benefit from speaking with a doctor.

Bad-smelling vaginal discharge that appears yellow or gray could indicate an infection.

A doctor may collect a sample to test the bacteria present in the discharge. Not all bacterial infections of the vagina will require treatment.

Healthcare providers can offer various treatments for vaginal infections and vaginal atrophy, which are two possible causes of vaginal discharge around menopause.

People can treat bacterial vaginosis with antibiotics. Treatments for yeast infections include antifungal creams or ointments.

Some treatment options for vaginal atrophy include:

Further Reading On This Topic

Is Pain and Cramping During Your Period Normal?
Dr. Killoran has a private practice and is also a health coach at drkatemd.com. Your Doctors Online offers a free 7 day trial: Ask a doctor questions and get answers in minutes from anywhere 24/7. Learn more here.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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What Does Menopausal Joint Pain Feel Like

Menopausal joint pain is often at its worst in the morning when joints are stiff from disuse overnight. As the day progresses and movement increases, your pain may lessen because the joints are loosening up. Joints that are frequently affected during menopause are the neck, jaw, shoulders, and elbows, through the wrists and fingers may also experience some pain. The discomfort is characterized by stiffness, swelling, shooting pains, and even a burning sensation after working out.

Dealing With A Menopause Upset Stomach Look After Your Microbiome

All along the intestine, theres a multitude of bacterial activity collectively known as the microbiome. Getting the right type of friendly bacteria in your microbiome supports gut function and the maintenance of bowel regularity, thereby playing a key role in keeping a menopause upset stomach at bay.

These friendly bacteria even produce B-vitamins which get absorbed into the body, contributing to a normal energy-yielding metabolism required for all physiological functions and activities of the body, including exercise.

Importantly, some of the B-vitamins, such as B6 and B2, help to support hormone balance.

As any woman going through the menopause will be able to tell you, the sugar cravings can drive you to distraction. It can be challenging to get the right foods on board.

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Menopause Upset Stomach And Anxiety Stress And Tension Theyre Linked

Oestrogen keeps the stress hormone cortisol in check when this sex hormone runs low during the menopause, blood pressure rises and your digestion slows down. Without oestrogen’s calming effect, adrenaline levels can rise, which switches off digestive functioning. The result: stomach pains, acid reflux, abdominal cramps, constipation, bloating and sluggish bowel.

Increased anxiety is a very common symptom of the menopause, as is a tendency to get flustered during stressful or high-pressure situations. You may get a sense or feeling that you just arent able to cope as well as you used to be able to.

Tension can leave your stomach feeling in knots.

Theres an inextricable link between the gut and the brain, so if youve got a menopause upset stomach, its certainly worth checking in on your tension levels. Again, this is down to hormones.

Hot flushes, a quintessential menopausal symptom, can also sometimes feel quite overwhelming. For many women, these progress into panic attacks. The direct link between our mind and our tummy means that any worries, stress or anxiety are mirrored in your stomach, with muscles in the gut becoming tense.

Fortunately, there are always steps we can take to look after our mental health when lifes stressful situations threaten to get the better of us.

Consider exploring a course of cognitive behavioural therapy , joining up with a local meditation group or treating yourself to regular relaxation massages perhaps even all of these!

How Are Severe Menstrual Cramps Treated

Heavy bleeding during perimenopause / menopause

When the usual home remedies to relieve period cramps are no match for your cramps, an OB-GYN can help you find relief from the pain. The most common treatments for severe menstrual cramps are:

  • Hormonal birth control methods If your menstrual cramps are caused by a hormone imbalance, your doctor might recommend using a hormonal birth control. In addition to preventing pregnancy, taking hormonal birth control can help correct the levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body, which effects the thickness of the uterine lining. Thinning the uterine lining can reduce prostaglandin and bring pain relief. Some birth control methods can cause women to skip their periods, eliminating cramps altogether.
  • Prescription medication When over-the-counter medicines dont work, your doctor might prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These medicines are much stronger than similar ones youll find over-the-counter. They can significantly reduce prostaglandins in your uterus, which might thin the uterine lining and alleviate cramps. Prescription medication is used when a woman experiences severe, chronic cramps.

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Treatments For Perimenopause Aches And Pains

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to support the reduction of cramps and provide relief from the pain.

Lifestyle

  • Take a warm shower or relax in a hot bath.

  • Place a hot water bottle on your stomach. Evidence suggests topical heat may be as effective at mitigating menstrual cramps as ibuprofen .

  • The NHS recommends gentle exercise, such as swimming or walking, to ease period pain . According to recent research, low-impact aerobic exercise may help to mitigate the pain caused by abdominal cramps .

  • Gently massage your lower belly. Emerging data purports acupressure may provide some relief for menstrual discomfort . In particular, one study reported that rubbing circles on your calf, just above the ankle, may ease period pain .

  • Practise relaxation techniques, like deep belly breathing, yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi, as stress may intensify cramps .

Nutrition

  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which may cause the vessels leading to the uterus to tighten. Try switching to tea for the first few days of your period.

  • Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol skews hormone regulation, which can exacerbate abdominal cramps .

  • Studies reveal foods rich in saturated fat, like fatty cuts of meat and dairy, may exacerbate period pain due to their role in inflammation .

  • Theres some evidence to suggest supplementing with a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 may support the reduction of discomfort .

Gut Feelings Our Hormone Levels Can Cause Menopause Digestion Problems

Oestrogen tends to stimulate the muscle that lines the length of the intestine progesterone has a more relaxing effect. This causes a natural equilibrium. However, during the menopause, our hormone levels change and oestrogen levels drop, disrupting this natural rhythm.

The result: indigestion, bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhoea.

Naturally, you may think that your sex hormones are only active within your reproductive area. However, researchers have discovered that cells in the intestine lining also have receptor sites for oestrogen and progesterone.

What this means the hormones normally regulating your menstrual cycle also have an impact on your digestion.

When oestrogen levels drop, the natural rhythm in the gut can be disrupted. This has the potential to affect the movement of food and waste products.

The result: indigestion, bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhoea. The menopause, water retention and bloating often go hand-in-hand. For some women, this can become a more persistent and prominent health concern.

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What Is Uterine Cancer

Uterine cancer is a general term that describes cancers of the uterus, or womb:

  • Endometrial cancer develops in the endometrium, the inner lining of the uterus. Its one of the most common gynecologic cancers cancers affecting a womans reproductive system.
  • Uterine sarcoma develops in the myometrium, the muscle wall of the uterus. Uterine sarcomas are very rare.

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How Can You Alleviate Perimenopausal Symptoms

What Can You Expect From Your Periods Before You Enter The ...

Some women deal with the symptoms of perimenopause, and some women seek treatment for specific health concerns. Women with heavy bleeding, periods that last longer than seven days, spotting between periods or cycles that are less than 21 days should contact a doctor.

Typically, perimenopause is a gradual transition, and no particular test indicates what is happening to the body. Hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen treatments and antidepressants can help treat perimenopausal symptoms.

Start by identifying what’s bothering you most and then working with your doctor to address it. There are steps you can take to feel better. Lifestyle changes that can make a big impact in easing perimenopausal symptoms and improving your overall health include:

  • Yoga

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Menopause And Joint Pain: What Is The Connection

Joint pain often occurs at the same time as menopause and it affects many women. While there is no clear reason for these achy and swollen joints, some doctors believe it may be due to falling estrogen levels. Estrogen is thought to protect joints and reduce inflammation, and when these levels drop during menopause, inflammation can increase or cause joint pain.

To learn what menopausal joint pain feels like, what the connection between menopause and joint pain is, and how to relieve menopausal joint pain, continue reading.

Is Increased Period Pain Normal

If your periods start to come closer together or last longer, you can end up with an iron deficiency. Low iron levels can cause quite a few health issues, so this is something that you need to watch for if you’ve had more than a couple of periods that went on for a little longer than usual or were a little bit heavier.When you start to miss periods, it’s because your estrogen is not getting high enough each month to trigger a period. But there is still a build-up in the lining of the uterus, and when you finally do have a period, your uterus starts shedding that lining, potentially causing spasms, cramping and pain.

Other symptoms can be a factor too. Once your estrogen levels start to fall, you might start missing periods. Lower estrogen levels can also increase your pain perception, so you feel more pain than normal.

What can also happen is that, as your estrogen starts to change, so can the amount of magnesium you absorb, especially if you’re not already getting enough from your diet. Low magnesium levels will contribute to stomach cramping accompanied by uterine cramping when you get your period.

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Are Periods More Painful In Perimenopause

We do get this question a lot. As your periods start to change, other things can happen too. A lot of women start to get confused about whether things are okay, whether they’re supposed to happen, or whether something is wrong with them.

Period changes during perimenopause

Perimenopause is when your periods start to change as you approach menopause. At this point, your periods can come closer together, become longer or heavier, or they can do the complete opposite: they can start coming irregularly or further apart, or they can get lighter. You might even find you’re having only one period every three months or so.While all of these issues are normal, they can affect how you feel and also cause a lot of pelvic discomfort.

Perimenopause Period Pains Bloating & More

Is it normal to feel like this during menopause?

Are you nearing menopause, yet occasionally experience symptoms as if you were menstruating, such as period type cramps or bloating? Its not actually that uncommon and its definitely nothing to worry about unless you are experiencing ongoing pain or you have an underlying health issue.

As you enter perimenopause, , you might notice that you are getting menstrual cramps without actually having a period. Again, this is very common and you might also experience other symptoms such as breast tenderness or changes in emotions. At this point your body is still going through a monthly cycle, but you might not have enough hormones to result in a bleed.

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Treatments For Menstrual Cramps Without A Period

Many of the same pain relievers used to treat strong cramps during your period, such as ibuprofen, can also treat menstrual cramps you may feel without your period. In many cases, this medication may be all that you need.

If your cramps have a deeper underlying cause, such as endometriosis, your treatment will depend on your age, how severe your symptoms are, and how much the disease has progressed. Most therapies will be as noninvasive as possible, but surgical intervention may be needed if your symptoms are serious and persistent.

When To Get Help

If cramps are impacting your life, you should see your doctor for alternative treatments and to rule out other causes. Your doctor can prescribe low-dose birth control pills or a progesterone IUD like Mirena, which can reduce bleeding and pain.

If your pain is due to other culprits, such as uterine fibroids, polyps, gastrointestinal problems, or issues with your pelvic floor muscles, your doctor can determine an appropriate treatment plan. You should also see your doctor, if you have gone more than 12 months without a period and then you have bleeding.

Many women are concerned about ovarian cancer when they experience pelvic pain, but that pain is different. First, ovarian cancer is called the silent killer, because there isnt much pain until the disease has progressed. Second, this pain is likely to be more constant and severe and is commonly associated with decreased appetite and severe abdominal bloating.

Its always good to exercise caution. If youre concerned about the pain youre feeling, make an appointment with your doctorthey can help you find relief and peace of mind!

Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

Home And Natural Remedies

  • zataria
  • zinc sulphate

That said, the evidence is very limited. Supplements can sometimes have side effects or interact with medicines you take, so you should always check with your doctor before adding them to your routine.

You can also try these home remedies:

  • Put a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen. Research finds that heat is as effective for relieving cramps as ibuprofen .
  • Massage your belly. Gentle pressure can offer some relief from the pain.
  • Practice stress-reducing techniques, like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. found that period pain was twice as common in women who were stressed out than in women with low stress. Stress can also make the cramps you have more severe.

Some Of The Most Common Reasons For Cramps During Menopause

Cramps During Menopause Symptoms Swelling Uterus ...

As mentioned, there are a number of reasons why you might experience what seems like menstrual cramps even though youve reached menopause. As you can can see, some of these conditions are very serious, so if you experience cramping or pelvic pain during menopause, you should seek advice from your doctor.

#1: Fibroids

These are small growths that grown in the walls of the uterus. The good news is that theyre usually not cancerous. The bad news is that they can cause cramps or pressure in the pelvic, even after your periods have stopped.

#2: Endometriosis

This is a condition where uterine tissue grows in other parts of the body. Its most common in people between 30 and 40, but it can happen during perimenopause or menopause as well. You may experience pain that resembles period cramps, even though you no longer have periods.

Note: if youre using hormone replacement therapy to minimize the effects of changing hormones, it may actually make this condition worse.

#3: Chronic Constipation

If you commonly experience pelvic pain, you may suffer from constipation. Its officially defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. In addition, they might be hard, dry or lumpy.

Some of the most common causes include a low fiber diet , lack of exercise or certain medications and medical conditions.

#4: Ovarian and Uterine Cancers

Cancers of the reproductive organs may cause abdominal pain or cramping. Older people are at a higher risk of developing them.

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