As your period winds down every month, you probably look forward to feeling better, with no discomfort, especially not cramps. But what happens if you still have cramps after your period is over?
Some women experience cramping for up to TWO weeks after their period flow has stopped. Having menstrual cramps when you period is over isn’t any fun, but they are not usually a cause for concern.
Why do you have cramping after your period?
There are actually quite a few reasons why you may experience cramps after your period has ended. They include:
1. Birth Control Devices
If you have an intrauterine birth control device, especially if it was recently inserted, this can cause cramps after periods. These plastic devices are small, and prevent sperm from reaching and fertilizing an egg, to prevent a pregnancy.
Some women who have had these devices inserted have complained of cramps up to three months after insertion. The pain is due to the time it takes the uterus to adjust to that foreign device. They aren’t menstrual cramps, but they feel like them.
Ovulation is a common cause of cramps following periods. It occurs when the egg comes from the ovaries. It doesn’t usually cause pain, but some women have pelvic pain and cramps two weeks or so after their period, when they ovulate.
This pain is different than menstrual pain. It may be felt as a sharp and pulsing pain on just one side, or it could show up as a dull ache on either side.
This condition affects the tissue in the endometrial gland. If you suffer from this disorder, the tissues grow abnormally and this leads to symptoms that include cramping after periods, abnormal uterine bleeding, heavy menstruation and blood clots.
This condition involves the uterine tissue growing outside the uterus. It may grow in the ovaries, or in other areas. This causes pain that is similar to cramps. These growths do not slough off like uterine tissue usually does, although they do break and then bleed like typical tissue of the uterus during your cycle.
If you have endometriosis, you likely experience constant cramps in the pelvic area, and you will notice them more during your periods. When the tissue outside the uterus heals, it can damage organs nearby, which also causes pain and severe bloating.
5. Ovarian Cysts
Cysts develop in the ovaries because of a variety of issues. They cause severe pain. They can even lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility.
6. Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors growing in the smooth muscle tissues of the uterus. In addition to causing pain after your periods, they can also cause irregular bleeding, increase weight in the area of the waistline and frequent urination.
7. Pelvic Inflammation Disease (PID)
Any infection caused by bacteria in the fallopian tubes, ovaries or uterus may cause you to experience cramps after your period. The infection can also cause scarring of the tissue, and even infertility. The symptoms most often experiences are fever, irregular menstrual bleeding and abnormal vaginal discharge.
Other Reasons for Cramping after your Period
There are other types of body issues that may cause cramps or cramps with spotting, after your period.
1. Hormonal Imbalance
If your hormones are not properly balanced, your body will change rapidly. Cramping and irregular periods are signs of hormonal imbalances.
2. Incapacity of the Uterus
Your uterus should expel all of its blood and detritus by the time your period ends. If there is still blood in your body, it still must be expelled, even if it’s after your normal period. This can cause cramping and spotting in many cases.
3. Uterine Cysts
Cysts may form in the tissue of the uterus. This causes post-menstrual cramping and bleeding.
4. Conventional (non-device) Birth Control
If you take birth control medications, you may notice bleeding or spotting after your period has ended. This is caused by changes in hormone levels.
If you are trying to become pregnant, an implantation may have occurred. When that happens, the lining of the uterus can shed and cause light bleeding that lasts for one to two days. Sharp pains or stomach cramps may accompany implantation.
6. Other Diseases
Major issues with your health, like thyroid issues or cancer, can cause your body’s natural menstrual cycle to fluctuate. This can cause bad cramps or abdominal pain following your period.
Dealing with Cramps after Period
When you’re not sure what causes cramps after your period, speak with your physician if you have worries about the cause. You can also deal with cramping in these ways:
1. Home Remedies
There are some measures of care you can do at home, for pain reduction. They include:
• Taking warm showers for relief
• Drinking warm beverages
• Using a heating pad at the source of pain
• Using relaxation techniques for discomfort
Persistent cramping or pain after your period may signify serious problems in your reproductive system. Appropriate medication will give you some relief. Don’t try to ignore the pain; discuss it with your physician, to make sure it isn’t a serious problem.
Your physician may prescribe combinations of
• Hormonal birth control pills
• Hormone therapy
If the reason for your pain is a cyst or sac filled with fluid, your physician may refer you to a surgeon, to relieve your pain. The treatment plan your physician sets up will be dependent on the cause of the pain and your symptoms.