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Intensifying Cramps: How to Act?

Many women experience cramps near or during their menstrual period, which is perfectly normal. There may also be slight cramping associated with the implantation of a fertilized egg within the uterine lining. In either of these cases, whether this sensation is due to menstruation or pregnancy, these spasms are usually mild rather than severe or intense. However, in certain instances a woman may experience intensifying cramps, which have no real explanation. This could be cause for concern, as there may be the possibility that an underlying medical condition exists. When cramps become intense, cause severe pain, or are accompanied by unusual bleeding, medical attention should be sought.

Understanding Implantation Cramping

Implantation typically occurs within six to twelve days after ovulation, which means it usually takes place a few days before a woman might expect her regular menstrual period. Slight bleeding may accompany implantation, along with mild cramping. The fertilized egg, which at this stage is known as a blastocyst, attaches itself to the endometrial lining of the uterus. It` s a reason for this strange feeling. As this happens, it causes mild irritation to the lining of the uterus which can result in a small amount of blood. Along with this, a woman may experience some light cramping. It is thought that about twenty to thirty percent of women experience these early signs of pregnancy, while the majority of women do no or at least do not notice them to any real extent.

Many women experience cramps near or during their menstrual period, which is perfectly normal. There may also be slight cramping associated with the implantation of a fertilized egg within the uterine lining. In either of these cases, whether this sensation is due to menstruation or pregnancy, these spasms are usually mild rather than severe or intense. However, in certain instances a woman may experience intensifying cramps, which have no real explanation. This could be cause for concern, as there may be the possibility that an underlying medical condition exists. When cramps become intense, cause severe pain, or are accompanied by unusual bleeding, medical attention should be sought.

Understanding Implantation Cramping

Implantation typically occurs within six to twelve days after ovulation, which means it usually takes place a few days before a woman might expect her regular menstrual period. Slight bleeding may accompany implantation, along with mild cramping. The fertilized egg, which at this stage is known as a blastocyst, attaches itself to the endometrial lining of the uterus. It` s a reason for this strange feeling. As this happens, it causes mild irritation to the lining of the uterus which can result in a small amount of blood. Along with this, a woman may experience some light cramping. It is thought that about twenty to thirty percent of women experience these early signs of pregnancy, while the majority of women do no or at least do not notice them to any real extent.

What Normal Cramps Feel Like

The cramping that may occur during implantation should not be painful or severe, and the bleeding should be very scant. None of these symptoms should increase in intensity or last very long. In most cases both implantation bleeding and cramping last anywhere from a few hours to one-two days maximum.

As far as menstrual cramps go, every woman feels different. Some may not experience cramping at all during the time before or during their period. Some women may have mild cramps, while others get fairly uncomfortable spasms every month. Some describe normal menstrual cramping as a constant pain in the lower abdomen; others feel them as an intermittent pain or dull aches, while others only experience pain in their backs. Cramps before periods generally lessen when menstruation begins, and cramps during menstruation usually become milder after the first day or two of the period.

How to Distinguish Implantation Cramps from Other Cramps

If a women is wondering if her cramps are being caused by implantation, there are a few ways to help to rule them out or to confirm them. Firstly, mind the timing. If the woman regularly keeps track of her periods, she will likely know when her next period should start and have a general idea as to when she might ovulate during her cycle. By doing the math and recalling if she’s had unprotected sex shortly before or around the time of ovulation, this might give some very good clues. Keep in mind, not all birth control methods are 100% reliable, so there might still be a possibility of pregnancy even if birth control was used.

If the cramping occurs along with scant bleeding that may be slightly darker than usual menstrual bleeding and if it only lasts between a few hours and a couple of days, and then stops, these could be good indicators that the cramps are connected with implantation. If these cramps are occurring six to twelve days after the expected time of ovulation, and if they are experienced about a week before an expected period, this could be implantation as well. Generally at this stage of pregnancy, it is still too early to confirm with a home pregnancy test, but look for other signs as well. Are there other early symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, breast tenderness? If so, this could be indicative of implantation.

When to Be Concerned or Seek Medical Assistance

In cases of suspected implantation cramps and/or bleeding, if a woman experiences intensifying cramps, she may be dealing with something else. In some cases, a woman might actually be pregnant with what is known as a tubal pregnancy. This is when a fertilized egg attaches itself to something other than the uterus. More often this type of pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tube, but it can occur elsewhere. No matter where it is located, there is no possible way for the embryo to develop further, and if not taken care of, it could endanger the life of the mother. Seek medical help immediately in cases of extreme cramping or bleeding by calling 911 if needed. In other cases, intensifying cramping might be caused from an early miscarriage. Mostly, this might just be dismissed as an early period with especially heavy flow and cramping. Consult your health care provider if you are concerned or if you suspect you may have been pregnant.

Dealing with Intensifying Cramps During Menstruation

Many women experience the lower abdominal spasms, sharp pains, aches, or back pains during PMS or menstrual periods. Painful periods may affect some women to the point where they have to miss school or work a couple of days per month. This is known as Primary dysmenorrhea and there is usually no other underlying medical cause for the pain and cramping. These cases are thought to be due to the body reacting to increased levels of prostaglandin during this time.

In other cases of Secondary dysmenorrhea, a woman, who has had normal periods before, but over time has felt intensified cramping in several cycles, could be suffering from an underlying medical condition. Possible causes could be Endometriosis, Fibroid tumors, use of an IUD (intrauterine device), pelvic inflammatory disease, stress, anxiety, or even a sexually transmitted disease. Seek medical attention if symptoms continue, as prescription medication or other medical care may be needed to treat the condition.

Simple home remedies can be used to relieve the pain of intense cramping. Using a heating pad on the lower abdomen or massaging the lower abdominal area can help a lot. Eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and drinking warm beverages may bring relief. A warm shower or bath may help, as well as taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen. Before taking any medication, make sure to consult with a doctor or at least with a pharmacist. Regular exercising or walking may also help reduce the intensity of cramps. Relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga may also bring relief for you.

Conclusion

In addition to implantation cramping or painful menstrual periods, a woman may also experience slight spasms during the time of ovulation, known as Mittelschmerz (meaning a mid-cycle pain). This feeling typically subsides within a few hours. Either you experience normal menstrual cramps or mild implantation cramps they are almost never cause for alarm. However, take care of yourself as much as possible. If ever you are concerned about the severity of intensifying cramps, seek the advice of a qualified health care professional.

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