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Topic Tuesday: I get cramping around a week before my period, then it goes away until my period actually comes. Is that normal?

There are many things that can cause cramping, and some have nothing to do with your menstrual cycle but sometimes it is hard to tell what is causing it!

The most common cause of cramping, other than your typical monthly period, is ovulation. Many women do not realize that they can feel it when they ovulate. Some women describe it as a “twinge” or pinch, while others describe a dull pain or cramping similar to period cramps. If you find that you are getting this cramping on a consistent schedule that coincides with your period, it is most likely ovulation pain.

Pregnancy can also cause mild cramping, especially when implantation occurs which is usually about a week before your expected period. In fact, many women confuse implantation cramping as a sign that their period is coming, assuming they are not pregnant, when in reality, it is a symptom of pregnancy. If you are farther along in pregnancy, cramping is also common as your uterus stretches and expands to fit your growing baby. While less common, cramping in pregnancy can also be a symptom of ectopic pregnancy.

Things related to digestion can also cause cramping than can be confused with uterine cramping such as the need to have a bowel movement, dehydration, constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.

If your cramping is not manageable, the good news is birth control can regulate your hormones and improve some of your symptoms and regularity. Mirena IUD is actually FDA approved to treat painful periods!

While cramping can be normal, it can also be a symptom of a serious health problem, so it is important that you come in for an exam if you are worried about your symptoms or if your symptoms are not normal for you. Some more serious issues that can cause cramping are:
• Ovarian Cysts
• Endometriosis
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
• Ovarian Cancer
• Uterine fibroids

Call (877) 883.7264 or visit fpawomenshealth.com to make an appointment online.

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