Menstrual Pains

Cramps and pelvic pain with menstruation, with common causes such as heavy flow, passing clots, uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

Menstrual cramps can have causes that aren’t due to underlying disease. Examples include normal periods, heavy periods, wind or constipation.

Taking pain medication such as ibuprofen, naproxen or paracetamol may help to relieve menstrual cramps and pain. Using a heating pad may also help.


  • See a doctor immediately if you
  • Bleed heavily, soaking through one pad or tampon every hour or two
  • Experience changes to your bleeding pattern
  • Make an appointment to see a doctor if you
  • Are older than 25 and haven’t had cramps before
  • Get more severe cramping than usual
  • Have symptoms that interfere with work or other tasks

Menstruation occurs when the uterus sheds its lining once a month. Some pain, cramping, and discomfort during menstrual periods is normal. Excessive pain that causes you to miss work or school is not. Painful menstruation is also called dysmenorrhea. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs in people who experience pain before and during menstruation. If you’ve had normal periods that become painful later in life, it may be secondary dysmenorrhea. A condition affecting the uterus or other pelvic organs, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids, can cause this.