Cramps After Period: 10 Reasons & 4 Ways to Ease

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cramps after period

Your period has ended, but the pain still persists. For some women, they can have cramping 2 weeks after period blood has stopped. Menstrual cramps after a period are not fun, but they usually aren’t a reason for concern.

Why Am I Cramping after My Period?

There are several causes for cramps after your period. Many of them are natural, and may be due to increased sensitivity.

Ovulation Pain

Some women may or may not know when they are ovulating, but it’s a normal part of most regular menstrual cycles. Cramps while ovulating will often be a dull pain and will only be noticeable on one side of the abdomen.

This pain may come and go and might feel very sharp at times. Ovulation cramps can last anywhere from just a couple of minutes to a few days. It’s also common to have vaginal discharge or bleeding during this time.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a very painful condition that can cause constant abdominal discomfort and cramps. It occurs when your uterine tissue is growing on the outside of the uterus. Pain from endometriosis can occur any time before, during and after your period.

Cramping and discomfort may also be present during and/or after intercourse, bowel movements, or urination. People with endometriosis may experience:

  • Very heavy menstruation
  • Painful ovulation
  • Lower back and abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Adenomyosis

This causes the walls of the uterus to become thick and may lead to heavy, clotted bleeding as well as prolonged and increased cramping. A doctor would be able to diagnose Adenomyosis and might prescribe medication, or, in worse cases, hysterectomy.

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy happens when an embryo or fertilized egg attaches to an area outside of the uterus. While this type of pregnancy begins like a normal pregnancy, severe pain and cramping may occur.

Along with pain, a woman experiencing an ectopic pregnancy may also have shoulder pain, lightheadedness and heavy bleeding. Not only that, but it’s also possible for a fallopian tube to rupture. An ectopic pregnancy needs to be treated as a medical emergency.

Uterine Fibroids

It’s possible for the uterus to develop growths. These fibroids are noncancerous and vary in size and location. The size, location and how many of these fibroids have grown will influence how severe the symptoms may be. Besides painful cramping, symptoms also include:

  • Irregular bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Leg and back pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Prolonged or heavy menstruation

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (or PID) is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that travels from the vagina to other reproductive organs (uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes). Along with cramping, PID can cause many symptoms, including:

  • Abnormal or heavy discharge
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Irregular bleeding
  • Bleeding and discomfort during sex
  • Fevers

Birth Control Devices

Aside from hormonal changes caused by birth control, intrauterine birth control devices can also cause cramps and discomfort. These are the small, plastic devices that your doctor might insert. This is common especially within the first few months after the device has been inserted.

Because these types of cramps caused by birth control devices have nothing to do with hormones, they may occur anytime between periods. When it occurs, know that it’s just your uterus adjusting to the foreign object.

Spotting and Cramping After Period

While there are dozens of reasons why cramps are preset, spotting and cramping usually occurs for the following reasons:

  1. Uterine Incapacity: A woman’s uterus is meant to expel all of the blood from a period by the time a woman’s period ends. When blood is left in the body, it still needed to be expelled, which can cause spotting and cramping in some cases.
  2. Hormonal Imbalance: When a woman’s hormones are out of balance, her body will change at a rapid pace. One of the signs of a hormonal imbalance is cramping or irregular periods.
  3. Birth Control: Many women that are taking birth control will notice spotting or bleeding after her period has ended. This is caused, again, by hormonal changes caused by the birth control itself.
  4. Uterine Cysts: Cysts can form inside of the uterus and will cause post-menstrual bleeding and cramping.
  5. Disease: Major health issues, such as cancer or thyroid issues, can cause the body’s natural cycle to fluctuate dramatically. Ultimately, this can cause abdominal pain after your period or bad cramps after your period.
  6. Implantation: Women that are trying to get pregnant may have had implantation occur. When this occurs, the uterine lining may shed and cause some bleeding that is light and lasts 1 – 2 days at most. This may be accompanied by stomach cramps or a sudden sharp pain that goes away quickly.

Pelvic Pain after Period

Pelvic pain looks on grey background.
Source: http://azneuromod.com/

Pelvic pain is very hard to pinpoint because it can happen for a variety of reasons. When you have pelvic pain, it may be caused by the following:

  • Dyspareunia: Occurring in 2 out of 3 women. Pains are felt deep inside of the body and can be mild to severe. Physical and emotional causes are to blame, and pain is often felt most during intercourse.
  • Dysmenorrhea: Pain that is felt when your menstrual cycle begins and lasts longer than cramping. This occurs for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
    • Uterine fibroids
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease
    • Endometriosis
  • Adenomyosis: Occurs due to the uterus lining extending into the wall of the uterus itself. Menstrual cramps, bloating and blood, in rare cases, can be caused. Medication and surgery are two treatment options for adenonmyosis.
  • Ovulation Pain: Mild pain to a severe pain, ovulation pain normally occurs every month. The severity of the pain varies from one woman to the next.

Cramping 1 Week (2 Weeks) after Period

Pregnancy test with question marks.
Source: http://healthpress.info/

Many women are concerned they’re pregnant if they have cramps at the end of a period or cramping a week afterward. This is a very, very rare occurrence. First and foremost, immediately after a period, a woman will not be ovulating under normal conditions, meaning that her body is not physically able to get pregnant just yet.

Even if pregnancy is in the process of occurring, the process of implantation would not have occurred this quickly.

Ultimately, sperm may be in the body a nd making its way to the female’s egg, but there is no way that pregnancy could have occurred yet. If it has, the fertilized egg would not have made its way to the uterine wall just yet, so it’s not going to be associated with pregnancy.

Stomach cramps after your period could be your body simply readjusting out of your cycle.

Following your period, there is a good chance that irregularity is occurring where the body is ovulating too quickly. This would allow pregnancy to occur immediately after a period. A common misconception is that women cannot become pregnant on their period, but they can – it’s just very rare.

[Read more about Pregnant]

In most cases, it’s recommended that a woman allow a day or two to pass to see if the pain still exists.

In the event that the pain persists or worsens, it is recommended that you consult with an OBGYN to have a thorough checkup.

Pregnancy vs. Period Cramps

Cramps can occur during both pregnancy and menstruation. However, the feeling, location and timing of the cramps will be quite different. It’s important for you to be able to identify which might be happening and whether they’re indicating something serious.

There are a few distinctions between pregnancy cramps and period cramps.

Cramps During Pregnancy Stressed pregnant woman lying in bed

It’s common to experience cramps during the early stages of pregnancy. Not only just because of implantation, but the anatomy of your body is changing and preparing for the baby to start forming and growing.

These types of cramps are typically a bit different than period cramps because they are:

  • Milder
  • Can be felt lower in the abdomen than usual
  • Can be felt on both sides

Some women might even feel random sharp pains in the lower abdomen further into the pregnancy. You shouldn’t be too alarmed if this happens though, because this is just another instance of the muscles in the pelvis stretching and getting ready for the baby.

However, there are instances of cramping during pregnancy that should be cause for concern. Pain and cramps could be an indication of something more serious if:

  • Cramps become severely painful
  • Cramps are recurring and consistent
  • Cramps are accompanied by bleeding

Cramping During Your Period Cramping During Your Period 

Regular cramping during your period typically occurs during 24 to 48 hours before the bleeding begins. However, this cramping should decrease as your period goes on. Cramps related to regular periods are often described as:

  • Dull, aching pains
  • Radiating pain in the thighs and lower back
  • Throbbing, sharp, tightening pains in the lower abdominal area ranging from mild to intense

It’s also common to experience diarrhea and an upset stomach. Having said that, different people won’t experience cramps and period symptoms the same way. Some women may experience them more frequently at different times, or even in different areas of their body.

The severity, timing and location of cramps can depend on a number of factors:

  • Age
  • Amount of emotional stress
  • Hitting puberty at a young age
  • Smoking
  • Irregular periods and bleeding
  • Giving/never giving birth
  • Exercise
  • Diet

4 Ways to Ease Cramps

  1. Many doctors recommend an over-the-counter NSAID or aspirin to help dull a woman’s cramps. This is the first course of action and will work in most post-menstrual cramping situations.
  2. Placing a heating pad on the cramping area is another option.
  3. Heat will allow the muscles to relax and will speed up the healing process if an injury has occurred. Icing is not recommended in most cases.
  4. Stretches of the pelvic region may alleviate pain, or trying to sleep in a different position, such as on your stomach, may provide temporary relief.

When to See a Doctor while Cramps after Period?

While cramps are common during the menstrual cycle, it’s important to seek the care of a doctor if cramps persist or are severe. There are many conditions like the ones stated above that can be helped and some may even be dangerous if gone untreated.

You should seek medical help if the cramps are accompanied by other symptoms such as fevers, dizziness or lightheadedness, or blood in the stool. A doctor might want to perform an ultrasound or pelvic exam to see what the issue is.

Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe medication, lifestyle changes, an in-office procedure, or even surgery. It’s important to have an open communication with your doctor during regular visits as well. Tell them about what you typically experience during your menstrual cycle if you think things might be irregular.

It’s important to be mindful and aware of what’s normal for your body before, during and after your period. That way, you’ll notice immediately when something is irregular. However, cramps and pains here and there are typically normal.

If the pain is severe and consistent, it may be a symptom of something more. If you’re experiencing severe pain and cramping as well as fevers and heavy bleeding, seek emergency medical help right away.

Comment below if you have any other concerns. A group of experts right here are ready to help you out!

78 COMMENTS

  1. started my period on d 4th of march nd ended on d 7th of march. so on d 9th of march i started feeling menstrual cramp. pls wat could dat be? Note! hav been having unprotected sex with my hubby b4 d period. thnx in anticipation.

  2. started my period on d 4th of march nd ended on d 7th of march. so on d 9th of march i started feeling menstrual cramp. pls wat could dat be? Note! hav been having unprotected sex with my hubby b4 d period. thnx in anticipation

    • same for me here,,, i just got my D&c and november 2 to is my first menstrual cycle. then it lasted on 8 on november, then the next day and the following day, we had a pull out method. but based on my researched and based on what i red online, you are more fortile after m/c and d&c… then yesterday,, november 14 i started to feel some acid reflux and severe lower back pain and when i am lying down,, i felt a mild cramp on my lower abdomen, i also notice a black to brown spotting on my underwear.. what it could possibly mean??

  3. I had my period 3/5 – 3/9 w heavy bleeding and terrible cramps..but the cramps nvr went away they are radiating into my thighs the pain in milder now but still pretty pain full. Any suggestions?

  4. I had my period 3/5 – 3/9 w heavy bleeding and terrible cramps..but the cramps nvr went away they are radiating into my thighs the pain in milder now but still pretty pain full. Any suggestions? My tubes are tied btw

  5. I have white bleeding after my two days means.Then now I have white bLeeding for fiveDays and i have stomach cramps what is the possible of this .can i get pregnant?

  6. I had af on the 12-15 but bleeding came back then stopped again and had spotting last night, I’m wondering if I could be pregnant even tho AF visited but I have been TTC after miscarriage in January.

  7. i had my period on 20 of march and it ended on 24of march and today being the 29th of. march i started having sharp pains what could b d cause.thanx

  8. Been trying to get pregnant for 2 years now. First time I’ve noticed post menstrual bleeding-extremely light but still apparent. Cramping is in waves, some super sharp but dissappear quickly. My cycle ended on the 4th of April, 5 day duration. Should I make an appointment with my OBGYN?

  9. started period 4/6 it was brown light flow then somewhat a little pink-ish red textured it ended 4/8.. today I am somewhat bloated and feel discomfort as if I’m going to get my period again. I have also experience slight pinching on both lower sides.. has any one else had this before?

  10. I satarted my period on the 4th of april and ended on the 9th it was very regular.. and now im experiencing bloating, cramping, and discharge. Just like if I was about to start my period but i already had it this month. Also have lower back pain. The cramping is mild. Someone help?

    • I had my periods on the 11th to 15th september, then had unprotected sex on the 21st and 22nd of the same month after three to four days of sex i started feeling cramps, lower waist pain and i feel as if my periods are come. C’d it be am pregnant help plz am worried

  11. I had my period from 9to 12 and it stopped from there I have been bleeding heavily from there till nw what is ma problem

  12. Hello? I had signs of implantation on the 4th cramped before I started my cycle on the 17th and it has ended on the 21st. And I’m contining to cramps I have my tubes tied as well. Is there a possiblity that this is a tubal that I could be one of those rarely women who was pregnant while on her cycle?

  13. My period ended 2 days ago and this morning I started experiencing severe cramps in my abdomen.It’s really painful and making me feel somewhat sick. I don’t know why this is happening. it’s never happened to me before but I did recently get over the stomach flu. Back in 2007 I had a laparoscopy and they banded my tubes. any idea what could be causing my pain?

  14. My period just ended on 29/5. Noticed wet slippery cm with my cervix soft and open. On the 7th day I had this abdominal pain on the left side which radiates to the mid session and lasted for almost the whole day. I usually have this pain whenever am ovulating bt not on the 7th day. Could this be hormonal change or ovulation?

  15. I just finished my period three days ago and today my tummy has been uncomfortable since morning. It feels like I need to poop urgently, but when I go to the bathroom there’s nothing. Not like poop that won’t come out but I just feel empty. I also noticed today there was a light pink spot on my undies, but that’s it. Should I be worried?

    • No. That’s normal I think. During my period this month, I had the worse cramps and kept making bowel movements and throwing up. It’s probably your body expelling some access blood.☺

  16. I have seen my period over two weeks now was having cramps before my period comes and am still having cramps at the end of my period having tender Brest am I pregnant

  17. I started by monthly period , & on the second day I noticed I was having minor cramp pain.. By theb3rd it was reall bad. One night I was actually on the floor crying curled up. My abdominal area hurt, my lower back, and my thighs.. I didn’t go to the hospital thinking it was normal.. But I’m off my period and its still hurting 🙁

  18. Hi I am 2 weeks out of my period and 6 days after I had cramps with light spotting it stopped two days but I’m still having mild cramp?? What is thid

  19. also I noticed string thick mucus on my tampon on my last cycle day like if you were pregnant or ovulating is this norma??

  20. I had my period on 5th of July and finished on the 11 then had light or spotting blood on 27 July but it stopped and on 29 of July I’m having ovulation pain what does it mean???

    • i had my periods 4 days then ended on saturday but on monday when i wipe after poop i see lightly spotted blood…its now 2 days i have mensturation pains?what could be the cause?please help me?

  21. Im45 and got my tubes tides..lately I eat and feel nauseated. My head hurts and I just got off my period and am still cramping and experiecing period like symptoms. Does anyone know why this is? Thank you!
    Lisette

  22. My periods ended 2 days ago and I still have cramps as well as sharp pains even my stomach has discomfort should I be worried

  23. This is a question I don’t know where to post. I didn’t have a period for 2 months and I was assuming that was because of a cyst.. (I have pcos). I finally had a period from August 18-28. The first 5 days were light then got heavy… But now that my period has ended, I’ve been having lower back cramps and cramps in my ovaries.. I was curious if there’s any chance I’ll bleed again within the next 2 weeks? If a cyst pops, will I bleed? Or could I just have another period because I was 2 months late?? HELP!!

  24. I Had my period on the 19th till the 23rd of August. About a week or week and a half after my period I started cramping the cramping is still occurring and I’m not expecting my period till next week. Could I be pregnant or could it be another issue? Along with the cramping I have been constantly tired moody and throwing up (GROSS, but just in my mouth) I also had two times I went to the bathroom last week and had very little blood when I wiped. Please help!!!

  25. I got my period 8/27/2016. I had sex 9/5/2016 and 9/10/2016. I had my pap on 8/26/2016 and every thing is perfect. How ever I have pain in my vagina. Not cramps, i don know how to explain really. But what could this mean?

  26. I had my period on 10/09/16 till 14/9/16. One week later I have been having abdominal pain on the right going all the way to my lower back. I am having difficulty breathing and it feels like I am about to have my period again. I feel so tired and all I want to do is lie down. What could these signs signify?

  27. I had my period on September 24 until September 30 before and after my period I’m having sharp pain in my lower tummy and also in my back. I can’t walk properly every time I’m having of this pain. I cannot work properly all I want is to lie down or seat to erase the pain.. what could sign is this?

  28. Thank you so much! If you are suffering from pelvic pain after the period, then you shouldn’t ignore it. Because it is a serious problem, you should concern your doctor as soon as possible.

  29. Please I need help. Two weeks after mensturation i feel a deep pain from the lower abdomen down wards as though the head of a baby will come out through the anus, most time unable to seat down. What could be the cause?

  30. pls. my wife use to have pain during and after her period, if the period end the pain started the following day what can I do or what tablet can I used pls. help

  31. I was suppose to have my menstration on the 3 of January because my cycle is always 25 so it did not come until 7 Jan.the blood was not much like it use to be I did not even use pad I was just wiping it. On the 8 Jan. I thought it would rush since 7 was just the first day I put on my pad but nothing drop and I usually have my period for just 2 days.and since yesterday 8 have been having some soft cramp. In my vagianl or pelvic will I call it. It’s cramping and am feeling as if the bone in my buttock are sot of aching me side way.my taste is not good too pls I don’t know what happening can you pls reply me thanks cause am trying to have a baby.

  32. I had unprotected sex 5days to my period, my period was 2 days late tho I was cramping on the day I was originally supposed to get my period but no period.. So I induced it with hot water and lots of oranges very early in the morning and started spotting and I got my period later in the evening that day tho it was slower and lightly flowed than usual and after the 3rd day it ended but I’m still cramping so bad on the fourth day with spotting too.. Pls what could be the cause. Help!!!!

  33. I have had my period on the 6th of this month and it came unexpected without any pains and it was too heavy. ..it scared me cause it usually comes around the 15th ..I have been experiencing abnormal pains 2 weeks after I had my periods they are so server I’m scared what may this be

    help please

  34. Me and my partner are trying for a baby and I’ve had cramps for the past two days my period was a week ago could I be going through implantation

  35. please I started my cycle on Tuesday and finished on Friday and also had sex on Saturday, in have been feeling stomach cramps since Monday.please is this normal.please reply and thanks

  36. I am at the end of my cycle and all of a sudden I got some really bad cramps and started bleeding more heavier than before. I tried putting heat on it with no help and if It feels like my stomach is full and the pain is in the middle…not more to one side or the other. What could this be?

  37. I had headache and abdominal pain on the 6th day of my period. I had headache and fever on the 7th day. Today is the 11th day from my period and i still have abdominal pains and headaches from time to time. It is my first time to experience this. Please advise. Thanks a lot.

  38. I had my period for 5 days and then 4 days later I started bleeding heavy for a week and now this week I been spotting and having terrible cramps that I can’t walk for long or stand for long because my lower stomach hurts. What can I have?

  39. I had my menses on 2nd april and 27 april for this 2nd times i had cramp after menses i went to hospital after 1 week cramp and the doctor say it is just normal cramp the doctor gave me pain killer and i have again cramp it make me feel pain on my buttock and my right side pls tell me what i should do

  40. I had sex the first day of my period, it was spotting. We used a condom but who knows. I continued to bleed but the past 2 days my stomach feels tight and my lower stomach is cramping, it’s been a week since sex and my period ended Friday.. can I be pregnant ?

  41. So I started my period the 12th of May and ended the 17th but I have been having abdominal pains severely ever since. The pains are random.

  42. I finished my period on May 23rd and have had cramping constantly since and sometimes shooting pain that comes and goes. I also have been urinating a lot more frequently and with more urgency. Negative pregnancy test at home.

  43. I had unprotected sex around 5pm in the evening and took a contraceptive two days after the sex but took it in the morning,i recently had my menses but i m still feeling pains around my abdomen and its like iwant to ease myself,could this be that iam pregnant?

  44. One week after I finished my normal cycle, I started again. I am fortunate I rarely have cramps ( I’m 47) since I started at 11 years old. I have bad cramps 2 days after my second cycle ended. Menopause?

  45. I started taking birth control pill on first day of period (Aug 4, 2017) and i took pill for 2 days. I did not take last night (Aug. 6, 2017) because my legs were hurting. Can someone give me advice of what I should do? Also, my period is gone today (Aug 7, 2017). I’m very new to this pill. Also I need to add that I am taking the pill ONLY for my acne (i am 20 yrs old). I am not in it for the other reason (pregnancy). I am planning to stop taking it for good. I don’t know.

    • Expected your mens have been stopped. Dont take birth control pill for acne treatment. Accept other treatments. Avoid emotion, always be in pleasurable atmosphere with friend in bindas mood. Face wash with any fruit juice like cucumber, lemon etc will treat your acne. avoid constipation by free hand exercise after drinking glassful of water, Avoid over the counter medication.

  46. I started my period for two days l had very light bleeding and then third day and fourth day it was more heavy but but not that much.then it stopped after four days.soon after that lm feeling a pain under my stomach.its on and off like period pains.usually during my normal periods l have heavy flows for the first 3 days and then light for another 2 days.l use birth control pill called progestrel

  47. I started my period this month on Thursday. Started off as bright red but that same day it quickly turned to a light pinkish color. It all stopped on Saturday. It is now Thursday and cramps still persist with no blood. I do have a clear watery liquid coming out of my V area. Can someone please help me out?

  48. To the women out there trying to reproduce: please understand that every single woman is different. Only thing we all truly have in common is beating hearts. Not every article you read on the internet is true. Women are made to reproduce. I had my period 09/14/14 and it ended 09/21/14. I, without a doubt, got pregnant on 09/22/14 and had my daughter on my due date which was 06/27/15 due to precise calculations of my last period.

  49. so i had my period two weeks ago only or four days then I had it this week for a week straight. towards the last two days I started to feel a pain like cramping but it started to begin to feel like I had gas built up. and it started on a day where I ate food I don’t normally eat and it was spicy food as well as some bad fast food. but it feels like i’m cramping but when I burp or pass gas it relieves it but it’s still there. it hurts right under my belly WHen I push on it. idk if it’s my birth control or if I have really had indigestion

  50. Good day I had my period for 4 days heavy and day 5 and 6 it stop and start I didn’t finish 7days like always and it’s now 2 days that I have cramps please help me we are also trying for a baby

  51. my period began march the 5 lasted for 5 days. i felt cramps during my cycle and after its been a week now and am still experiencing the same type of cramps. (Note: I’m having unprotected sex and he ejaculates in me)

  52. I had my period from the 15th to the 18th of March. Two days after it ended I have been having severe lower abdominal pains and lower back pains. It even extends to my hips. This wouldn’t be the first time this is happening. In fact as I type this message I’m in pains. I need help!

  53. Please my name is Ami i took contra 72 (one dose) one hour after sex and i menstrated three days after taking it and it came normal for 6 days . A week after the men’s am feeling abdominal pain for a three days now. So i ask wheather am pregnant or not .
    Thank u

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