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This is probably TMI

Do any of you have super bad pain when it's your time of the month? I get these super super bad cramps and they are incapacitating. Half the time I have to take off work.

Re: This is probably TMI

  • Before I went on birth control my cramps were pretty horrendous.  Most times I would call my Mom to come and pick me up from school (this was back in high school) because I just couldn't concentrate on anything besides the pain.

    Have you talked to your doctor about your horrible cramps?

  • I agree that I had horrendous cramps before I started BC at 17. I suffered about 4 years of completely debilitating pain, leaving me in a sobbing, crumpled up mess on my bed or the bathroom floor for the first day or two (and I have a fairly high pain tolerance).

    I recently stopped taking the pill because my neurologist thought it may be contributing to my migraines, and the cramps have started to come back here and there. I had super awful ones on the third day this month, but still only half as bad as they used to be.

    I've heard that they get better as you get older, but I would look into contraception options that can improve them for you. I would also consider the possibility of ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids if you're experiencing pain that badly -- I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts and they told me that both my period and ovulation can stir things up and aggravate them, causing them to swell or burst (equally intense pain).


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  • I had awful, debilitating cramps starting when I was 16 or so. I would have one full week of heavy bleeding and cramps, one week of heinous PMS, and then back to a week of bleeding/cramps...lather, rinse, repeat. Basically I was having two periods a month.

    My cramps were so bad that I was hospitalized at least once. I would be curled up in a fetal position and be clenching my muscles so badly that my back would cramp and lock. I nearly went into convulsions that last time (when I ended up in the hospital) the cramps were so bad. I would also vomit and so couldn't take pain meds because they wouldn't stay down.

    After I was hospitalized, I went to my obgyn and they never found any cysts or anything but due to my ridiculous menstrual schedule and my cramps they put me on BC. It has made ALL the difference in the world. I'm completely regular and can function like a human.

    I'm a super huge advocate of using BC for hormonal control reasons (not just to prevent pregnancy).
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  • If it's so bad that you're missing work, then you should talk to your doctor. It could be something more serious, or you could just need some solutions for the pain. Sometimes, doctors will be dismissive of this kind of pain, so it's important to find someone who takes your concerns seriously.
  • Side note:  I got my period a month ago (I am on the 4 periods a year BCP) and I had a cramp.  I hadn't had cramps in almost 11 years and at first I had no idea what it was (thought maybe I had a bad stomach ache).  Then I realized that it was a period cramp and I could not believe that I had dealt with that crap for all those years during middle and high school.  Thankfully BCP are a great cramp preventative for me.  Hopefully I won't have to go off of them because I now think my pain threshold is lower because of it.

  • I had debilitating cramps until I went on BC as well. I'd be laying on the bathroom floor, vomiting, etc. My sister and mother had the same issues as well, and when my sister went on the pill she felt a million times better. I tried it and it worked for me as well. Definitely worth looking into. 

     

  • I've talked to my doctor about it before but he was kind of dismissive of it. I can't be on BC because of this other medication I'm taking. Maybe I should go to another doctor. At least one day a month I have to stay home because I'm in so much. All this morning I stayed curled up in bed. It is just ridiculous.
  • I would definitely see another doctor.  Cramps suck but if they are so bad that you can't go to work then something needs to be done.

  • Yep…2 to 3 alive a day make it bearable. My brother who is a doctor says I can't take 4 or I would.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • Yep…2 to 3 alive a day make it bearable. My brother who is a doctor says I can't take 4 or I would.
    I know the bottle of Aleve liqui-gels says no more than 2 a day, but I've been prescribed 375mg pills of naproxen (Aleve) by my orthopaedic surgeon, used up to 4 times a day. You *can* safely take more, but obviously not without doctor supervision.


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  • Yep…2 to 3 alive a day make it bearable. My brother who is a doctor says I can't take 4 or I would.
    I know the bottle of Aleve liqui-gels says no more than 2 a day, but I've been prescribed 375mg pills of naproxen (Aleve) by my orthopaedic surgeon, used up to 4 times a day. You *can* safely take more, but obviously not without doctor supervision.

    funny story about that...when I got my wisdom teeth out I hated the vicodin so I was taking like 3 aleve ever 4 -6 hrs..... whoops..
    Anniversary
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    pumpkinsandturkeys
  • Yep…2 to 3 alive a day make it bearable. My brother who is a doctor says I can't take 4 or I would.
    I know the bottle of Aleve liqui-gels says no more than 2 a day, but I've been prescribed 375mg pills of naproxen (Aleve) by my orthopaedic surgeon, used up to 4 times a day. You *can* safely take more, but obviously not without doctor supervision.
    My "doc" said no, so I don't risk it. I've begged him, when he lived with me. =)
    I used to have my boyfriend in college sit on my stomach when I was in college - before I found aleve. It helped some.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    pumpkinsandturkeys
  • It sounds like you could very well have a problem like PCOS or endometriosis. It isn't normal to have cramps that bad, at all and it should be looked into.You don't need to deal with that!

     For comparison's sake, I usually get like 2 cramps that feel kind of like I'm constipated and that's it. Maybe twice a year I get fairly bad ones where I don't feel like doing anything, but really I'm being a baby because they aren't that bad. 
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  • I also had cramps like that before I went on birth control. 
  • I've blocked out most of the horrible memories of my time before BC. I only get a period once or twice a year now (and it's usually very light), which is pretty sweet.
    ~*~*~*~*~

  • If you can, maybe try getting a progesterone cream. That helped my cramps not be so bad.
  • I used to have horrendous cramps, went on BCP, stopped the pills, they found cysts, I got prescribes Naproxen 750 and that helped a ton. Now I get them sometimes but not on every period. 

    Me best advice (as a future Ob/Gyn) is to go to your Dr and get checked out. Endometriosis also causes really bad period pains and can be controlled with BCP


  • Yeah before BC I absolutely HAD to have painkillers or else I would not be able to function.  After I went on the pill the cramps nearly went away.  Sometimes it just feels like a mild stomachache, but nothing worse than that.  Also that time of the month is shorter and lighter.  My friend also had horrible cramps, and even though she wasn't sexually active at the time, she went on the pill and it made her time of the month more regular, lighter, and much less painful.  
    If I were you I'd ask another doctor and see if there are any options available that won't conflict with your medication. BC really does help.
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  • SammiNJonniSammiNJonni member
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited January 2014
    Before BC I would get horrible cramps but since then the ones I do get are a lot more bearable. Ask you dr if there is a BC you can go on that will not conflict with your medication.
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  • Ugh. I don't miss the periods I had before BC. Like the other girls I had horrible cramps. Couldn't get out of bed the first 3 days. I wound up in the ER once or twice bc of it. It was awful. Heavy bleeding for 7-10 days. If my dr didn't listen to me I'd find someone else. When I told my dr how bad the cramps were she ran tests to make sure everything was ok and put me on BC. She yelled at me for not telling her sooner. She said no one needs to suffer like that. It's ridiculous.
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  • monkeysipmonkeysip member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2014
    Please, please, please talk to a doctor about other ways to treat this besides birth control.  Hormonal birth control is a class 1 carcinogen according to the WHO and CDC.

    Don't get me wrong, each woman should weigh the costs/benefits, and if BC is the only way to help you, then go ahead.  But there ARE other ways to treat painful cramps.

    First of all, BC is not the only way to treat your hormones.  Using bioidentical hormone therapy is much safer than using hormonal BC.  

    Second of all, it could be a much bigger underlying issue, like endometriosis or progesterone deficiency (also related to other issues, like thyroid or PCOS).  This is especially important if you ever plan on having children.  You want to identify these issues as early as possible.  Just treating the symptoms only allows the underlying problem to get worse.  BC actually does not treat endometriosis, only the symptoms.

    A lot of doctors will just pass out the pill and call it a day.  It's much easier for them.  A good doctor will listen to your concerns and try to figure out the root cause.  Debilitating periods are NOT a normal function of our menstrual cycles.

    I highly recommend Napro doctors if you have any near you.  I love mine, and they're very good about investigating to find the root causes of your cycle issues.  But there are other good non-Napro doctors who can help too.  Even a good endocrinologist can help too.  

    Good luck, and hope you find some relief!  I'm pregnant now, so it's a moot point, but before I conceived, my doctor started testing me to figure out my cycle issues, including my crazy painful cramps.  After I have my baby, hopefully either my cycle will be better or my doc can continue figuring out what's going on!

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  • I've been on several different bc pills since I've started taking this medication and I got super sick with each of them. I guess I will call another doctor and see what they say. My FI has been trying to get me to get a second opinion for a few years. I already go to an endocrinologist, I never would have thought to ask her about the cramping. I think I will talk to her about it. She is the only doctor I go to that I like.
  • I have terrible cramps. Like, to the point where I have to spend at least 3 days a month in bed, with a bucket I can puke into. That's right, the pain makes me puke.

    I have tried every painkiller, most of them don't do anything. I've been on several versions of "the pill", and they didn't make it any better for me. I've had "the injection", and it made things worse.

    I've spoken to my GP, and to a gyno, they both see nothing wrong. Physically there is nothing going on that should make it so painful for me, and it's been this way since I was 11. Some months are worse than others, but mostly I feel like I'm having all my internal organs ripped out of me, continually, for a week.

    Basically, I just have to deal with it until I have medical coverage that will let me have an elective hysterectomy. Which they won't do until I'm 35, at least, because women under 35 can't be trusted to make their own decisions about whether they want children or not. So I have at least 7 years to go.
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  • @prettybirdy27 -- the bathroom floor helps me, too! Weird haha


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