What does cramping feel like?

Discussion in 'Reproductive Health' started by keppers, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. keppers

    keppers New Member

    I know you must be thinking this is the stupiest question, but I am really wondering what does cramping feel like? I have this lurking feeling that all of those "stomach aches" I thought I was having when I was a college student or after college might not have all been stomach aches. I'm not sure why I never considered that the "stomach aches" might be related to my menstrual cycle and not digestion problems. I think my mom must have gave me the impression she never had any PMS symptoms and I assumed I was the same way? At any rate, I paid no attention to my cycle at all, so it is highly probable that I was having cycle related pains and didn't realize it.

    So here is my main question--does cramping feel like a stomach ache?

    Also, what are other PMS symptoms that people have and when? I am wondering if nausea can be a PMS symptom. Sometimes, I also had really bad nausea in college. However, I couldn't throw up, and I'm not sure what it was coming from. (I wasn't sexually active at the time, so there was no possibility of pregnancy).

    And what does ovulation pain feel like and how does it differ from cramping?

    This all comes to today. I think maybe today and a few times in past months I have had cramping. But again, I'm still not sure, especially since I might have been misdiagnosing in the past.

  2. GreenTea

    GreenTea Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'd say menstrual cramping feels like a stomach ache, only it's centered a little lower. The very first time I got my period--on a seventh grade field trip with no access to restrooms and wearing white pants; now there's a story!--I thought I had a stomachache. Later, when I discovered the blood, I realized the ache had a slightly different quality to it. But it wasn't that distinguishable at first.

    I've had ovulation pain and mistaken it for my period coming early. The cramping is very similar. I've also had ovulation pain that was very clearly on the ovary, not in the uterus--more acute and localized. I didn't know I could feel my ovary until that happened.

  3. keppers

    keppers New Member

    GreenTea--LOL about your first experience...at least now (I'm sure not then). Thanks for sharing your experiences...that helps.

  4. keppers

    keppers New Member

    Thanks Tracy. That is interesting about the description that it comes and goes and has a sharper feel. I just came off of the pill, but I had started to have bad cramping towards the end of the pill during the withdrawal period. One time during the pill withdrawal week, I got a horribly sharp pain. It got better but I was kind of crampy and grumpy and teary the next couple of hours. It was kind of scary, though, that the pain had come so suddenly and sharply. I didn't know if I had food poisining or if something was very wrong. Looking back, it was probably just cramping.

    That also helps with the description of the ovulation pain. That is what I thought I might be experiencing yesterday since I am waiting for my first ovulation off of the pill. I took some herbal tinctures for cramping which seemed to help as well. I didn't want to be crampy for New Year's Eve so I went to try to find something fast!

  5. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    My first month off the pill I was very crampy, probably from about mid cycle and it got worse and worse untill I got my period. Also, that was a BAD period, very painfull and so not what I was expecting. After that though the cramping eased off alot.

  6. keppers

    keppers New Member

    Thanks Mel. It's good to know it was only that one half cycle and one period before it got better.

  7. KawaiiNot

    KawaiiNot Active Member

    For me, ovulation pain is a very sharp stabbing pain located specifically in the area of one of my ovaries. A hold your breath kind of pain if you know what I mean? It will come and go just around ovulation, maybe a day before or a day after.
    I will also experience some cramping around ovulation, but I don't think that's ovulation pain per say. For me atleast there is a distinction between the two even if I experience both around ovulation.

    Cramping is a dull ache in my lower abdomen that will increase in intensity pretty quick. It sorta feels like my mucles in there are tightening really bad and then holding on like mad. It gets so bad that it will wake me up at night, and I have been known to get cramps so bad I'll cry from the pain. The whole region feels swollen and very tender.
    It's not a gassy sort of pain, but more like a constipation kind.

    As for PMS I become a grump. I'm easily annoyed and can become a bit snappy if I'm not paying attention to my behavior. Kind of bothersome for both me and my BF, but we both give me a bit more slack and we're fine. I also sometimes get my migraines just before my period.

  8. PaulaKoala

    PaulaKoala New Member

    My ovulation pain is crampy and a dull ache. It's kind of like period cramps but different, so hard to explain. I also feel very blaoted and gassy. Like AF is coming but different. It's so odd. I am also a bit grumpy and emotional. It's funny that we feel this way and we are supposed to want to have sex to procreate during this time!! lol.

  9. keppers

    keppers New Member

    LOL. I did get a little emotional yesterday, too, even after the cramps were getting better. I guess the main thing is I need to be aware of what I am feeling and the timing to get to learn my body. Before, I just didn't pay attention. It is so helpful to hear what other people feel, though.

  10. *mel*

    *mel* Super Moderator Staff Member

    With my ovulation pain, it can start off very much like period type cramps but gets more intense and more localised too, it's normally just on one side and it's not there all the time. Sometimes I can feel it for a couple of hours a day running up to when I ovulate.

    Period pains are different in that they start off very mild, normally starts roughly half an hour before I actually start my period but the pain gets worse quite quickly. My first few periods off the pill the pain was bad enough to wake me in the night and I had to take pain killers.

  11. PaulaKoala

    PaulaKoala New Member

    I agree, my pre-AF cramps have been nasty since going off the pill. They last 1-2 days. Before it was just an hour or two before AF came. I hope they get better. As for O cramps, I have never experienced them until the past few months because I was on HBC for so long.

  12. Slvrtide

    Slvrtide New Member

    My cramps are lower than stomach aches like everyone else has said. They've always felt like a combination between nausea and nervousness a first, then change into stabbing pains. I started my period the first day of 7th grade and thought it was just being nervous, starting a new school and all.

  13. keppers

    keppers New Member

    Thanks Kawaii! Very descriptive... Yeah, my husband's been helping me to understand that PMS exists, and there is some excuse for it. That helps...now if I could only have grace for myself!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  14. I think KawaiiNot described it perfectly for me when she compared it to constipation pain. For me it's a combination of that and lower back/ab pain. Usually lasts the first day or two of my period.

  15. keppers

    keppers New Member

    That's interesting Byrony that the OV pain doesn't always line up. I thought I might have had OV the day after I ovulated this cycle?

    Does anyone have cramping before AF even shows up? I'm expecting AF starting tomorrow. Today, I started feeling cramping but then no AF yet?

  16. keppers

    keppers New Member

    Wow Byrony! I'm glad your symptoms aren't as bad now at least.

  17. labby06

    labby06 Active Member

    I used to get cramps so bad that I would be incapacitated for at least 2 days. They put me on the pill at age 16 because of it and it helped, and then would get bad again so they would change the pill and that cycle continued. They gave me some mega painkillers to take during the bad days which basically just knocked me out. Try explaining to your male boss why you are totally out of it for 2 days out of every month if you can make it to work at all [​IMG] Then they had me starting a new pack during the off week so I just wouldn't even get it anymore until I went off of the pill when we started TTC. Those months after going off it were pure hell for me. DH would come home to find me curled in a ball on the kitchen floor screaming in pain. I always described it as feeling like someone was pulling my insides out - much different from any stomach ache I have ever had. From the time I was 16 they told me that it would get better once I had a baby. Well that finally happened this past October. AF hasn't come back yet, but I sure hope when she does it's not the nightmare I lived before having a baby.

  18. Sara

    Sara New Member

    Hi my name is Sara. I am 12 and haven't started my period yet but I'm having these weird pains in my stomach and I am not sure if it is cramping or not. My mom isn't at home and my sister might be like "blah blah blah, you might be starting, your growing up so fast... Etc etc" I know this post was made a while ago, but any ideas on what it could be? Thanks :)


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