Menstrual Cramps: Is Leg Pain Normal?

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 menstrual cramps in legs

Menstruation is not even by far the most joyous time of a woman’s month. It is, of course, a very efficient reminded on the fact that you are healthy from the reproductive point of view.

But other than that, nothing is happy about it. Even when you don’t experience any kind of symptoms, it will still feel uncomfortable – not to mention when the symptoms you experience make you unable to actually do something. And this happens every single month for several decades!

Menstrual cramps are among the most unbearable of all the menstruation symptoms out there. Most of the women don’t experience very severe cramps indeed, but according to recent studies, 15% of them have stated that they actually feel their cramps as severe.

Even when they are very painful, you should know that they can be normal. Unless they are not associated with fever and unless they last longer than 3 consecutive days, they are most likely normal.

Luckily, with the modern knowledge, it is more than possible to make your life easier to handle when you are having your period. But it all begins with knowing exactly why it is that you get these symptoms and with knowing exactly why you get to menstruate in the first place.

A Complex Mechanism

Everything in the human body, from the way you blink to the way you breathe and eat is controlled by a system on its own which “collaborates” with all the other symptoms perfectly.

The reproductive system makes no exception from this rule – and much less the female reproductive system, which will always be more complex than the male one, especially considering the fact that women have to bear children and they have to “accommodate” the baby for no less than 9 months.

So, the reproductive system is very much connected with hormones, which are the ones that basically dictate everything that happens during a menstrual cycle. Estrogen, for example, helps with the releasing of the ovule(s) when the time comes.

Progesterone is also involved in the entire process, and, as its levels drop, symptoms such as bloating and gas appear. In addition to hormones, there are other chemicals involved in menstruation as well.

Prostaglandins, for example, are the ones responsible with the release of your uterus’ lining and, as recent studies show, with symptoms such as diarrhea.

When you menstruate, what happens is actually your body releasing the blood lining it has built on the walls of the uterus (a means of protecting it in case pregnancy occurs and a baby has to develop there).

In addition to this release, there are many other symptoms caused by various reasons (such as shown above as well). Menstrual cramps are probably among the most commonly encountered of these symptoms and most of the women feel them in the lower abdomen area or in the lower back area as well.

However, in certain situations, you may feel pain in your legs too and following you will learn why this happens.

Menstrual Cramps in Legs? How Did It Get to It?

Remember when this article mentioned that the human body is an incredibly complex mechanism and that the reproductive system makes absolutely no exception from this rule? As you probably know it, leg pain is quite common out there and although it may seem odd, it can indeed be related to menstruation.

Some specialists say that leg pain during the period occurs due to dehydration, due to mineral deficiency, as well as due to vitamin deficiency. This is quite plausible, considering the fact that many women also have other symptoms of this deficiency when they are menstruating.

Also, there are cases in which the leg pain is caused by the simple fact that the uterus and the legs share a nervous pathway which basically means that the contractions in the uterus can be felt in the legs as well.

Last, but not least, there is the case when a disease may interfere with the menstruation cycle. Dysmenorrhea, for instance, is a very commonly encountered medical condition that does not necessarily interfere with a woman’s ability to reproduce, but which can cause heavy discharge, severe pain, dizziness, diarrhea, bloating and pain in the legs as well.

Also, endometriosis is a more serious medical affection that causes the uterine tissue to grow in other parts of the body than the actual uterus.

Most of the lesions created by this are in the pelvic region, but they can sometimes appear in other areas of the body as well, such as the appendix, the bladder, the colon, the rectum and the bowel.

This disease is treatable, but if the person having it does not get treatment, it can indeed interfere with that person’s ability to bear children.

All of the symptoms caused by menstruation (and by the issues associated with it, to be more precise) can be alleviated either with over the counter medication or by other means as well.

For instance, for the well-known menstruation cramps some of the physicians out there prescribe women with hormone-based birth control pills which can regulate the menstruation and the balance between the various hormones.

Also, you can alleviate pain in other ways as well. One method that always seems to work is simply placing a heating pad on your lower belly. This can help both with the cramps felt in that precise area and with the cramps felt in the legs.

Eating well can really help. If you know exactly when your period will be, then you should focus even more than the usual on eating foods rich in vitamins (Vitamin E in particular), in healthy fats, in fiber with as little sugar as possible. Do try to introduce foods with Omega-3 in your diet these days because it is known that it can help.

Also, try to exercise regularly because working out releases the happiness hormones and it will make you feel much better. Even stretching a bit can release hormones that will alleviate the pain, so do make sure that you try at least, even if the pain may seem very difficult.

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