Have you ever experienced period cramps somewhere else other than your abdomen? It’s possible!
Between two to seven days out of the month, people with a cervix have a menstrual cycle. Some people have terrible hormonal headaches, others break out with acne, while some crave chocolate. Many of us experience dysmenorrhea, or severe pain during the period cycle. This pain can affect activities, it can occur later in life, it can also be mild—it’s known as period cramps.
The pain is associated with natural chemicals called prostaglandins which are made in the lining of the uterus. Because the prostaglandins increase in the lining right before menstruation starts, pain occurs.
Cramping is usually centered in the abdominal and pelvis area. But for some, period cramping can appear in the legs, thighs, and buttocks.
What causes pain in the legs?
The pelvic region is “made up of a network of nerves” and when a pain occurs, it “may radiate to other neighboring regions.” Aka, the legs, lower back, and butt.
Moreover, the loss of essential minerals during a period (like iron, magnesium, and potassium) depletes the body and muscles respond with spasms or cramps.
Dr. Lyster told Woman’s Day that, “It’s like a nest where the twigs are intertwined. So if something feels irritating on one side [like the abdomen], you may feel it on the other side [such as the lower back] just as easily.”
Can leg pain during a period mean something more serious?
Sometimes, leg pain during a period can be connected to other health conditions. It’s important to talk to a medical profession, especially if the pain is severe.
- Endometriosis is when tissue on the inner lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity. Intense pain, plus many other side effects are linked to this issue.
- Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow inside of the uterus. Large fibroids can cause pressure on nerves which can result in pain found in the legs and back.
- Ovarian cysts
- Iron deficiency
- The Paraguard IUD has been linked with heavier and more painful periods.
What kind of treatment works for leg pain?
Like with abdominal period cramping, there are various home remedies to try when treating your leg pain. Sitting in a hot bath or using a heating pad on the area that is throbbing or in pain can be effective. Moreover, a diet change during your period (reducing sugar and increasing protein) may also have benefits.
Of course, over-the-counter medication is also available for quick pain relief. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory medications can help ease back pain and cramping.
As if abdominal pain isn’t enough, no one should be suffering through leg, pain, and butt pain as well. Seek out a doctor or call up your gynecologist if the pain persists and interferes with your day-to-day life.