Menstrual Pains and Hormone Balance
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Menstrual Pains and Hormone Balance


Menstrual pain, also referred to as menstrual cramp, is a common symptom experienced by many menstruating individuals, or individuals with PMS (premenstrual syndrome). These pains, including lower abdominal pain, backaches, cramping, pelvic pain, could range from mild to severe and can significantly impact a person's daily life during menstruation. In this article, we will explore the causes of menstrual cramps and delve into the intricate relationship between this symptom and hormone balance.

What Causes Menstrual Pains?

The discussion may start with the question: what causes menstrual pains? Menstrual pains primarily occur due to the contractions of the uterus. The uterus is a muscular organ responsible for shedding its lining, known as the endometrium, during menstruation. The contractions are necessary to expel the excess blood and tissue from the uterus. However, when these contractions become excessively strong or prolonged, they result in pain and discomfort.

The Relationship Between Menstrual Cramps and Hormone Balance

Hormones play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle, and an imbalance can contribute to the severity of menstrual cramps. Some individuals may experience hormonal imbalances, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disorders, which can affect menstrual regularity and exacerbate menstrual cramps. PCOS, characterized by elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) in females, can lead to irregular periods and intensified pain during menstruation. Thyroid disorders, both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, can disrupt hormone balance and contribute to menstrual irregularities and cramps.

In recent years, researchers have been investigating several types of hormones that significantly contribute to the onset of menstrual pain. The following are among the most extensively studied and well-documented hormones in this regard:

  • Estrogen and Progesterone: The hormones estrogen and progesterone have a complex relationship with menstrual cramps. Estrogen is responsible for thickening the uterine lining, while progesterone prepares it for potential pregnancy. When the levels of these hormones fluctuate, particularly during the menstrual cycle, it can result in increased prostaglandin production and stronger uterine contractions, leading to more severe cramps.
  • Prostaglandins: One of the key factors contributing to menstrual cramps is the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that play a vital role in various physiological processes, including inflammation and uterine contractions. During menstruation, the levels of prostaglandins increase, causing the uterine muscles to contract more forcefully. This heightened contraction leads to pain and cramping. You may have known that many pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and mefenamic acid are capable of relieving menstrual pains. What you may not know is that, upon scientists’ recent clinical and laboratory studies, the mechanism of how these drugs work is that these drugs are inhibitors of the prostaglandin synthetase enzymes, which are necessary for prostaglandin biosynthesis.
  • Uterine Abnormalities: Certain anatomical abnormalities in the uterus can also contribute to menstrual cramps. Conditions such as uterine fibroids (noncancerous growths), adenomyosis (endometrial tissue growing within the uterine walls), or pelvic inflammatory disease can cause increased and more painful uterine contractions.


Menstrual cramps, though a common experience for many individuals, can vary in intensity and impact. Understanding the causes behind this symptom is crucial in finding effective ways to manage and alleviate the pain. Hormone balance plays a significant role in the severity of menstrual cramps, with fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and prostaglandin levels contributing to increased pain and discomfort. By seeking for medical guidance and exploring various treatment options, individuals can find relief from menstrual cramps and improve their overall well-being during menstruation.

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2.What Causes Menstrual Pains?
3.The Relationship Between Menstrual Cramps and Hormone Balance