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Question:

Is it normal for my legs to ache during my period? I always find it really hard to walk since my legs hurt so much while I'm menstruating!

PEER ANSWER

Personally, I’ve never experienced aching legs during my period, but some poking around on the Internet revealed that it’s a very common symptom of PMS. Beyond that, I’m not much of an expert on the subject. So, I must defer to Dr. Molly for the real deal on why this happening and what you can do to alleviate the ache. I’m sure she’ll be a great resource.

MOM ANSWER

I did some checking around and, from what I can figure out, it comes down to that simple song we all learned as kids: the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The pain from monthly cramps, usually in the lower abdomen, can “spread” to other areas of the body. There are some more serious issues, like fibroids, that can cause leg cramps during your period. So if the pain continues or is very intense, you may want to visit your healthcare practitioner.

EXPERT ANSWER

I feel so bad for you! Unfortunately, some women will have bad cramps even in their upper legs when they have their period, so this is normal. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean that you have to put up with it! If you can predict a day or two ahead of when your period usually starts, you can lessen or prevent these leg cramps by taking ibuprofen. The cramps are due to prostaglandins that are being released by your body to help shed the lining in your uterus and bring about your period. Unfortunately, prostaglandins don’t just affect the uterine muscles, but can cause cramps in other muscles too. By taking the ibuprofen before you even have cramps, you prevent the prostaglandins from having a place to attach to the muscle and cause cramps. Most women over 110 pounds can take 600mg every 8 hours or so for the day or two before their period and for the first day and end up a lot more comfortable. Good luck!

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This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.

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