Health & Wellness

Q&A: I cramp for a whole week before I get my period, is that normal?

Premenstrual cramping (before your period starts) usually happens a day or two before your period begins and stops after the first day or two of your period. Your hormones that have built up the lining in your uterus start to go down and other hormones start to prepare for your period to come. These changes bring about those beloved cramps! Everyone’s body is different, so this could be normal for you, but because it does last a bit longer than I would expect, make an appointment to see your health care provider to talk about it. Keep a record of your other symptoms and your cycle and take that information along to your appointment.

Cramps are a relatively typical part of PMS. Even a little bit of cramping isn't fun — a week sounds downright unpleasant! You can try to relieve the symptoms by taking over-the-counter ibuprofen and drinking water. I also like to use a heating pad when they're really bad and sometimes a bath seems to help. You can also try exercising. It may sound like the very last thing you want to do when you're hurting, but a lot of girls get relief from moderate exercise. See what our health expert, Sandy, has to say about the duration of your cramps.

It doesn’t sound too unusual, but see what Sandy, our health expert, has to say. I definitely suggest taking care of yourself by doing things that relax you! Heating pads or hot baths also work wonders. I love curling up with an electric blanket when I'm feeling crampy.