Period cramps, known in the medical world as “dysmenorrhea,” are a very common and normal part of the monthly cycle. Though the experience has been around for as long as humans have, the word “dysmenorrhea” was first used in 1810, created using New Latin word parts that basically mean “difficult menstrual flow.” It’s estimated more than half of us experience period pain for one or two days each month.
It’s important to understand that menstrual pain exists on a scale and varies significantly from person to person. Some don’t experience any period pain at all, for others it’s light cramping, but for around 10 percent it’s so severe that it gets in the way of everyday life.
Let’s dive into what causes period cramps and how best to relieve them.