CRAMPS before and even during your period are expected...but pain afterwards is less of a known quantity.
You might reasonably expect some relief after all the bloating, cramps and mood swings are gone.
So when you feel those pesky cramps afterwards it goes without saying that you're a little ticked off, but also worried that something is wrong.
Cramps after a period are normal for some women, depending on how long it takes for their hormones levels to change.
But there are some occasions when you need to see a doctor because something more serious is going on.
Here's what your cramping could mean.
Just like when you have your period, you might experience cramps when you are ovulating.
Some women describe them as pelvic cramps, others may experience lower back pain.
If you are someone that suffers really bad period pain you may experience stronger ovulation cramps.
The exact cause of ovulation cramps isn't known, but several theories suggest it may be caused when the follicle stretches before releasing the egg or when the follicle ruptures when releasing the egg.
Fluid released by the follicle when it ruptures may also irritate the lining of your abdomen causing pain.
The very early stages of pregnancy may cause uterine cramps.
When the fertilised egg implants itself in the womb it may cause you a bit of pain.
You may also notice some dark red or brown spotting, called implantation bleeding.
This will occur around the time your next period is due and you'll probably notice other pregnancy symptoms too, like boob tenderness.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition which occurs when tissue which behaves like the lining of the womb is found outside of the womb - in areas of the body including the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the abdomen and the bladder.
Symptoms of endometriosis can vary, but the most common include painful or heavy periods, pain during and following sex, bleeding between periods, pain in the lower abdomen and difficulty conceiving.
It can cause cramping at all times of the menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis can sometimes cause damage to the Fallopian tubes or ovaries, leading to fertility problems.
Other complications can include painful ovarian cysts and adhesions - areas of tissue which can fuse organs together.
Speak to your doctor about ways to manage the condition.
4. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs.
Symptoms can include cramps and pain in the lower abdomen, fever, unusual discharge, pain or bleed while having sex, pain urinating and bleeding between periods.
The infection is difficult to diagnose and can cause infertility if left untreated.
The risks of developing the disease increase if you have had more than one sexual partner, have sex with someone who has other sexual partners, or have had it before.
You will need to see a doctor for proper medical treatment.
5. Uterine incapacity
The word incapacity may cause some alarm, but it's really nothing to worry about.
For some women, a small amount of blood may remain in the uterus after her period.
When this happens the womb contracts to remove the excess blood, causing some cramping.
The symptoms will normally clear up in a few days.
6. Ovarian cysts
Cysts on the ovaries can cause cramping and irregular bleeding.
Most of them don't cause any major symptoms unless they are quite large.
You may also feel bloated and heavy in your tummy if you have ovarian cysts.
They normally need medication or surgery to treat them, so speak to your doctor if you think you may have them.
7. Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is a painful and dangerous condition.
It happens when a fertilised egg attaches itself to a cavity outside of the uterus.
You will experience severe cramping, abnormal bleeding, sharp pelvic pain and nausea.
The pregnancy can’t be saved if this occurs, and the egg will be removed in an operation or using medicine.
The pressure from an ectopic pregnancy can rupture the fallopian tubes, causing heavy bleeding.
If this happens you will need urgent medical attention.
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8. Uterine fibroids
A fibroid is a non-cancerous growth that can occur anywhere in the uterus.
Symptoms vary depending on their size - the bigger they are the worse the symptoms can be.
Most women experience irregular bleeding, heavy periods, pain and cramps in the pelvis.
In some cases, if they are left untreated, they can cause infertility so if you have any symptoms speak to a GP.
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