Is It Normal to Get Back Pain During Your Period?

Periods: A pain in the … back?

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Back pain affects 80 percent of people at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. However, if you’re a woman with a period, back pain might be a monthly occurrence.

But not all women get back pain during their periods. So if you do, is it normal, or could something be wrong?

Is back pain during your menstrual period normal?

Back pain and lower pelvic pain during menstruation is very common. The culprit is prostaglandins. These are substances that the uterus makes that help the body heal from injury or stress. They also regulate contraction and relaxation of the muscles. These prostaglandins tell your uterus to contract to trigger your period.

Those contractions can lead to the menstrual symptoms women love to hate: menstrual cramps and back pain. If your back, abdominal, or pelvic pain show up right before and during the start of your period, it’s probably related to these hormone-induced contractions.

Is this pain ever a problem?

It’s normal (albeit annoying) to have back pain during your period. However, if pain or severe cramps show up out of nowhere, you might want to visit your doctor. There may be underlying problems that are causing the back pain, and not necessarily your menstrual cycle itself. Some examples of a secondary cause is endometriosis and fibroids.

Your back pain may be a cause for concern if:

  • You've started having back pain during your period, but you never used to
  • The pain is constant throughout your menstrual cycle (not just during your period)
  • The pain is severe

How can I cope with pain during menstruation?

If you have run-of-the-mill back aches during your period, you might find relief with over-the-counter pain relievers, just like with cramps. (Here are other home remedies for menstrual cramps.)

Certain birth control methods — such as the Pill or IUD — can also help reduce some symptoms caused by your menstrual cycle, including back pain. Talk to your doctor about birth control options or different types of pain relievers to find which one is right for you.