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Your Guide to Menstrual Cramps

How Do I Know If My Menstrual Cramps Are Normal?

If you have severe or unusual menstrual cramps, or cramping that lasts for more than two or three days, contact your health care provider. Menstrual cramps, whatever the cause, can be treated, so it's important to get checked.

How Will my Doctor Detect Menstrual Cramps?

First, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and menstrual cycles. Your provider also will perform a pelvic exam in which he or she will insert a speculum in order to see into your vagina and cervix. A small sample of vaginal fluid may be taken for testing. Your provider will then insert his or her fingers into the vagina to examine your uterus and ovaries to feel for any abnormalities.

If the cramping you are having is not common menstrual cramps, further tests may be needed. If a medical problem is found,  treatments will be discussed.



If you use tampons and develop the following symptoms, get medical attention immediately:

  • Fever over 102 F
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness, fainting or near fainting
  • A rash that looks like a sunburn

These are symptoms of a condition called toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can be life-threatening.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on September 20, 2014

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