6 doctors weighed in:

What exactly is a menstrual cramp? Is it just soreness from the uterine lining sloughing off, or does it actually have to do with muscle contraction?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics & Gynecology
4 doctors agree

In brief: Contraction

Chemicals called prostaglandins are released that lead to the uterine muscle contractions and other unpleasant symptoms during your period.

In brief: Contraction

Chemicals called prostaglandins are released that lead to the uterine muscle contractions and other unpleasant symptoms during your period.
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Thank
Dr. Scott Kramer
Gynecology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Uterus contraction

The inside lining of your uterus grows in response to female hormones, and sloughs during a period releasing hormones called prostaglandins.
They make your muscular uterine walls contract. Drugs like Ibuprofen & Naproxen block production and reduce pain; best taken at the earliest onset of cramps. Also birth control pills reduce growth of the lining, hence reducing cramps too.

In brief: Uterus contraction

The inside lining of your uterus grows in response to female hormones, and sloughs during a period releasing hormones called prostaglandins.
They make your muscular uterine walls contract. Drugs like Ibuprofen & Naproxen block production and reduce pain; best taken at the earliest onset of cramps. Also birth control pills reduce growth of the lining, hence reducing cramps too.
Dr. Scott Kramer
Dr. Scott Kramer
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Adam Levy
Board Certified, Obstetrics & Gynecology
33 years in practice
1M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors