Symptoms of painful periods 

Period pain is usually felt as painful muscle cramps in the lower abdomen (tummy).

Sometimes the pain comes in intense spasms, while at other times the pain may be dull but more constant.

Period pain can sometimes spread to your lower back and your thighs. You may also notice that the pain varies with each period. Some periods may cause you little or no discomfort, while others may be far more painful.

As well as feeling pain in your abdomen, you may have a number of other symptoms, such as:

How long will my period pain last?

Your period pain usually starts when your bleeding begins, although some women also feel pain several days before their period starts.

Period pain normally lasts for 48-72 hours, although in more severe cases it may last for longer. The pain is usually at its worst when your bleeding is heaviest.

The symptoms of painful periods tend to improve as you get older. Many women also notice an improvement after they have had children.


Page last reviewed: 05/11/2014

Next review due: 05/11/2016