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Captain's Log, Stardate 12.16.2009

TMI Alert:

I know that exercise is supposed to make period cramps lessen, but it has never done that for me. Not if I exercise the weeks before my period, not if I exercise during my period. And actually, if I exercise during or close to my period, I’ll start cramping and it’ll just be really painful and unpleasant.

The other day I was running and had to cut the run short because my cramps were just bad. I normally don’t panic, but my friend has endometriosis, and for a moment I wondered if I had that since the cramps were getting to me. So I IM’d her:

Me: For people with endometriosis, if you exercise, does that make your cramps worse?

Her: No, it makes it better.

Me: Then I guess I don’t have endometriosis.

Her: You'd know beyond a shadow of a doubt because the pain is so intense. Like labor.

Labor? As in, have children labor? As in, little Camys NOT running around my house?

Me: Um...that description doesn’t help me any.


  1. Uh, well, I might help you out there a bit.

    My cramps were so bad before I had kids I'd literally down almost an entire bottle of pain meds during it. After having four kids they went away, until 3 years ago. They came back stronger than ever. Part of my problem was ovarian cysts, they can make them bad. The other problem, not enough progesterone in my body. Once we fixed that, the cramps aren't as bad, only the first day and that's it.

    I'd check with your doc and see what's up.

  2. OK, I'll pipe in on this since I suffered from endometriosis since 1984 (first diagnosed) until my hysterectomy in 2004 and the cramps were HORRID!! I didn't feel like exercising so I have no idea if it would have helped. Because in 1984 endometriosis wasn't a well know. The crazy thing about endometriosis is that some women never have symptoms and don't even know they have it until they try to get pregnant and can't.

    The only way to know for sure is possibly through ultrasounds (since they've improved so much) or laparoscopic.

    Sorry for the rambling, a good OB/GYN should be able to help you know what's going on.


  3. Meanwhile, can I recommend Excedrin for pain relief? I discovered this use of it after a visit to New Zealand. If you want to read the story, I wrote about it on my blog here.

  4. I can't imagine anyone having cramps that felt as bad a labor did! (I'm 7 months post-partum. I haven't forgotten yet!) I feel for you ladies who have bad ones since there's no epidural to numb the pain away. :)

    Camy - my friend swears by Pamprin when she's all crampy. I'm an Aleve girl -- it's basically the same as Midol and costs less. Exercise never helps me either...

  5. I'm so glad I'm not alone in the cramps department! My problem is that my stomach is very sensitive so there are very few pain meds I can take that won't make me nauseated. Alleve, Advil, asprin--they all cause my stomach to get upset, and while I can take Tylenol, it doesn't do SQUAT!

    My doctor says it doesn't seem like I have endometriosis, in her opinion, so that's a good thing.


  6. Greeeeeaaaaat ... considering I'm due to give birth to my first child in 4 weeks, this is extremely exciting to know that labor is the worst "cramps" that monthly cramps can be associated with. WAAAHH!!! (they should make over-the-counter epidurals)


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