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Menstrual cramps while running RESEARCH

Please respond to this thread by listing the number of the symptom(s) you DO have. Please add more symptoms (with numbers) if you feel I missed some. Adding your age, height and weight may be helpful. Also, please feel free to contribute research facts and websites.

Which of these SYMPTOMS do you have?

#1 Menstrual like cramping pain brought on by vigorous exercise. Note: If you do not experience this you may be responding to the wrong thread!
#2 The urge to vomit/ bowel movement
#3 Bad circulation in hands and feet (often cold)
#4 Tipped uterus
#5 Menstrual cramping pain during/ after intercourse
#6 Higher than average heart rate
#7 Menstrual cramping pain that onsets 10-20 minutes into a run
#8 Menstrual cramping pain that lasts 5-10 minutes
#9 Menstrual cramping pain that begins 2 weeks prior to menstrual bleeding
#10 Menstrual cramping pain reduced/ depleted through the use of contraceptives
#11 Menstrual cramping pain reduced/ depleted through the use of pain killers

I'll start 24; 5'5'' 110lbs. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

Wed. Apr 7, 5:07am

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How about a little more explanation? Your title says "while running" but your symptom list doesn't mention running or if you are asking if thsese symptoms come on during running. (well #1 mentions exercise but overall the whole thing is unclear).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 10:35 AM

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This thread was posted an the account of another similar thread called "Pain while running." Have you seen this thread? The pain seems to affect people most while running, but it is also triggered in some people while biking, swimming, playing soccer or basketball and many other sports that involve running or vigorous exercise. I am only attempting to gather information for research. What I am asking is actually pretty simple. I am asking people who have the pain to list what symptoms they have. I am doing this in an attempt to discover the most common symptom(s) people are experiencing. Once I know which symptoms are most common, I can zone in on these symptoms to try and figure out what is causing the pain.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 3:24 PM

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A tipped uterus is not a symptom of anything, it's a physical issue.

Bad circulation in your hands and feet is another physical issue.

This is the oddest thread going right now. It makes no sense. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Are you doing your own research and want people to come running like lemmings to help you? Do you even know the definition of symptoms?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 3:43 PM

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I'm still a little confused by this too. Are you wanting people who ache when running to respond if they have also always suffered from one of these other things? Or, are you wanting people who suffer from these things to respond if they think the running brought on these symptoms or made them worse?

I'm not sure how intercourse pain is related to running (and now I have a funny image in my head of two people trying to have sex while jogging in the park!).

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 4:23 PM

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WOw, that is ridiculous! A considerable amount of people who experience this menstrual cramp like pain have mentioned experiencing some if not all of these issues. A better word than symptoms would actually be issues. I wrote the original thread at 2AM, and I apologize for that confusion. I just want to organize the facts. I am a scientist and would like to study this issue further, however I need more information from the people that are actually experiencing this pain. If you do not experience this pain dont' worry about it! I now realize this way is not effective, because as you mentioned, I can not expect people to come running to help. Too bad really. I am currently investigating this problem with other Biomedical scientists. I am obviously collecting data in more ways than one.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 6:36 PM

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More simple approach

The only way anyone could really understand this thread is if they reference the thread "Pain while running." This thread was not well thought out, and as I mentioned I understand that now ;) There is no need for more rude comments on this thread. If you have a tipped uterus and you experience menstrual cramp like pain while running or doing high intensity exercise please respond. Nice and simple. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 7:11 PM

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Recently, I was unable to finish a race because I started getting pelvic menstrual like cramps but I was not ready to start my period. I was so upset that I had to walk part of the race. I have been training for the past month and experience this pain almost every time I run. My doctors had no answers. I have endometriosis and a tilted uterus but they couldn't explain why running is causing this pain even when I'm not ready to start my period. I experience very painful menstrual like cramps when I bike really hard or run hard. It is NOT a stich or "runner's cramp." Breathing doesn't play a roll on pelvic/uterine period like pain. I have been running for 20 years!I love to job but over the past month the cramps got worse. I get the cramps after I run 2 miles or about 15 minutes into my run if I'm running fast. I had to stop running and I was double up on the side of the road for about 10 minutes waiting for the pain to subside. Once the pain stopped, I was able to resume my run. Based on what I have read in medical literature, prostagladins cause inflammation, restrict blood flow, and cause the cramps. Once the inflammation goes down and my blood starts to go back into my uterus/pelvic area, the pain goes away which explains why I can resume the run.

After seeing so many other female runners blogging about the same problem, I was determined to find an answer so I can resume running without pain. I wanted to share research I discovered. Prostaglandins trigger cramps. This inflammatory response causes a restriction in blood vessels, inhibiting blood flow to the uterus and causing the cramps.Here are the common solutions: Birth control pills. Omega Fatty 3 &/or 6 acids block protaglandins. NSAIDs also inhibit the release of protaglandins 400- 600mg of ibroprofen or advil 30 minutes prior to running. Tylenol doesn't work. If you can't take NSAIDS orally due to stomache or GI irritation
, get a prescription Voltaren Gel, Hexal Diclac Anti-inflammatory Gel (generic name diclofenac sodium) which is a topical NSAID and apply it to your pelvic area 3x a day on the days you run.

I'm 42 y/o so I chose not to take BC which was preventing cramps. I then started taking NSAID but had to stop. I was taking so many NSAID orally that I started having GI problems which I why I'm excited to find Voltaren Gel topically. I apply it to my pelvic area 3x a day (and right before I run) and now I can run again!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 7:27 PM

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I've been running for over 10 years and have had uterine pain during running the entire time (that is, after ovulation and before period). It's really hard to be on a cross country team or track team and have to sit down. Or when you're running with guys and you have to say "uhhh, my STOMACH hurts...yea..." It's so painful, and it's surprising to me that there isn't a name for it

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 7:29 PM

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6:36 ~ we aren't Guinea pigs. And if you're a scientist wouldn't you know the difference between a tipped uterus being a physical attribute than a symptom. And pain during sex? That's got nothing to do with running. Seriously. I find this whole thread beyond comprehension.

And, FYI, you can't organize "facts" when you have none. What you are attempting to gather are opinions, not facts. Only in a controlled study, and even then it's questionable, can you gather "facts."

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 7:35 PM

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I have endo...this is a common symptom of endo, unfortunately. I don't know if this happens to women who don't suffer with the disorder, though--I have had these issues since my very first period at age 12. In HS I used to get SEVERE cramping, especially during more intense track workouts.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 7:35 PM

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4:23 again here -
I have to agree with 7:35. A real scientist would organize a controlled study and get approve to work with human subjects (academic and scientific institutions require this approval through a board of peers even if no harm will be inflicted on the subjects if you are going to use personal information like this in a research study). They should also list their credentials before asking this kind of question - if this really is a serious research project.

I still don't understand how some of these things relate to physical exercise either.

Thursday, April 08, 2010, 9:43 AM

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For all of you that are up in arms about this thread for no reason. Don't comment, you obviously don't have the problem so use your time and enegry somewhere else.

I was glad to see this thread because I have the problem of menstral cramps while I am doing heavy exercise. There is not a time that I get them in particular in my cycle, I just get them randomly. They are so painful I cannot stand up. I have asked numerous doctors about this over the years, and no one seems to know what it is. It is very frustrating, and many people tell me "oh it must be something you ate." I can say these cramps have nothing to do with anything I ate.

I would really love to know why this is happening because I would like to prevent it.

Monday, May 03, 2010, 2:43 PM

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cramps during exercise

I have almost all of the same symptoms as stated in the beginning of this thread. I have been doing research for a very long time (and have been getting the cramps for a very long time) and have not come up with a good solution. I seem to be healthy in all other aspects except for these cramps during exercise (it happens when I run and bike). Doing a very slow warm up seems to help, but for the most part I have to just stop my exercise, wait for the cramps to stop and then resume my bike/run. I wish we knew what caused this and how to get it to stop! Thanks for doing some research!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 6:09 PM

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Not SUre if you are stilll collecting data...

It seems like some real cranks jumped down your throat about there any way to tie it to the thread we all commented on? Anyways....I am very interested in data you have collected and hope you can share any information collected. My symptoms:

Outside running only
Menstrual like pain about 1 mile into run
Urge to have bowel movement (always)
Tilted uterus
MVP (mitral valve prolapse)
Large thyroid (no hyperthyroidism)
History of Migraines
Mild IBS
Regular Periods
No food allergies.

Hope this helps.

Monday, June 07, 2010, 11:01 PM

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Hi, i'm 23, 5ft 7, 140lbs.

I've had ongoing problems with heavy and horrifically painful periods for about 10 years which has since been diagnosed as endometriosis.

All hormonal birth control helps to get rid of it, but kills my sex drive causing difficulties with my partner, pain killers do not help and i often vomit them back up before they get a chance to work anyway.

i have recently started training for a half marathon and have started getting menstrual-like cramps about 1-1.5 miles in.

of the above list i get:

#1 Menstrual like cramping pain brought on by vigorous exercise.
#2 The urge to vomit/ bowel movement
#3 Bad circulation in hands and feet (often cold)
#4 Tipped uterus- NOT SURE?
#5 Menstrual cramping pain during/ after intercourse

#7 Menstrual cramping pain that onsets 10-20 minutes into a run
#8 Menstrual cramping pain that lasts 5-10 minute

#10 Menstrual cramping pain reduced/ depleted through the use of contraceptives

hope this helps.

Thursday, June 10, 2010, 6:17 AM

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I have most of the numbers listed, but I have no idea if I have a tipped uterus, I will have to ask the doctor. I have been diagnosed with endometriosis. Has anyone with this problem had trouble getting pregnant?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 8:54 PM

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please contact me with any findings

For years I have gotten:

#1 yes
#2 yes (associated with cramps and goes away when cramps go away)
#3 (toes often lose color easily? but I'm not cold
#4 ?
#7 yes
#8 yes
#9 no -- more like 2/3 days before menstrual bleeding, and it is intense
#10 ? not on BC
#11 Yes, I take 4 advil and menstrual cramping associated with menstrual bleeding stops within 45 minutes.

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010, 12:52 PM

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Thanks for doing this. I've had this whenever I'm not on the pill. I've had a laparoscopy, numerous ultrasounds, and a CT scan. And everything looks normal. No endometriosis. No cysts. None of the doctors I've seen seem to know what I'm talking about and they all dismiss the fact that it's brought on by aerobic exercise even though that's the most consistent symptom. One gyno suggested I might have adenomyosis, but at the same time said that I should not have pain outside of menstruation.
One other thing you might consider investigating is problems getting pregnant as I read on another similar thread that this was fairly common and is also my case.
Let us know what your findings are, and if there's a name for this condition(and even better a cure or at least a way to manage). Good luck with it, happy running (and don't worry about the rude comments!)

Details as requested below:
34, 1.60m, 55kg
#1 Menstrual like cramping pain brought on by vigorous exercise. Note: If you do not experience this you may be responding to the wrong thread!
#3 Bad circulation in hands and feet (often cold)
?? #4 Tipped uterus (don't know)
#7 Menstrual cramping pain that onsets 10-20 minutes into a run
#8 Menstrual cramping pain that lasts 5-10 minutes
#9 Menstrual cramping pain that begins 2 weeks prior to menstrual bleeding
#10 Menstrual cramping pain reduced/ depleted through the use of contraceptives
#11 Menstrual cramping pain reduced/ depleted through the use of pain killers

Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 9:39 PM

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To the previous post: were you able to get pregnant? My husband and I have just started trying to get pregnant and this issue makes me nervous. I have brought it up to several doctors, none of whom have any idea what it could be. They have all said not to worry about it, but it seems so odd that it has happened basically my entire life (except when on birth control) and it is linked to my cycle (because I only get the cramps two weeks after my last period). No one seems to have any idea what this is related to. I have spent a lot of time worrying about this issue and would be grateful if someone could figure out a solution (or just tell us that it isn't a major issue).

Thursday, July 15, 2010, 11:54 AM

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Menstural like pain after running

Hi I am 30 I have a very similar problem. I am a beginner in running. But i have been exercising past few years on and off. I am running past 2 months on an average 3 times a week and sometimes 4 times. I started running on treadmill and at that time i never had any problem. I used to run for 20 minutes with one break of one minute in between after a continuous 10 minute run with a speed of 5.1. My first pain was last month when i went for a run on my 1st day of period. I get very intense menstrual pain for around 30 minutes and then i feel pretty fine for other 3 days. After one time menstrual pain attack, i get very mild pain for a few times on the second day of period which is bearable. Then i also experienced the same pain on 14th or 15th day after my period when i was not even running. This i assume was normal pain during ovulation. But what is freaking me out is the recent discovery of same menstrual like pain after 5 minute run on road. I can not run for more than this on road unlike treadmill. I am trying to develop my running skill gradually little by little. I have realized that when ever i stretch my limit a little more, i get this intense menstrual like pain. I also feel like going for no. 2 even if i actually don’t need to. Overall it’s a very bad experience of almost 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the pain goes. I am just hoping i do not have a serious problem like endo or anything else. I have not noticed any change in my period in terms of flow. It lasts for 3 days with very normal flow and 4 day onwards i only get spotting. Please let me know if any one has any more findings on a similar problem. Also i want to be sure i can continue running. (After reading other comments, I am reminded of a similar pain that i experienced 3 years back. At that time i had never had sexual intercourse and the pain had happened after i had got an erotic dream. I also felt some high pulse on my private part along with the pain. This had only happened a couple of times)

Friday, July 16, 2010, 3:00 PM

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30, 5'7", 130

Tuesday, July 27, 2010, 9:21 AM

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case no. 7

Female, age 18, 113lbs ..5'2"
Hey!! i would like to comment on this. I have been having your case number 7 problem for about a year now and this has been frustrating me ever since. The cramps usually come 3 days after my period and continue until i get my period again. Within my period and a couple days after, im fine and can run for miles. I dislike the feeling of having these cramps for about a month after those 3 days tho. I asked my doctor and all she could give me was a typical response of "have u been hydrated, have you been warming up, have u been eating fruits and vegetables". Well all of these comments i have been doing. There is also another point i would like to consider. There is a history of sistic (spelling?) ovaries in my immediate family and i am seriously hoping that that is not the case. also i read somewhere that the pain is all due to your intake on lactose? is that true? I really dont know. I would really like to talk with someone about this because running is basically apart of me.

Saturday, August 21, 2010, 8:03 PM

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Premenstrual Cramping

I have had this problem for about 4 years now and this is the first information that I have found about it. Doctors seem to have no idea. I find it considerably annoying as it significantly interrupts my training regime.
168cm, 65kg, 28yo.
Pain approx one wk before cycle started about 15mins into run. each day closer to my cycle the pain onset is quicker and more severe. At first i would be doubled over in pain and an instant need for bowel movement and vomiting. Pain would last for up to 10mins. Now as soon as i start to feel it I stop before it reaches that level. I also do not run at all the wk prior to prevent the pain.
Any info about this would be great. i have been active all my life and I don't understand why this has only started recently.
Im currently going to the gyno to check for any abnormalities but as far as I know I have none.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 10:14 PM

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To July 15th

I was the OP years ago that this thread spun off of. Now I'm not sure of your exact cause as none of us are but I have had 2 babies since my post in 07.

Friday, October 29, 2010, 10:54 PM

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Case 4,4444 (from related thread)

First of all, thank you for taking the time to compile symptoms from all those on this thread. I think it is a noble and worthy cause! I for one would love to know the definitive cause. Those who do not suffer from this affliction need not post unproductive comments. As evidenced by the number of contributors to the original thread, there are plenty of women who do suffer from this and are VERY interested in the cause. I think it was a great idea to compare common and different symptoms between fellow sufferers - so Thank You!

32 yo 5'6" 128 lb.

I have:
#1, #2, #3 (feet), #7

#8 (sometimes pain lasts longer, has been up to 20 minutes. It often continues even if I stop running and walk but goes away with 10-15 min of sitting still).

#9 Hadn't previously paid attention to where in the cycle until I found these threads so I'm unsure of the timing in relation to my period in the past. My last period started Dec 1 and ended Dec 5 and the last occurrence of the pain was on a run yesterday, Dec 8, 1.25 miles in.

I'm not sure about:
#4, #6, #10, and #11

I would add:
I have had this happen only once in the past 12 days (of which I ran 10) and yesterday morning prior to my run I had a Chiropractic adjustment on my lower back that was pretty forceful. Not sure that this would be in any way related unless the adjustment somehow affected circulation in the area? When I've experienced this in the past I'm not sure that it has always been directly following an adjustment.

Thursday, December 09, 2010, 1:23 PM

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