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Pain while running

I have been running for quite some time and have had some issues with pain.
I get cramps, similar to very uncomfortable and painful menstrual cramps and cannot figure out what is causing them. After walking for a while they subside but come back after I begin to run again.
Pain in the left upper chest, to the right of my shoulder. This also happens while doing aerobics.
Please let me know if you have had similar problems or know what could be causing it. I'm a 25 year old female at an average weight.

Sun. Jul 9, 11:37pm

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While I can't comment on your specific pain, as I haven't had it (I tend to get a stitch (cramp) on my right rib when I haven't been running for a while) I can say this, as someone who just took up running this year:

a) stitches or cramps in your side, (above waist) go away after time.
b) ensure you're not crossing your arms in front of your chest when you swing them. Arms at sides, not across chest.
c) shoulders back, tuck butt, make sure your feet are pointed straight. When you do this, you're in better alignment, and you should have less pain over all. A key thing to proper running form is not to be leaning forward or hunched over, or having your shoulders rolled forward.

C was the most important thing for me in reducing pain while running. I've been sick for two weeks, but decided I couldn't take not running anymore, and so I went for a run tonight. Sure enough, I got a stitch in my side, as I hadn't been running for a while. So I had to slow it down for a while. Give me another week and I'll be fine :) (And I'm 25 and average weight too)

Monday, July 10, 2006, 2:59 AM

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I would pay attention to your form as the 2:59 poster suggested. I'll also throw out there that you need a good pair of shoes to help keep you in proper allignment. The shoes (if you use them frequently- more then 3 times per week) should be replaced ever 3-4 months. This seems like alot, but it is very important to have a good pair of shoes with the proper support- running shoes are not designed to last along time, so you have to replace them. Go to a running shoe store and have an associate help you find the best shoe for your foot.

The other thing I would suggest for your cramps is to pay attention to when your eating and to your bowel movments in relation to when you run. Are you eating and then running? Have you had a movement before your run? Do you have one right after your run? It could be the increased physical activity is causing you to cramp because your intestines are either trying to work at that moment (and the blood needed to digest food is instead carrying oxygen to your entire body). When you stop running your body is able to relax and send the needed blood for digestion to your stomic and intenstines. Or your intestines could be full. If you find you do have an issue related to this cause, increase fiber to your diet (Eat things like bran, fruits, and vegetables. FYI- Celery is one of the highest fiber content veggies. Avoid things that will bind you up before a run like rice, meat, and potatos.)

Monday, July 10, 2006, 12:38 PM

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I think it could be eating close to the time you run also. If you have an abnormally quick heart beat or irregular heart beat you might want to address this with your doctor. Don't forget hydration, if your not properly hydrated cramps may also occur. Happy running!!


Monday, July 10, 2006, 1:24 PM

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i agree w/ the above poster - although you're young and healthy, there are some inherited heart problems that you definitely want to rule out, especially if your pain is located in the left chest.

another possibility is asthma. i was having chest pain and irregular heart palpitations with intense exercise. all of my heart studies were normal. it turned out i had exercise-induced asthma. the symptoms improved after i got an inhaler.

Monday, July 10, 2006, 2:03 PM

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i would see a physician.

Monday, July 10, 2006, 3:39 PM

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painful cramps while running

I know exactly what you are talking about, and I have suffered with this also for the past several years. It is totally unrelated to when I have eaten or not eaten, and has nothing to do with my form. It is a pain that occurs in my lower abdomen about 10 minutes or 1 mile into my run and it is so overwhelming that I have to completely stop running and often crouch down. If I walk very slowly for the next ten minutes, it will go away, but only after going through a lot of pain.

When this first happened several years ago, I finally asked my doctor and it turned out that I had an ovarian cyst that was eventually removed, so I would look into that. However, even after having it removed, I continue to have that pain. If you or your doctor come up with a solution, please let me know, as I haven't been able to find one. See this link also:


Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 11:21 PM

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if the cramps you are feeling are side stitches- it's all about the the breathing. you're not getting enough oxygen. make sure you breath deep, inhaling completely, and then force all the air out of your lungs. this almost always makes mine go away.
also, though fiber is essential for a healthy digestive track, eating fiber too close to a run (think 2 hours) can causes troubles. this does depend on the person though.
as for the chest pain, i'm not sure what causes it but i get it too. you should probably see a doctor about it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 11:50 PM

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Pain in the left upper chest? I know you think you are too young for this, but see a physician and get checked out for angina.
That is definitely NOT menstrual cramps!

Thursday, November 16, 2006, 8:29 AM

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See a doctor

I would say that any chest pain associated with aerobic exercise needs a doctors attention, just to be sure. Go to the doctors and get a stress test. That way you'll be certain either way.

Saturday, November 18, 2006, 11:46 AM

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I'm not sure why people have started talking about chest pain and regular side stitches on here. I know exactly what you mean. I started getting a menstrual like cramp when running last summer. Far more painful than your average side stitch and not related to form, tecnique or the kind of shoes I have at all. I don't know if there is a health/medical reason for this but I did wonder if it had something to do with my eating habits/hydration before running. I run recreationally 6-7 months out of the year - April - Oct and it seemed to only happen in the summer months - when it was hot. I've chalked it up to dehydration/eating crap like dairy before running/pushing myself too far in the heat. I haven't been able to find any concrete answers on other posts either.

Thursday, May 03, 2007, 1:08 PM

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Maybe you should read the original post, in which the OP described pain in her (?) side and shoulder.

Thursday, May 03, 2007, 1:50 PM

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I get that too!

I know exactly what you are talking about. It feels like your insides are trying to come out Right? This happens mostly when I am running on the street. I do not feel the pressure as much when I am on a treadmill or grass. I am going to my doctor in 2 weeks for my yearly appointment. I will ask and get back to you, but suggest you see someone too!

Good Luck to You and Keep up the good work!!

Friday, May 04, 2007, 12:29 PM

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I would definitely suggest seeing a doctor about the chest pain.

As for the huge cramp - I know EXACTLY what you are talking about because I suffered from the same thing for quite some time. I did a lot of research on it (I was too stubborn to see a doctor)... and I found that it was due to a lactose intolerance. I thought that it was crazy but I switched to lactose free milk (it tastes the same as regular milk, I promise) and I started to really watch my lactose intake (especially on days when I was planning on running)... the pain IMMEDIATELY stopped... I have not had any type of abdomen pain since I made the switch. I know that it sounds crazy because I have never had problems with lactose before but I do know that it helped me out - I used to run about 1-3 miles, kneel down and suffer with extreme abdominal pain for about 10 min or so, and then I would be able to run again - now I can run without issues. If I can find the site that listed all of the information then I will list it... in the meantime, I highly suggest that you try the lactose free idea for at least a week , go for a run, and see if you notice a difference - it definitely did the trick for me!!! Let me know how it works out for you :)

Friday, June 29, 2007, 2:45 PM

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Lack of sodium in your diet, as well as dehydration can cause cramps.

I would still see a doctor. Like a previous poster above, I also had an ovarian cyst, although for me it presented all at once, one day with immense pain [it bursted]. I found out that stress can make them worst, so perhaps any changes in your stress level might also affect your running?

Good luck!

Friday, June 29, 2007, 2:54 PM

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running pain

I know exactly what your talking about - I have the same problem! I am a doctor and I cant figure it out either. I've been dealing with it for about 15yrs, but it goes away while I'm on oral contraceptives. Dont know why though :(

Saturday, September 08, 2007, 5:35 PM

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abdominal pain

It's kind of weird that this is a problem for many women but no one can really come up with a concrete explanation for why... I have the same horrible abdominal pain mentioned above... it comes on after the first mile of running and really is only completely fixed by walking (if i sit down i usually puke) My mother (who is a doctor) atributed it to a lactose intolerance and so i started drinking silk and cutting dairy, this did not help, I've also been on oral contraceptives since i was very young and this didn't solve it either... my gynocologist out of shear lack of any other explanation decided that it was my endometriosis that caused it because it more frequently happens around my period and that was a pre-existing problem... I've finally just decided its something i have to deal with... I have learned however that a good way to deal with the pain is to sit in the tub with a couple of inches of cold water... it helps to make the pain a little more bearable at those times that it hurts so bad you cant just walk it off... It's not much but its all i can offer to you, If anyone finds another explanation, or a better remedy please let me know as well

Saturday, March 29, 2008, 6:50 PM

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feminine cramping during running

What you have is called Endometrosis.
It's a common medical condition characterized by growth beyond or outside the uterus of tissue resembling endometrium, the tissue that normally lines the uterus.
Check out Wikipedia for more info.

In advanced stages of this disease and race cases the growth can be transplanted through blood stream to primary organs such as lungs and brain. This may explain your chest pains, but it's possible that it's unrelated to your cramps.

I don't know why it hasn't been mentioned here before. My doctor suggested this right away when i mentioned my own symptoms. The condition is treated with oral contraceptive. When i'm on it i have no cramps. If i'm not, my symptoms are exactly what other women have already described above.

You don't have to suffer. There is no known cure for it, but there are several methods of effectively stunting it's growth.

Good luck.

Sunday, May 25, 2008, 3:40 AM

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I have it! Nothing to fret over though! It's normal.. but if it is just outragously painfun..ya might see a doctor!?

Sunday, May 25, 2008, 3:46 PM

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cramps while running around my period

Hi. I just wanted you to know that I have the same exact "menstrual cramp" pain when I run. it does begin about 10 minutes into the run and i do not stop, they get progressively worse. After stopping and walking for about 5-10 min, they go away and I can then finish my run with no more cramps. I am convinced it is based around my period because it only happens 2 weeks before my period. At no other time do I experience this. I thought I was the only one who suffered this. My GYN could not really explain it- her best guess was that the fluid that builds up during the menstrual cycle kind of gets "joshed around" when you run and so the muscles respond by contracting. I kind have to agree with that guess because I do not get the cramps while biking or swimming; therefore, i have to scheduled my workouts accordingly to avoid the miserable cramping! Anyways, I hope that helps you some!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008, 11:02 AM

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mystery pain

First of all, I am so grateful to this thread because I've been dealing with this awful and totally unknown pain for five years now and it has prevented me from playing sports and being as active as I'd like to be. It turns out the internet offered up more sound advice than two medical professionals--one of whom dismissed my pain by saying that i'm "probably not a wimp" but that it might very well be in my head. Then I stumbled onto this page a few months ago and thought that maybe I could have a tipped uterus since my symptoms resembled many of those posting here. My friend's mother, who is also a gynecologist, told me that she has a tipped uterus and that that would not cause the pain I feel when running. She suggested I might have endometriosis. I went to my GP when I came home from school and was told that I had neither a tipped uterus nor endometriosis. A few months later I decided to keep trying to find an answer. Yesterday I went to a new gyno and was told upon examination that I do indeed have a retroflexed uterus which was most likely causing my pain. She said that in some women the position of a tipped uterus causes menstrual cramp-like pain while running. Basically the body's movements during running cause intense cramping which simulates the cramping during menarche. She suggested 600-800 milligrams of ibuprofen 20 minutes before exercise. Anyway, I hope this helps someone else. Had I just listened to other women I could have avoided years of unnecessary pain.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 4:45 PM

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menstrual-like pain while running

I'm so glad I'm not the only one (no one else seems to know what I'm talking about when I describe it). I've had this on and off for years. Hardly ever happens, maybe a few times a year, but it's so WEIRD. Very similar to menstrual cramps and you can't ignore it, it just keeps getting worse if you keep running. I actually start to feel nauseous so eventually I have to stop and walk until the pain goes away. Once it's gone, I can start running again and then it's fine.
Unfortunately I keep forgetting to ask my doctor about this at my yearly least now, thanks to other people who've posted, I have an idea of what it might be.

Friday, August 01, 2008, 7:59 PM

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new shoes, new shoes, new shoes. SO important. Also, what did the doctor say?

Saturday, August 02, 2008, 12:37 PM

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menstrual-like pain while running

Wow. I just got home from a run. I was about a mile into it when I got these severe cramps to the point where I thought I was going to throw up or faint. I immediatly came home and went online. I found this site. I'm glad to find i'm not alone however I am a bit fearful that I may have a tipped uterus, fibroids or endometriosis. I've been running since March 08 and can run a lot longer than 1 mile. I'm not sure why all of a sudden I got this cramp. Has anyone found out any new information?

Monday, August 04, 2008, 10:12 PM

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I have this too!

I run 3-5 times a week and about ¼ of the time, roughly 10 minutes into a run, I get *severe* pain in what I can only describe as my uterus (or area). It does not happen every run and it doesn’t seem to be predictable. It’s pretty debilitating for 10-15 minutes and then disappears completely; it’s been severe enough at times to cause me to throw up. I’ve tried to determine if it had anything to do with how much water I’ve had or if I’ve eaten before hand (neither seem to cause or prevent it) and it isn’t preventable with ibuprofen pre-run.

When I mentioned to problem to my GP she said it was probably dehydration, but through testing I know that is not the cause. I’d be very interested to talk to my GYN about the possibilities you have all listed here.

Thank you to everyone for posting about this issue; I’ve been really nervous about what this pain could be.

Monday, August 18, 2008, 7:05 PM

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I have this, too!!!!!

I have had this for a while now, and eventually stopped running as it got worse and worse. About a 1.5 miles into the run, it starts, pain like menstrual cramps, and the newest addition, I start to hyperventilate. I immediately have to use the restroom. Have seen several docs and they have given me the same excuses, IBS, dehydration, and not stretching properly.

This sounds crazy, but it seems to happen when I am running a hill. If I only run down hills, and walk up the hills, it doesn't happen. If anyone else tries this and it works, please advise. I had read it on another website, about this same problem and it worked for me.

I am glad to have found this website, please keep posting any other findings .I have extremely painful periods anyway, so I am going to the doc to see if it is Endometriosis. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008, 10:49 PM

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I've noticed that I've been getting shin splints after 1-minute of running. Walking is fine. But, once I start jogging... it hits. Any advice?

Friday, August 22, 2008, 2:00 AM

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I had really bad shin splints from running in crappy shoes from Wal-Mart or the likes, and had to stop running altogether and see a physiotherapist for 6 months. When I started running again I bought shoes from a running store that were meant for me (I suppinate - run on the outside of my feet) for $130. They were worth every penny, and now I don't get the shin splints any more. At physio I also learned some good muscle strengthening exercises.
Also, before you run you can take an ibuprofen (to stop swelling), and right after your run you can ice the shins. This will help the pain, but not prevent the cause.

Friday, August 22, 2008, 9:38 AM

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Menstrual pain while running

Okay, I had that weird pain again twice in the past 2 weeks (more than normal for me).
I have an appt. for my annual physical in 4 weeks. Am going to tell my doctor about this and see if she'll refer me for a vaginal ultrasound so I can find out if anything's going on in there! Will report back.

Sunday, August 24, 2008, 1:46 PM

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Hi again, just a suggestion...

Usually when I get this pain I am stubborn, and keep running...I don't know why I do this because the pain never goes away, it always gets worse! I timed it about a week ago, and I had to walk slowly for 3.5 minutes before I felt okay to run again.

Well it happened again on the weekend but this time I stopped running as soon as I recognized the pain (ie, before it got bad) and I only had to walk for about a minute before the pain disappeared. So you guys may want to try that too, rather than trying to run through the pain...seems that if you stop running before the pain gets too bad, it'll go away faster.

Monday, August 25, 2008, 12:33 PM

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Pain while running

I am amazed to read that women are having the same exact thing happen to them. I did what someone else did, when I started to feel the pain, I stoped! I walked it off and then continued to run. It did not come back that round. I tried taking advil before I run but that did not stop the pain. I too have bad periods anyway and usually take a large dose of advil to help with that. For those of you who have asked your doctor recently, please let me know what they say.

Friday, August 29, 2008, 11:19 PM

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Cramps Cramps Cramps

This is insane to find out that everyone is having this problem. I have had cramps(what it feels as menstrual) while running for about 8-9 years now. It only occurs 2 weeks prior to my period and continues on until after I start. I will run 11-13 minutes and feel the pain. I sit down or crouch down for about 5 minutes in immense pain until it goes away. After the pain subsides I am able to run again. I workout 6 times a week and am training for a triathlon. Nothing is worse than having this pain. I've just figured I have to deal with it and go on. No doctor can give me a specific diagnosis. I will definitely try some of these remedies. I know it is not hydration or diet. Ibprofen has not seemed to help as well. Lactose will be my next step. It's a huge pain when half your time is dealing with this pain and working out. Thanks for this I do not feel as crazy as I thought!

Monday, September 01, 2008, 2:36 PM

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YEY! I am not alone!!! Got the same problem, which is darn near impossible to describe to anyone that hasn't had it!!! I am 27 and have had this problem ever since I started menstruating (15 years or more) and it is definately related to my menstrual cycle, because it only affects me for about 2 weeks per month.
The pain is a dull, indescribable pain that affects my entire abdomin, and can last for 20 - 25 minutes after I stop running, and seems to be caused be a certain physical level of exertion. Makes me want to double over, leaves me shaky and feeling like I need to go to the bathroom. It's upsetting because it messes up my work out and I love to run. I joke with my husband that they feel like contractions......when we have a baby, and I find out that they are contractions....I'm definately getting an epidural!!!!
Being on the pill hasn;t never able to explain it....definately not the stich or dehydration.....pain relief minimizes but does not prevent: best solution: find alternative work out strategies or just go for a walk!!!!

Someone needs to study this stuff!!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008, 12:37 PM

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menstrual like cramps while running

I am so relieved to find that I am not alone. I have been dealing with this pain for as long as I can remember. I am 27 years old and in my opinion a better than average fitness level. This has not bothered me as much until now that me and my husband have started training for a marathon. The pain usually starts at 20 minutes into my run. I walk it off for a bit and continue but then I am doubled over in pain. It seems to get worst the harder I push myself. My body feels good and capable of running but I am overwhelmed with this menstrual like pain that stops me. I have found that it has no connection to my eating or lactose intake. It is unpredictable, as far as my cycle goes, and it is also unrelated to whether or not I am on any birth control. I have been off birth control for about 8 months now, as we are trying to get pregnant (we have been unsuccessful). I thank all of you so much for this information because I had not considered endometriosis or tilted uteruses. I am now very scared that this could be more serious than I thought. And might even have a connection to our inability to conceive. We went for our usual run tonight and I began cramping up towards the end of our run, i tried to walk it off but ended staggering behind him in pain to our finish where I hung onto my husband until the pain subsided. It was doubly upsetting because for the first time ever I almost beat him home! It was so bad I decided to turn to the internet for answers. I had asked my GP / GYN about this before and he said it was probably due to my approaching period. But this time I know for sure it has nothing to do with it because I am 3 weeks away from it. It doesn't happen every time I run (sometimes it doesn't even happen while I'm on my period) but as I said it does seem to be related as to how hard I push my self. I have my annual appointment next week, I will see what I can find out. Its so frustrating that this is literally cramping my training style. Thank you again my fellow running sisters for letting me know I am not alone. I will let you know how it goes....

Saturday, September 13, 2008, 5:33 AM

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Hopefully on my way to an answer

Had my annual physical on Friday. As expected, my doctor had no idea what this pain could be and had never had any other patients mention it before. But she was very willing to refer me for a pelvic ultrasound (including a trans-vaginal ultrasound) so I'm calling today to book an appt. Will let you guys know once I have the appt. and if they find anything going on in there.

Monday, September 22, 2008, 1:18 PM

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I also get the same pain in my lower abdomin area after about 9-12mins into running. Usually it comes on a lot quicker if I am pushing myself. The quicker I stop running the quicker the pains go away, then I am right to push myself for the rest of the run. I have been to the doctor about this once before I saw this forum and had a pelvic ultra sound with nothing showing up and the doctor had no idea what was causing it. Just after getting my period it seems to disappear during that week but then returns shortly after. Its very frustrating running and then having to stop for it to go away, so I too am looking for a solution to this problem.

At first I tried decreasing my stride because I thought it was a friction problem. This did work a little bit, but not always.

Now Im thinking that it has something to do with blood circulation... I have poor circulation in my hands and feet as they are alway cold, so maybe I do in the pelvis area? Anyone else have poor circulation?

I think we need to try to find a common thing between us and hopefully that will narrow it down.....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008, 10:20 PM

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One more week

Alright, had my ultrasounds already and my doctor's office called this week to say that it's "not at all urgent" but my doctor would like to discuss the results. So I assume there is *something* showing up because if there was totally nothing they'd just say so on the phone.
I'm not worried since she said it's not urgent...sounds weird, but I was kind of HOPING that something (minor, of course) would show up so that maybe I'd have a reason for this pain!
My appt. is for next Friday, the 10th so I'll write again after that.

And I agree with the last post. Since no doctors seem to have a definitive answer as to what this is but we all know we have it, maybe we should swap more facts to try to figure this out.

FYI, I was searching online and found another possible cause which has not been mentioned here yet. Varicose veins in the pelvic area! The article I read said that sometimes people who have this also have varicose veins in the vagina or vulva, as evidenced by occasional swelling. I actually get this sometimes (I notice the difference some mornings as I'm washing, in the shower). Anyone else?

Thursday, October 02, 2008, 3:32 PM

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Other Issues

I agree with 9/30 as well, we should compare any other issues. I am in my early 30s, have been trying to get pregnant for 6 months, and haven't. I have an enlarged thyroid, but have had it checked out and do not have hyper or hypo thyroid, also not cancerous - just enlarged.

I don't have vericose veins or poor circulation, although I seem to get charlie horses in my toes quite often. Also, my hair has been thinning for quite a while (just in general all over my head), I used to have very thick hair. Intercourse is mildly uncomfortable. My menstrual cycle is running every 23 days, which seems really short.

The more I read about endometriosis, the more I am convinced this could be it - there is a diet that is supposed to alleviate the pain of this disease, no wheat & no dairy. I tried this for 30 days, and my normal period cramps were reduced this past month. I haven't tried running again, but if my cramps are reduced dramatically next month as well, I will try to run and advise. From what I have read, there is not much doctors can do for endometriosis, so I wonder if they just ignore it in general when someone complains of symptoms.

Sorry, for all the gruesome details, but hope this helps. I am going to see a new gyno before the end of the year, and will insist on being tested for endometriosis.

Thursday, October 02, 2008, 9:11 PM

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Sorry, no news. Went to my doctor to discuss my ultrasound results yesterday. I was hoping for something more interesting (but not serious of course!!). I have a small (1.5 cm) fibroid, that's it. Not big enough to do anythinig about.

So, I guess I'm back to having no idea what causes that weird pain. :o(

Saturday, October 11, 2008, 1:22 PM

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period pain whilst running

Hi I just wanna say thank god I'm not alone with this one!!!!

I've been running now for approx 12 months but only in the last 9-10 months i've been getting really bad period pains whilst running this happens everytime I go for a run no matter where I am in my cycle.. the pain normally starts between 15-20 mins of the run and its that bad I have to stop till it subsides the pain is just like a period pain and spreads around to my lower back... I've actually been led on the bathroom floor its been that painful sometimes I feel really sick with it!!!

I went to my GP who did and internal exam and a scan but nothing, she then referred me to OBS/GYNE whom I saw yesterday and he seemed baffled he'd not heard of anything like it before!!! (maybe i'll tell him to visit this site and see i'm not alone)

Now going for another scan but he thinks its very unlikely they'll be anything to find!!!
I just think that people shouldn't get a pain for no reason!!!

good luck
lets hope we can all have pain free runs in the future x

Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 9:39 AM

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Could they be side stitches gone deep?

I had side stitches when I was a kid...didn't realize what they were...and was pretty much turned off to running for the rest of my life. (Still trying, but I doubt I'll ever be a runner).

But it looks like there are general stitches as well.

"Some people believe it has to do with a small area of ischemia, where blood and oxygen get cut off to a small area of muscle, which leads to a spasm or cramp." [quote from webmd link]

See links below for description and discussion of side stiches:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 9:50 AM

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me too!

I've had this same problem off and on for years; I didn't notice that it was predictable until I started trying to get pregnant, and so started paying attention to when I ovulated. I realize now that the pain happens between ovulation and my period; it really sucks b/c I'm training for a race and can't train properly if I have to stop 20 minutes into the run! Also, I'm worried it could be a symptom of endometriosis; I've been trying to get pregnant for over a year w/no luck. I chart; I use OPKs and I am definitely ovulating; my husband is apparently a-ok. This makes me so worried about endo. I go to the doctor in 2 wks; if i find anything out I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 13, 2008, 11:53 PM

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Pain in uterus when running

Good job, ladies. I'm very proud of the women on here for speaking up about this issue. This stuff makes me think I really should have gone to med school. I may bring a proposal up to do research on this if I can, but I don't know if research is already being done-something to investigate.

I too have this problem when running, that doesn't happen all the time. As mentioned by someone else on here, I'm 3 weeks from my period. I have been drinking more caffiene than usual the past couple of days which may perhaps lead to dehydration. I ran a hill today which I don't always do. Actually, the last times I can remember it happened I ran hills then too. If people have tipped uteruses (uteri (?) what's the plural here?) perhaps the angle and exertion exacerbates the problem. I've never been checked for a tipped uterus, but I get yearly exams, so wouldn't they have noticed this? So, I guess I will get this checked too. I also haven't been running consistently. I've been carrying a little extra weight this past year (29 yrs. old, 5'4", 145 lbs. but even at my peak fitness I still weigh around 130-135). My circulation is not great in that I seem to get colder in my extremities more quickly than others. I'm not on birth control and haven't been for four years now and I was only on it for three years at the time. I have been more sensitive to lactose the past few years but mostly in the form of straight-up milk or ice-cream-cheese is not a problem. I get yearly check-ups and doctors have never noticed anything. My periods are regular and not heavy, some mild cramping at times. My mother may have had endometriosis, so I will definitely be checking up on this myself and let you folks know. Also, I've never had a hernia, but could this be a problem for some of you? Maybe it's the muscles around the uterus.

My suspicions: this is a hormone problem due to dairy. I know this sounds conspiracy theory, but they inject cattle with hormones, so mammary glands produce more milk. Wonder why we all have breast cancer? Hmmm. Also, pseudo-estrogens in plastics go straight to fat tissue, aka. our breasts. All our dairy now comes in plastic, i.e., plastic wraps, bottles, etc. Little girls are getting the periods at 7 years of age now because of all the extra hormones in everything! That is why these days I drink organic milk out of glass or a carton, but I still eat the bad cheese (and a lot of it, hence the extra ten pounds I carry). That's going to change now that I type this.

I can't think of anything else...but the only thing I have to say to the other people posting on here...the point is not to make the pain go away...sure, walking makes it go away, better shoes, etc....the point is to understand the pain...what's causing it. Our society deals too much with symptoms, not with causes and prevention. So, please don't just think it's a pain problem...the body is telling us something...

Friday, November 28, 2008, 5:49 PM

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uterine cramps while running

i had the same problem as many of you. About a mile or two into my run, I had severe uterine contractions and would double over in pain, almost to the point of passing out. After about 10 min it would go away and I could continue my run. I went to the gynecologist and she told me to take 800mg advil before running. That helped for a while, but eventually quit working. I went to another Dr. who thought i may have endometriosis and put me on birth control which has worked wonderfully. I no longer have any contractions or abdominal pain when I run. For anyone who has this type of pain, I would recommend seeing a gynecologist and going on birth control. Hope it helps!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008, 9:55 AM

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very happy






Friday, December 12, 2008, 6:41 AM

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To the PP; please don't type all in capitals, it's more difficult to read.

And to 9:55AM; I'm glad you went to a 2nd doctor; prescribing painkillers rather than addressing the actual problem seems very lazy to me. And taking painkillers while exercising should never be recommended anyway, as they obviously mask any pain, which could cause you to keep exercising when your body is trying to tell you to stop!

Friday, December 12, 2008, 6:57 AM

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Wow, I can't believe this is still going! I'm the OP and am happy to report that I no longer have the cramping. I think I may have gotten it a few months back but nothing like I use to. I run more and my endurance is greater I also cut out milk...not to say that this is the cause only that these are the main two changes. I had a baby since first posting and had MAJOR problems in my pelvis area, extreme pain, feeling like I was hit with something very hard. Sometimes I coudn't walk, running made this worse but it was just so hard to give it up. I know get that pain when I get my period, nothing like it was but it's still there, when pregnant it was 10+ pain and now only like a 1. I went to my OB and she said everything was fine with me so I still don't know what it was/is.

Sorry you all have the same thing...not fun.

Friday, December 12, 2008, 3:19 PM

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I've had the same problem since I've tried to start running regularly this summer. I ended up only doing the elliptical trainer. At some point I went to see a doctor and I mentioned this problem (not expecting a reaction though, considering that so many women have trouble finding a solution to this nuisance). He said that it's not likely to be a gyno-kind of problem, but rather a muscle kind of problem.

I was actually kind of mad in the beginning, because I thought that clearly he didn't understand what period cramps are. But then I started to do lots of crunches, just to see, and I've noticed a muscle "emerging" in my lower abdomen area, where the cramps usually seem to be.

I tried running every 2-3 days for the past month, and I haven't had any pain whatsoever.

Does that make sense???

Saturday, December 13, 2008, 11:49 PM

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I also, big surprise, have had these identical symptoms for the last year and 9 months. Like many others my pain occurs after 10 minutes or 1 mile of running and after I stop running it is almost unbearable menstrual like pain for 10-15 minutes depending on how hard I push myself. I have noticed this pain on both a treadmill and running outside. I also only experience the pain 2 weeks out of the month. I've noticed a few similarities, besides the fact that we all seem to be women. Many of us have heavy menstrual periods, short cycles, uncomfortable pain during sex, poor circulation only experiencing the pain between ovulating and our periods, and sometimes infertility. I'm not sure about the infertility, could be just coincidence since the original poster was able to get pregnant. I too experience all of these shared symptoms. The fact that it feels identical to menstrual cramps and/or contractions in our uterus and that most of these symptoms are related to our periods must mean it is something only our gynecologist would be able to resolve.

I am in the army and forced to run 5 days of every week and because I've not been able to run the army doctors have sent me to get just about every test they could do on me to get me back on the track. I have been to a gynecologist countless times about this and had a laparoscopy to determine if I have endometriosis however they showed me by the pictures I clearly don't. They have done a tubal dye X-ray, CT scan, and ultrasound to show there are no growths or cysts anywhere in my uterus and have also determined it is not an issue with my bladder by performing a cystoscopy. I've also been to the Gastrointestinal doctor who has said it almost sounds like it could be a lack of blood flow however he said in this case we would have blood in our stool and that I have not experienced. I'm completely stumped and my career depends on finding a resolution. Please, if anyone finds the answer we're all looking for please PLEASE post it. I've been through every test they can do and poked and prodded enough for a lifetime. Thank you all for all of your posts. This has really inspired me to keep searching for the cause.

P.S. This may sound crazy but for the tubal dye study that had to open me up pretty wide to reach everything and during the procedure I felt the exact menstrual like cramps. Once they were done I asked them when these unbearable cramps would go away and why I had them and they said it was because they had to dilate me so wide (which made sense because it felt so much like pregnancy contractions) and said the pain would go away once I shrunk back to normal which took about 20 minutes. I believed there was a strong relation between this experience and the pain when running and thought it was possible I may have been dilating myself when taking long strides however my gynecologist wrote this off as ridiculous...

Friday, December 19, 2008, 3:05 AM

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Unfortunately I don't have any answers at all but I'm happy to have found this post. I have had this menstrual - type pain since I've been about 15. Like others, it comes on about 10 minutes into my run, is worse the harder I push myself, and disappears after I walk for about 5 minutes. I'll be fine for the rest of the run after this. If I don't stop as soon as it starts the pain just increases to the point that I am doubled over and can't move. Someone mentioned they had poor circulation, and in an effort to figure this out, I just wanted to add that I have HORRIBLE circulation. When people touch m

Sunday, January 11, 2009, 12:21 AM

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period pain, not like normal leg cramps/stiches

Hi I've just started running this week and today I experienced agonising menstrual-like pain after a short run, pain which dissipated after about 10 minutes.

Its right in the middle of my cycle, and I usually have quite painful periods. I am 31 and have had no problem with intense cardio or any other form of exercise before. I'm fearful that it may be endometriosis-related.

I will keep an eye on this thread and hope someone can find an answer!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 3:43 AM

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Menstrual-like pain when running

II have exactly the same problem, menstrual-like cramping about 10minutes into a run, although frustratingly I have no solution either! Just for info I'm in the UK (relevant because our healthcare system is completely different to the US!).

I have 'non-concealed ovulation' (in other words, I know when I ovulate, because it hurts) so I know that it only ever occurs between ovulation and menstruation (i.e. the two weeks before my period). I run and race regularly and having had this happen on several occasions (with disastrous consequences for my times in the runs affected) I know that for me it begins around about the 10-minute mark and peaks by 12-14 minutes. At that point I have to slow down to a walk because the pain is so intense and I feel really sick. If I walk it off for anywhere between 30seconds and 1.5mins, I can start again and finish the run without a problem. If I start up again before I've fully walked it off, the cramps return just as severe as they were.

For me, it only seems to be a problem with a certain level of pace/exertion. It only affects me running 5k-type pace. 3ks are too short for it to happen (they're over before the pain peaks). 10ks aren't run at quite such a hell-for-leather pace so that doesn't trigger the cramping. It's only races around the 5k mark that it seems to effect. They're both fast enough and long enough to trigger the problem and be effected by it.

It's not related to consumption of lactose or gluten, as I don't eat either and haven't for over 1 year (although I do sometimes feel an urge to empty my bowels when this pain happens, I don't think it's primarily a bowel thing. I get the same feeling when I have period pain and attribute it to the cramping that's going on in that area generally. I have plenty of problems with my digestive system [hence the lactose & gluten-free diet!] and the pain/discomfort associated with that is completey different to this menstrual-like cramping).

I haven't spoken to a doctor about it, as I haven't thought of it as a medicall 'illness' as such (and in my experience when it comes to sports-related things most doctors just tell you not to do the thing that causes you the problem!). I don't have any diagnosed gynacaelogical problems (such as endometriosis or poly cystic ovary syndrome), I don't use hormonal contraceptives, I always have painful/nauseating periods, I also get discomfort during sex, and I have appalling circulation/thermoregulation. Most of the menstrual-related things and the sensitivity to cold I have put down to my low-ish weight & relatively lean constitution (I'm built like a long-distance runner!).

The only thing I've tried is a precautionary painkiller before races or training sessions when I think it's going to be an issue, but I've not really found that they're effective.

I'm going to try to speak to the coach at the club I run with about it and see whether he's had any experience of it over his career. Perhaps he might know something that works. If he has any useful insights, I'll come back and share them.

It's been a massive relief hearing other people describe pretty much exactly the same phenomenon!! If there's this many of us out there, then hopefully we can look towards finding some sort of a solution that isn't simply 'Don't run'!

Thursday, January 15, 2009, 11:29 AM

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Another one chiming in

So glad to find this thread! I have had this problem for years. In my 30s it happened only the day before and first day of my period, but around 40 it started happening at other times of the month, and by 44 or so it was happening on at least 2/3 of all my runs. Cramps would begin 10-15 minutes into the run, and I would have to walk 5-15 minutes before they subsided. Then I could complete my run pain-free. This was during a perimenopausal time of short cycles. Doctors had never heard of this. (I, too, wished I'd gone into medicine so I could study it!) Pelvic ultrasound showed small fibroids and small cysts, but not likely enough to cause this. Don't know if I have a tipped uterus. I've never given birth. Do have low blood pressure and poor circulation to extremities, for what it's worth.

Curious thing has happened just in recent months. I am now 47 and cycles are getting blessedly longer (as in 46-52 days lately). The cramps have nearly stopped!! I got them just once recently, when I was pushing myself to fun faster than usual (supporting the suggesting that exertion has something to do with it).

I am cautiously optimistic that I will again be able to enjoy my runs, and maybe even enter a race here and there. Will stay in touch with this thread in case more connections emerge. Great idea to compare notes. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009, 5:27 PM

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Monday, January 19, 2009, 8:01 PM

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pain after running

Like everyone else who has commented on this issue, I am so thrilled Im not the only one. I first started experience this pain after a hard run and track races my senior year of high school. And like many of you, i went to several doctors who did various tests...all came up with nothing.

I'm 24 now and have concluded I only get this painful cramp when i'm out of shape or when i push myself too hard. I went to a specialist (who was an expert in sports medicine) who informed me, that our body often displays these "signs" for us when we are putting too much strain on our bodies.

so my suggestion is to take it slow and listen to your body:)

Monday, February 02, 2009, 7:47 PM

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I am a Male!!

wow, i can't believe i found this post and you are all women. I get intense pain, varies from upper left to rgiht side during intense excercise. i.e. after say 5/10 minutes playing football. It will not go away untill i stop and usually can linger on till the next day if i try and play throiguh it. I guess you could compare it to a stitch but unlike a stitch it will not go away!.
I'm 27 yr old male who has been playing sports his whole life! The pain started 2 years ago when a i started a highly stressful job( 5 a.m starts) and developed IBS symptoms, however i have left that job and the IBS symptoms are minimal.
I recently had an echo which was normal although i am due to go back for 1 more test with cardiac people. Don't know what else to say other than it's not something i can accept as a problem i will always have and I desperately want some sort of solution11

Friday, February 06, 2009, 6:46 AM

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Menstrual type pain when running

Like many others on here it's so relieving to find people who understand the pain i have been getting. It is often after the first third of my run i start to experience it and now if i feel it coming on i stop straight away, but this still doesn't make it stop!! I walk for a bit and the pain just gets just have to sit it out. I sometimes feel the need to go to the loo too and sometimes it spreads to my lower back. There doesn't seem to be a particular time in my cycle when i get it - I've had it a week before my period and also the day after i've finished! I've also found i can sometimes get the same pain after/during sex - it's excrutiaiting and I almost faint. The first doctor i went to was a complete prat who turned around and said "so do you think you have ovarian cancer or something" !!! The doctor i have now (female) couldn't suggest anything from me just explaining it and has offered to send me for a scan, which i will certainly do.

Thanks again for you all sharing this information. There really should be a study into it. I'm going to let my doctor know about this site.

Saturday, February 14, 2009, 12:00 PM

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on further research...

Have just been looking into it all more online and came across this: which ties in with what one lady was saying about varicose veins. Seems that it is fairly easily treatable, but can often go undiagnosed because when we have a pelvic examination we are lying down, therefore the pressure on the veins (in the pelvic region) is lessened. They say it can add to more pain during mensturation and pain after sex. Also from long bouts of standing up...i know this isn't running, but could be linked i would've thought....Interesting hey??!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009, 3:20 PM

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also known as...

Pelvic congestion syndrome...

Saturday, February 14, 2009, 3:21 PM

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another confused runner

Wow, I also am so glad that I am not the only one with this odd pain! I am a 28 yr. old female and I too have recently had menstrual-like pain when I am running. I started running a few years ago and have done three 5ks with no problems during the races or training. Just this past month I started training for a marathon relay (7 mile leg). I got this terrible pain about 12-15 min. into my runs 2 weeks ago that was so painful I had to stop and walk. It then goes away after about 5 min. of walking and I am able to resume my run pain-free. I've now had this pain every time I have run since then! It's so irritating and really hurts! I am supposed to get my period tomorrow and after reading the posts, I hope it will go away after my period. BUT, I am now concerned that maybe there is a bigger menstrual health issue going on. I've never had problems before though. Why now? Is it the increase in training? Is it lactose? I'm drinking a lot of water, so I don't think it's hydration. I'll try the lactose-free diet and also see what happens after my period. I'll post again with later news. It's amazing that no one in the medical field has looked at this....

Thursday, February 19, 2009, 8:53 AM

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the "PAIN," I can help

Hi, like the rest of you I started having these pains suddenly in the first two miles of my run, mentioned it to my doctors and got no response. My research shows that alot of men get this too, they just don't realize to describe it as menstral pain. The one explanation that I came across is due to increasing your blood pressure too high too suddenly causing the arteries/or one artery leading to your leg to have problems and cause pain. If you spend 20 minutes or 2 miles running very slowly (for me 10 to 11 minute miles) before your workout, you will not have the pain. YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT AND SPEND THE ENTIRE TIME RUNNING SLOW FOR YOU. When I get anxious in the last 15 minutes of warmup and increase the pace, the pain comes back. Online I found that college track coaches were blogging about their male and female runners with this problem and the slow warm-up is the only answer. I have no idea why doctors don't know about this, look how common it is.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 3:04 AM

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me too

Hi- I too have been googling this problem. I am so relieved that I am not the only one. I feel like such a wuss if I tell people about them.

I am almost 29 and started regularly jogging almost a year ago. Prior to then, I only associated jogging with the intense menstrual like cramps and didn't really understand how anyone could jog!

I am trying to get pregnant and jogging 1-1.5 miles every day and this has allowed me to notice that the cramps only occur between ovulation and my period. I too have very poor circulation in my extremities. If not exercising regularly, I get awful periods - to the point of throwing up. One other symptom that's associated for me but that no one else has mentioned is that these jogging cramps are often associated with an awful cramp in my inner thigh (which also sometimes happens for me during menstrual cramps). I do wonder about endometriosis and fertility issues but haven't asked my doctor yet.

I I second the others that advise easing into the jog slowly and pulling back/walking if the cramps come. Initially, I just tried to jog through them and I would wind up lying on my bathroom floor doubled over in pain. Now I start out my jog really slow and keep it slow as long as I need to. I am thinking about doing a 5K but am pretty nervous because of these cramps - I actually find myself considering if the 5K is in the 1st half of my cycle I'll do it, but if it's in the second 1/2 no way.

Thursday, February 26, 2009, 7:25 PM

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Menstrual-like cramps while exercising

As a teen/young woman in my 20's, I also would develop menstrual-like cramps while running. I was never a "runner" such as in track, but I am talking about running in general. I am now a mom of a teen girl who just joined the track team at her high school. She says that the same thing happens to her during practice and she's wondering what causes it. I really couldn't tell her what it might be, because I don't know. I just told her that when i was her age, I experienced the same thing.

Thursday, March 05, 2009, 10:03 PM

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It's not diet or 'stitches' or bad shoes...

I am a 29, a distance runner, have also had this for 15 years and have never had a doctor/gyn who could help. For me even taking 2 ponstel an hour before my harder runs (a pain prescription specifically for menstrual cramps) doesn't work. This is not stitches, it's not something I can even walk through, only sit and curl up on the side of the road in pain for 10 minutes. This is definitely related to my menstrual cycle, because it's always the same times (ovulation through start of period) and many times afterward I get spotting. ALWAYS happens around then as soon as I get my heartrate and exertion up to a certain level, and usually every harder run until I get my period. I am a rower as well and head races or longer timed distances on ergs always brought it on too at this time of the month so it can't be the just the motion from running.
I can't believe the medical community never has answer! If anything they say exercise HELPS your cramps...
It does help to be in better cardio shape because it takes much longer to get your heartrate up to that level and you are usually done with your workout by then, but if you can't push yourself at it takes a much longer time to get there! I am just back from a run that this happened. I knew it was going to. A funny thing though, I got this pain last night too when I woke to my building's fire alarm at 4am and a racing heart/adrenaline rush when I smelled smoke. (Turned out someone really burned their popcorn and microwave, at 4am...)
I guess I should get a polar heartrate monitor, track when it happens and stay below that, and just do my harder workouts the two weeks when I can.

Saturday, March 07, 2009, 3:21 PM

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Running cramps

I share all the similar problems. Mine only started after stopping birth control pills. They prevent you from ovulating, so if it is an ovulation issue then being on the pill should help. My doctor didn't think that the pain should be happening for so much of the month if it is ovulation, but who knows? I am going to try going back on the pill and see if it helps. Is anyone on the pill and experiencing these issues?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 1:00 PM

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How strange, and kinda scary :(

It's so weird how there are so many women who have this problem, yet no one has found a real solution or diagnosis. I've been running since I was about 15. I'm 20 now and I've NEVER had this problem till the past week. The pain is just... excruciatingly painful!! I've never really had menstrual cramps. The very few times I have had them, they weren't very painful and they didn't last very long, so I don't if I'd compare it to that or if that's what it is? Weird how it starts about 10-15 minutes or a mile into the run for everyone else as well. I usually have to sit down right away for the pain to stop. I can't even walk it off. I hope it's not that Endometrosis disease :( Hopefully, someone gets a clear diagnosis soon!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 1:13 AM

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More info for the cause!

Wow, I have to say I was not expecting to find so many people with the same issues as I recently experienced! Last month during a few runs the week before my period, I had some general uncomfortable cramping that went from my back to my uterus that was very similar to a menstrual cramp. I was not pushing myself very hard, so I was able to complete my run, though I mentioned it to my husband afterwards since I was a little slower due to it. However yesterday I was alternating running at 100% and running my normal pace for training, and after about 10/13 minutes of pushing myself pretty hard for about 1.5 miles, I had such intense uterine cramping that I fell further and further behind until I collapsed to my knees on the trail and started crying my eyes out in pain until my husband ran back for me. He had to help me over to a log where I sat for about 5-10 minutes when it went away entirely. I was able to walk and then lightly jog out of the woods with no issues - I felt completely fine after the pain passed.

I share some of the issues, it seems with several other people: I have poor circulation in my hands and feet - my feet are ALWAYS cold. I have only experienced this issue in weeks 3 and 4 of my cycle (post-ovulation and menstrual.) However I have never had heavy or painful periods before. I am not on oral contraceptives and have not been for about 2 years. About 3 months ago I had an abortion, and let me tell you...this running pain felt almost exactly like that. :( I never experienced the pain before that, and I have been a runner and sports player since I was 8 years old. I also have some discomfort during sex, but I've learned ways to adapt/cope/deal/work around it so I don't notice it as much. I too will ask about this when I have my physicals/exams, but I doubt it is endometriosis, I simply don't have the other symptoms. Hopefully with enough cases and information we will solve this!

Best of luck to everyone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 11:02 PM

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Based on what I have read hear on the board and what I have experienced, I have three questions.

1. How many have used birth control pills and successfully been able to combat cramps?
2. Have you gone to the bathroom before a run and not had these cramps?
3. How many of us fail to do a warm-up before running?

Sunday, April 05, 2009, 4:53 PM

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this is the op. I read here (sorry don't have time to go back again tonight and read them all) or some place else that men also get this but don't call it 'menstrual' like cramps because they've never had them to relate it to. So maybe it's not just a woman thing?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009, 8:51 PM

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Pain while running

I have been running for years and am very familiar with this pain. When my doctor put me on birth control the pain stopped. I developed a blood clot a couple of years ago so birth control pills are no longer an option for me. My doctor recommended a procedure called NovaSure that involves endometrial ablation. Is anyone familiar with NovaSure as a cure for menstrual-like cramps during running?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009, 10:17 PM

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Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but I was just reading an old issue of Runner's World and they had a section on abdominal pain while running. One of the main causes was food in the digestive track, which would explain how pains could affect men and women. Perhaps this applies to some of the pps?

Sunday, April 12, 2009, 11:53 AM

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Mestral cramp like pain....while running

I have suffered from this pain for many years and have not been able to get any answers from any professionals (I have only seen my family doctor). I have been reading all your stories and can definetly relate to them. I usually get this pain 2 weeks to my period while I 'm running, but have also notice that when I have really hard fast runs I also get it. I have been to the doctor and got a ultra sound but they could not see anything. This morning I was out running with a friend and felt the pain to the point where I just could not keep up with him. I noticed that I went to the washroom right away to go pee. But it still took a while for the pain to subside. Is it possible that it may also be a emotinal thing? I know it is physical pain by can it be related to a chemical imbalance?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 9:10 AM

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research on same cramps!

My friend is experiencing the same pains. She is 17 and says they're like the ones she gets during her period, and that she is overdue at the moment. She has experienced the cramps before and then they were gone for a while, but came up again about a week ago and has had then every run since. She is fairly new to running (6 months), but does swimming biking and climbing without a problem. From what I remember she is also lactose intolerance and cannot eat wheat....any helpfull suggestions would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 10:56 PM

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Any suggestions?

does anyone have any suggestions or ideas associated with the synptoms listed above?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 9:36 PM

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I have the same problem

Hi everyone, really interesting to find this thread, i used to be a long distance runner when i was younger (10 years ago) and have recently started up running again.

Ive been taking in slow, but tonight for the first time i pushed myself a bit and ran a bit faster and harder than normal.

I had no problems during the run itself, but as soon as i got back i had agonising period type cramps across my abdomen, so bad i had to lie on the floor and then have a really hot bath to get rid of it, they probably lasted about 10-15 mins.

Now i have recently had ultrasounds, camera tests, pelvic exams and have had cells removed from my cervix a couple of months ago. Everything is clear on that score. I do not have endrometitis, although i do have a flipped uterus, but i don't think that's it.

One thing i do have though is chronic IBS and whilst this felt like period cramps it also felt how the rest of my pelvis reacts when i have an IBS attack - especially when its bad and things are inflamed.

Maybe people could rule out a gluten/lactose intolerance?

Fingers crossed my IBS isnt going to stop me running, running was one thing that was helping me get better and not feeling so down over being so ill with this...

Im going to watch what i eat very carefully before i go for a run next time and see how things react. Maybe ill try taking an ibs tablet beforehand too.

Keep me updated on any solutions!

Monday, June 01, 2009, 4:31 PM

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Another with the exercise-induced cramps...

Well, here's my situation to add to the list :)

I noticed these cramps first when I was about 15 while riding bicycle. I have rarely ran most of my life, so I know with my situation the motion of running and the shoe issue is not applicable. I have gotten these cramps while riding my bicycle, using an elliptical machine, and when I have dabbled in running. I noticed while on the elliptical and monitoring my heart rate that once it got above 170 bpm for a few minutes, I could guarantee cramps that would make me stop exercising and curl up for 10-20 minutes in pain that feels exactly like the pain I get monthly.

For general stats, I am now 30, 150lbs, 5'8", never smoked, rarely drink, never done drugs, never been on birth control, have not been diagnosed w/ endometriosis. Dietary - discovered an intolerance to milk when it is NOT organic (organic milk is fine, but I've rarely consumed dairy for years), the level of meat consumption has no effect (went vegetarian 4 years ago). The amount of food consumed before exercising, be it 10 minutes before or 3 hours before or anything in between doesn't seem to cause or keep away the cramps.

I believe it is always connected to the heart beats per minute being over 170 beats per minute for a few minutes or longer is the only definite connection I can personally find.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009, 9:11 PM

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This is a MUST READ

We love Stu's principles. The link is below.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 10:48 AM

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Add another one to the list

I, too have this problem. I thought I was the only one. Some of my female running partners don't understand how debilitating this can be. 10 minutes/1 mile into the run I get the cramps, lower back pain and feeling the need to take a poo. The pain would subside 10-15 mins. after. I usually just run through the pain only because I want to avoid the consequence of vomiting, taking that grueling walk home and huddling over the toilet. Can you tell that this happens too often?

I'm 28, and usually go through this about 2-3 times a week. I'm a vegan, so unrelated to lactose, this will occur anytime during my 28 day cylce, my circulation is fairly poor. I haven't been to the GYN this year so I'm not sure if I have a tipped uterus or endometriosis.

I'm currently training for a half marathon, and I wished there were answers to this. I'm glad this thread has been extremely helpful to me. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 1:45 AM

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I used to have the same problem while I was gearing up for a race. I worked with a coach who had me change my breathing - deep breath in through your nose, complete breath out of your mouth - and the problem went away completely. Sometimes when I am not mindful of my breathing, the problem comes back and I have to remember to change my breathing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 2:36 AM

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yet another victim

Broken record, but I too am amazed how many other people have this problem. Just to confirm symptoms- my periods are heavy, it hurts to wear tampons in first few days, not on birth control, have poor circulation to hands and feet and even have something called Raynauds phenomenon where my fingers change colors, and of course get the uterine cramping that happens when about 10 minutes into my run between ovulation and my period. I read all the posts and found some people's suggestions rather interesting and so I wanted to kind of group them together and offer my own input. I haven't tried my suggestions yet, but I plan to. Also, if anyone tries them and finds either failure or success let the rest of us know.

Someone else’s posting about how maybe excess fluid/bloating could cause the uterus to contract was interesting to me- but to help prevent excess bloating- if that is the cause, maybe try to avoid high sodium content foods. Kind of related to that is caffeine. My periods are very painful, but mountain dew or high caffieine in general seems to help. Caffeine dilates your vessels and increases circulation. This might be something to try prior to runs- pop or a small bit of coffee. Caffeine also makes you urinate more, meaning it is a diuretic, which may help to get rid of excess fluid in your uterine region and cause a decrease in the cramping.

Another idea of mine comes from my history. I used to be on the cross country team in high school, and I don't remember having the severity and frequency of uterine cramping while running as I do now. So I thought, what was thet difference between now and then. I realized from the readings that although many of us are runners, or new to the running scene, we may be missing a key element into our workouts. Abdominal excercises. When on a team I was forced to do them, and now I will run, but the time between ab workouts keeps getting longer and longer. There is a few reasons why I think this would help- some maybe a little more reasonable than others. Your abndomal muscles act as a girdle to all of your organs. My thought is, if your abs are weak, your organs are going to still want security and contract themselves instead of the abnominal muscles controlling the stability. Since with running there is excess movement and forces being absorbed, this is extra important.

Another interesting connection I made is that one post said they thought it was related to a high heart rate, and I have found that when it is hot and humid the cramping is worse. In both cases, your body is having a hard time getting enough oxygen to the places that need it. When you run, the organs that aren’t necessary have blood taken away from them, while more important organs like your brain, heart, lungs, and skeletal muscles get more of the blood. In other words, reproducing and digestion are put on the back burner and blood is taken from those organs to supply the parts that need it more. Here's my idea that is a stretch- If you strengthen your abdominal muscles, more blood vessels will be formed in the region, and maybe more blood would diffuse to your uterus? Even though that is a stretch- strengthening your abs is a good idea. I mean, how crazy would that be if our problem is just weak abs/especially lower abs? When you have children too, your ab muscles generally get weaker- and a lot of bloggers wrote that they were in their 30's and never had the problem before. Just something to think about :). Let me know if any of this helped anyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009, 12:11 PM

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19 yrs. old, 2+ years of problem, possible solution?

I have been having this problem since I was a senior in high school (I am a sophomore in college now). I was on the soccer team and the summer before senior year I was training for the time 2 mile run we had during pre-season when all of the sudden I had to stop running and there was nothign I could do but lie down on the bike path, doubled over in pain, practically screaming for help because the area below my belly button hurt so much. I didn't do anything right away and just thought this might have happened because of something I had eaten earlier in the day or just a stomach ache, but when this happened a few more times that summer I began to worry. I went to a gynecologist who looked at me (no ultra sound or anything) but she said she didn't really know what was going on and her best guess was that oxygen wasn't being supplied to my intestines during my running and they were freezing/cramping up and thats why after stopping my running, the blood would flow back into them, thus allowing me to continue to run as I normally would.

That fall, I actually had to quit soccer due to the pain I was having which was abnormal considering I had been on the soccer team 3 years prior with no such pain at all (although in those 3 years I went from a below average runner to a constant runner). I continued running on my own for the rest of my senior year with and without this pain. During the summer after my senior year I again had this same problem and last fall I was sailing and did not run for 3 months and immediately went to an upstate new york school for the remainder of the school year where outdoor running was virtually not an option.

Now, the other day I ran for about 1.5 hours and experienced this pain twice during my run. This morning I ran a 5k race and experienced this pain, like everyone else on this website, 10 minutes into the race. I had to walk it off for about 8 minutes before I could start up again and actually tried to start running after about a minute (it was a race, I was doing really well too!) and I just couldn't run. Pressing on the area, lifting my arms, any of the remedies to normal cramping doesn't work. I don't often find this issue to occur when I am on a treadmill (it has happened only 3 times on the treadmill in the past year), but it happens about every other run when I am running outside.

Yesterday I did some short distance Rep training (2 miles of 200m with full rest in between) and I did not experience these pains.

I am a vegetarian, very active (exercise every day, running and weight training as well as bikram yoga). I have extremely low blood pressure (could possibly be due to the running) 90/50 and I also tend to avoid lactose when I can and have noticed that things such as frozen yogurt give me very dull stomach cramps.

I plan to see a doctor soon, but I after reading all of these posts I am skeptical that he/she will tell me anything different than what I've already been told/have read.

Please read what I wrote about the blood not flowing to the intestines...perhaps this is what the pain is coming from?

Monday, June 22, 2009, 1:21 AM

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To: Yet Another Victim

Thank you for your post. I will try do more ab work outs and see if that makes a difference. I'm also waiting for my heart rate monitor to arrive. Hopefully that will help too! I will keep you ladies posted.

Thursday, June 25, 2009, 2:42 PM

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I am SO RELIEVED (and a little sad) to have found so many others with the same problem! I thought I was alone.

Began getting the cramps when I was 13 or 14 years old and dealt with them the best I could for six years before I finally realized how much I was giving up in order to avoid this incredible pain. It's incredible- you can't even think about anything except maybe repeating a mantra over and over in your head while this pain takes over your abdomen.

Birth control worked miracles for me. When I was on Tri-Sprintec (oral contraceptive), I didn't get any cramps after the first month, for the first time in six years. When I went off the pill the cramps returned after a few months and were less severe at first but now are back full-throttle. Needless to say, I'm going back on the pill ASAP because I no longer wish to deal with this pain.

My doctor, my gyno, and both parents who are physicians cannot explain the problem and why it is only exercise-induced, but it is obviously related to ovulation. If you haven't yet, TRY BIRTH CONTROL. It truly changed my life by allowing me to keep running, pain-free.

Monday, June 29, 2009, 11:47 PM

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I posted a few years back on this thread and have come back regularly to see if there are any new posts as well as try others suggestions. The same as most here, I get the cramps 10 minutes into the run, and mine are so bad that I usually end up crying on the bathroom floor for over half an hour.

I noticed that a common theme is bad circulation, and I tried the suggestion of running what is "slow for you" for the first 20 minutes. I also increased my stretching a little ahead of time, focusing on stretching upper leg/ lower abdominal muscles. This actually worked for me (although it is tough to be that patient.) Slow for me is walking up the hills and a slow jog down hills and on flats. I haven't had any of the cramps since, and I have been running three times.

If anybody else tries this and it works, please come back and post! Good luck!

Friday, July 03, 2009, 2:10 AM

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maybe something to look into

I too have had this problem. I'm 17 and 130lbs and have been researching this issue heavily. I found a few medical articles that talk about the exact pain everyone has been experiencing. These are the links:
on page 849

we could also think that if the pain everyone has been experiencing starts 10-15 minutes in the run, (and if people stop running as soon as they feel the pain.. and then the pain goes away for the rest of the run) maybe we should make this 10-15 minutes our warm up and get the pain out of the way in the beginning, so that our actual run is pain-free. Just a thought.

Sunday, July 26, 2009, 11:01 AM

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Me too...

I just recently started having this problem (this past week). I'm 21, a virgin, have never been on birth control and also have poor circulation in my hands and feet. I have never done any drugs, don't smoke, rarely drink (honestly!). I just think that it's weird because I have been playing soccer since I was 5 and I have never had anything like this happen before. I play soccer in college and have been working out to get ready for the upcoming season. This past week (on Wednesday), I was running some sprints and after I finished, I got these horrible cramps in my lower abdomen. They felt worse than any menstrual cramps I had ever had! It took a good 15 or so minutes for the pain to go away.

It happened again on Saturday, except this time I was doing distance running at a fast pace. The pain wasn't as bad, but I think that's because I didn't run as hard as I had the time before. Earlier today, I was running at a slow pace on the treadmill and I didn't get any cramps at all. It seems to happen only when I am really pushing myself. I don't notice the pain until I've stopped running though.

It doesn't have anything to do with my period though, because when it happened the first time, I had been off of my period for about a week. The only difference I can think of is that this past cycle I used a menstrual cup (a Diva Cup, to be exact) instead of tampons. I don't know if this makes any difference, but I just thought that I would throw it out there...

Monday, July 27, 2009, 2:55 AM

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Testing out a remedy...

So I get these horrible menstrual pains too...exactly like all of the above...

Since I knew I would be getting them today before I went out to run, I had a great idea...after trying for years now how to get rid of them...

I have these One a Day active women's vitamins...I took one today. then 20mins. before my run I took 2 advils... and amazingly my pain was half as painful and I didn't need to stop..I was able to run through it, til it went away. I'm thinking it be some mineral depletion when the menstrual cycle nears. Just google iron depletions in long distance runners and mineral loss during menstrual cycles. there seems to be a correlation with losing iron during running and ur period. Im hoping if I keep taking the vitamins (100% iron) will eventually stop hurting so much.

But that's just my guess... also google iron anemia in runners... and give it a try.

I'll try to update results... :D

Happy Running!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009, 11:26 PM

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found this site as I was near tears on the couch after a short run with this exact pain! I'm 19 and at a normal weight but i'm out of shape and don't run very often. I had only run for about half a mile when i felt a burning sensation where my stomach is and the urge to throw up, so i walked a little bit and started again. But the same pain came back and i decided to go home. I'm sure that my heart rate was high because i dont have any endurance yet. It wasn't until my heartrate was down that i got the horrible cramping feeling, which lasted for 10-15 minutes. I told myself this is what contractions must feel like!

I didn't run for a full 10 minutes though, so maybe i would have gotten the cramps while running if i had gone longer. I thought it might be dehydration because it was 1pm in the Texas summer heat. But i've also felt this before when it was freezing outside. I kind of felt like i might have diarrhea but that feeling went away as the cramps came on. so I have no idea what this might be!

I recently got off of birth control, i don't normally have heavy periods, but i do have mild cramps during that time. intercourse is always painful for me. I probably have poor circulation because i'm always cold and my ears nearly freeze off when i run outside in winter. oh and i had my annual exam at the gyno yesterday which left me spotting and a little crampy afterwards.. i dont know if that would have something to do with it? but i'm scheduled for an ultrasound next week to check for an ovary problems, so i'll let you all know if there's anything that might relate to this. i haven't had this problem for a long time, so i didn't think to ask my dr. yesterday. i'm pretty sure i'm more than 2 weeks away from my period but i also just got off bc so who knows. and my mom had endometriosis so it makes me wonder if i might. i dont have dairy problems that i know of, but i did eat a huge milkshake yesterday.

i'm just trying to find any correlation because i want to continue running and get into good shape but this pain is unbearable!

good luck everyone and let us know! :/

Wednesday, August 05, 2009, 3:42 PM

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Me too

I can't believe how many women have this with out any true understanding of what this is. I just recently took running up again. This happens everytime I run. I had forgotten it happened before I started running again. It also happens to me if I get on the illiptical. I also spot afterwords. Does anyone else spot or bleed? I do. I am in my 30's, I have PCOS and haven't been able to have children. I have had every vaginal scope, test, x-ray, exam that you can imagine. I don't have endometriosis. It's interesting to read about the hills, heat and humidity because I have all of that as I am also in Texas in the Hill Country area and I have had this bad since living here. I am going to try the dairy thing. I don't eat Beef and haven't for 11 years so I know it's not that. I have been told I have a tilted uterus. Not sure what else to add but will be checking in to see if anyone else has anything in common. I like the idea of having a research project done on this. It's nice to know you're not crazy or a hypocondriac either.

Thursday, August 06, 2009, 12:00 PM

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Lactic Acid?

It is great to know other people have had the same symptoms. I have asked my doctor and they really didn't know what was going on. I get what feels like menstrual cramps early into my run and if I don't stop and crouch down they just don't stop. The only thing I have been able to attribute it to is when I set out really hard at the beginning or if I start with a hill.

So with that in mind it has set me to believe it is lactic acid would explain the wanting to vomit and the uterus is a muscle after all - has anyone else heard of that theory?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009, 8:02 PM

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I used to think that this pain was not related to my menstrual cycle, but since some of you do think so, I finally decided to track mine.

In July, I got the pain on July 4th & my period on the 17th.
In August, I got the pain on August my period on the 16th.

So it appears I get the pain roughly two weeks before I get my period. Is this what others have noticed?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 1:32 PM

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Like your theory but.....

Interesting theory. One that I would wholeheartedly agree with...except that it only happens to us women. Why don't men running with weak abdominals also get it. It has to be uterus related. I think it is a combination of a running style, uphill putting great pressure on lowerback, transferral, too quick exertion not allowing heart rate to push blood flow to the area quickly enough. Otherwise I think the tipped uterus is another plausible explanation. Certain running styles like leaning forward or tipped pelvis especially common during uphill and normal running could exacerbate the problem
Fellow sufferer

Friday, August 28, 2009, 1:06 PM

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Cramps run down my thighs too!

Isn't it a strange relief to realize others are suffering from the same condition? I won't list all my symptoms here since they're virtually the same as what everyone else has already mentioned. I only wanted to add that I not only get abdominal cramps but cramping that extends down my upper legs (quads) too which is exactly what I also experience during menstrual cramps so they really do seem directly related. I applaud those of you who walk it off then start running again. I just slowly walk home whenever this happens to me, happy to finally be feeling better by the time I get to my door.

Sunday, August 30, 2009, 3:52 PM

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Help Please

Almost as soon as I start running I get cramps either in my side or lower abdomen and when it is in my lower abdomen I try to fight the the pain, I ran a mile and when I finished I felt like puking.
I ate a piece of bread with honey on it right before I ran could this have affected me?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009, 11:11 PM

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Lower abdominal pain when running

Hi i too was worried cos around 8 minutes into a run i get sharp abdominal pains which seem to get worse the longer i run. When i stop running they go away. I also get a simular abdominal pain during sex and wondered if they were related to the same thing. Does anybody else who suffers these pains when runnig also feel a simular pain in the same area during penertration?

Monday, October 19, 2009, 5:46 PM

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Pain when running and during sex!

Hi i too was worried cos around 8 minutes into a run i get sharp abdominal pains which seem to get worse the longer i run. When i stop running they go away. I also get a simular abdominal pain during sex and wondered if they were related to the same thing. Does anybody else who suffers these pains when runnig also feel a simular pain in the same area during penertration?

Monday, October 19, 2009, 5:48 PM

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Exercise-induced cramping

Wow! Hard to believe so many women are experiencing this issue but my doctors don't seem to have heard about it at all.

I've had these uterine cramps for over 25 years now (I'm 48) at a usually consistent point in my monthly cycle (about 1-2 days pre-menstrual). I've experienced them both on birth control pills and off birth control pills. I know that they are, in fact, uterine contractions because I've had two kids during this time and got well acquainted with these contractions during labor. One good thing: childbirth "cured" the problem for a couple of years. Unfortunately, it didn't last forever, and I'm still experiencing the cramping.

Until a year ago, I was a runner. Sore hips put an end to that, and now I swim three days a week. I continue to have the cramps, although the timing is harder to predict now because, at my age, my monthly cycle is getting harder to predict.

I do have low blood pressure. I don't have endometriosis. I never eat before exercise.

My take on all this is that it is likely somehow related to circulation. The symptoms don't begin until we are well into our exercise. We must be hitting some aerobic-related threshold. The apparent commonality of low blood pressure seems to fit there somehow, too. Hormones seem to play a role: For many of us the symptoms come at a particular point in our cycles; for others, taking birth control pills made a difference; for me, child birth made a difference, at least temporarily.

I'd sure love to have an OB/GYN weigh in on this!

Monday, December 07, 2009, 10:32 PM

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You are not alone...

This happened to me for the first time last week, and then it happened the next day, so I got really scared. I am going to get it checked out by a doctor, just to be on the safe side, but it's good to know that other people have experienced this, too.

I use an Elliptical machine for 1 to 2 hours per day, six days a week. I've noticed that the pain tends to come in my upper chest/shoulder area when I am going too fast. I slowed down when it happened, and it subsided after about three minutes, and then I was okay. It didn't come back for the rest of my workout.

I guess it could be a variety of eating right before your workout, before it has digested properly, or just pushing yourself too hard with the exercising. If it's a regular problem, definitely see your doctor about it. They'll let you know either way, and then you don't have to freak out about it. Chances are it's not as bad as you think.

Friday, December 25, 2009, 7:57 PM

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Treatment suggestion.

Not a gynaecologist, but wondering whether the uterine cramps could have something to do with prostoglandins?...if so, an anti-inflammatory ( NSAID ) such as Voltaren or Brufen might help taken before running, but to prevent gastritis this should be taken with milk or food, probably 2 hours before the exercise starts.

Saturday, December 26, 2009, 2:44 AM

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I am trying something different for running cramps

I am a 36 yr old woman and have the same cramps from running, and they are not related to my menstrual cycle. I am not a doctor, but I read about what causes dysmenorrhea (painful cramps at menstruation). Since painful cramps are caused by uterine contractions during menstruation, I am thinking the uterus may be contracting during intense exercise...which could be caused by the same chemical imbalance that causes menstrual cramps.

The article says an imbalance in Omega 6 verses Omega 3 acids can cause menstrual cramps, which causes the uterus to contract more. I think a chemical imbalance could also cause the uterus to contract while running. My theory, could be a long shot, but the doctors can't seem to find a physical reason. So, I will try limiting my Omega 6 acids (mostly from chicken) and increase my Omega 3 acids (from flax oil). I will also try increasing magnesium, and Vitamin E.

I will let you know if it works!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010, 2:11 PM

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^^^^ I'm looking foward to reading how the diet adjustment works for you. I have been following this thread for several months now because I've dealt with this problem as a lifelong recreational runner since I was in my early teens, at least 8 years ago.

Oral contraceptives (Tri-Sprintec) have basically eliminated this problem for me, When I go off birth control, within 5 months when my period is back to normal, the cramps also return. Then, like clockwork as soon as I begin them again the next month the cramps begin to completely disappear.

My GYN and multiple doctors have no explanation either, but the theory behind putting me on birth control to solve the problem was that the cramping is closely associated to hormonal shifts during ovulation.

I'd like to know if diet can change the hormonal balance during ovulation instead of relying on birth control to eliminate ovulation altogether. After all, I can't just stay on birth control forevvvver....

Sunday, February 14, 2010, 2:39 PM

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Same pain caused by sprinting

Like everyone else I am amazed by the amount of people that have this problem yet the lack of understanding of the issue by medical professionals. I am a 400m sprinter and get the exact same pain on training runs. However during a competition when I push myself hard the pain is slightly different- it takes about five minutes to kick in and when it does the pain is absolutely unbearable to the point I'm lying on the floor vomitting. It feels like a period pain only 100 times more intense and it does feel like I'm 'contracting'. After a run yesterday my boyfriend was so worried he drove me straight to hospital and after spending 4 hours there I was diagnosed with a uti, given painkillers and told to go home. I felt such an idiot and I knew that wasn't the correct diagnosis as I've been suffering this for 6 years now. The pain is a lot more bearable when I'm taking the conraceptive pill but I no longer want to take this and feel like it's masking the problem rather than solving it. It is highly frustrating! I am glad that I'm not alone but I've learnt that it's a problem I'll just have to live with

Thursday, February 25, 2010, 3:37 AM

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Me too!!

Wow, I can't believe so many people have this exact same problem and yet there's no definitive answer. I'm 30, 5'2, 115 pounds, a vegetarian for the last 12 years. I have been a runner on and off since my early teens and only JUST started experiencing this after starting again (I haven't run regularly for about two years). The first day, it started about 10 minutes in, running on a slight incline and it was EXCRUCIATING. I thought I was going to die, or pass out in the street. The second day it wasn't quite as bad and went away more quickly, but I had to run to the bathroom as soon as I got home. This made me think that maybe it was related to my bowels/intestinal tract, but I have similar diarrhea problems when my actual menstrual cramps are at their worst. The third day I went the opposite direction (less hilly) and it wasn't nearly as acute, which makes me think that it does have something to do with the incline/my heart rate, as others have hypothesized.

I was having pain during ovulation so the gyno put me on an oral contraceptive for about a year, but I've been off it for a year and the pain has not come back. I also have the cold-feet problem others have mentioned (no problems with my hands) but given the number of women who complain about "poor circulation" I wonder who has good circulation, or what good circulation even means.

I've never tried to get pregnant, but the fact that many people with these symptoms have had trouble in that area makes me worried that I won't be able to. I'd be curious to know what percentage of women who complain of this problem have infertility, but that would require the medical community to, you know, take an interest in this, but it seems like no one cares (since it's a female problem and kind of vague).

I will continue to monitor this thread in the hope that someone will find the answer, or some doctor/researcher will do a study or something. I'm really glad this site exists, though, because if we have to suffer from this, it's nice to know that at least we're not alone/crazy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010, 2:40 AM

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Mentrual like cramps during vigorious exercise

I have been a runner for 10 years and I get this menstrual cramp pain about a mile or two into my run. It lasts for about 5-10 minutes and goes away. When it goes away I can run again with no pain. It feels like excruciating menstrual cramps! The pain even causes me to stop for a few minutes during races. I can't run through it because it gets worse! I have gotten the pain during other vigorous exercise such as biking and even swimming (only minor while swimming a 500 yard race) I believe the pain is definitely related to high intensity exercise and the menstrual cycle. I saw a gynecologist and even got an ultrasound, but nothing was explained. I was told that I may have a tilted uterus. My mother has a tilted uterus, so that may be possible. I am pretty sure it is NOT related to dehydration, diet, stretching, or form. I am surprised to see so many women suffer with me having this awful pain. I am glad I am not alone. I do not want to take medication for this condition and simply mask the pain. I really just want to pin point exactly what it is.

Monday, April 05, 2010, 10:44 PM

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Same pain with a few additional observations

I came across this thread last night, and like everyone else was astounded at how common this is! I have been running for 2 1/2 years and have consistently experienced abdominal pain that mimics menstrual cramps. Over time I have noticed a few things that have caused me to conclude that it is related to two things: digestion and menstrual cycle.

1) The cramping happened on and off throughout my cycle until I started being very careful about how I eat. Once I eliminated essentially all foods except for lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, the cramping has become much less random and much more specific to my cycle.

2) The cramping now ONLY happens the day before or first day of my period, if I haven't quite started yet. (If I've started bleeding, I don't get the cramping.)

3) Like most others here, it starts about 10 minutes into my run, and gets so intense I feel light headed and want to vomit.

4) If I continue running through the pain for about 5 to 10 minutes, it always induces a bowel movement. On those days I plan my runs accordingly and make sure there are bathroom options at strategic points. :) I stop, use the restroom, and deeply massage the muscles in my abdomen. In 5 to 10 minutes I am able to empty my bowels and massage the pain away. Then I have always been able to continue running pain free for the remainder of my run.

While doing a little internet reading on the causes of menstrual cramps, I came across this paragraph that has made me really curious about the relationship between menstrual cramps, digestion, and what we have all experienced while running:

"Menstrual cramps can also be accompanied by either constipation or diarrhea because the prostaglandins which cause smooth muscles to contract are found in both the uterus and intestinal tract. Some women experience an urge to urinate more frequently." (

I wonder if it's the increased prostaglandins, the molecular compounds that are released as the old uterine lining begins to break down before menstruation begins, that is the cause of the pain while running. It's these compounds that cause the muscles of the uterus to contract, which is the cause of menstrual pain. Perhaps running increases the release of the prostaglandins (because of the increased circulation or the high impact nature of the activity) and this then causes the uterus to contract.

I'm not a doctor, though. I'm a singer, and my music degrees just aren't helping me sort through of all of this. :) I would love do discuss this theory with someone who knows more about the female body.

In the meantime, I'll keep theorizing based on my observations of my own body. Thanks to all of you for sharing your observations and letting me know I'm not alone.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010, 1:30 PM

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Mentrual like cramps during vigorious exercise

I'm back with more info. since I didn't read through all of the comments before my last post. I am a pre-medical school student post college and have a BA in Biology.

Relevant facts for research purposes and response to other comments

- I am 24 years old. I am 5'5'' 110lbs.

- I begin getting the pain when I started running at 13. (When I started menstruating) The pain got progressively worse in high school. I ran cross-country for 4 yrs and my season suffered from the pain. I also ran track and the pain would sometimes shoot into my thighs as menstrual cramps sometimes do.

- I have a tipped uterus.

- I have pretty bad circulation in my hands and feet. (I believe many women do)

- I have always had a problem with lactose. I used throw up when I was a baby and now get a lot of mucus build up from dairy products (ice cream, milk)
I am going to try a lactose free diet. I am also going to try the slow warm-ups. I will get back with my results as long as I can stay motivated to keep running regularly. I run off and on now.

- I am of Hispanic decent

-Never been on birth control. I had the pain before I was sexually active and got it checked out at 16 by an OBGYN and an ultrasound examination. Contraceptives were suggested, but I denied them. There was no explanation for the pain. Another OBGYN said it was muscle contractions. The pain is severe menstrual cramp pain. I often get bad cramping during my period, but not always. I have had the pain after sex, but not severely.

- The pain does not come while I am on my period.

- The pain was less common when I was in better shape.

- I do A LOT of abdominal workouts, so I don't have weak abs.

- I concentrate on my breathing, and form

Please let's try to narrow down our similarities!!!
I know this pain is not the same pain the males are experiencing. It's menstrual cramps! I also don't think I have endometriosis since it may take time for this condition to develop and I started getting cramps at 13! I am not ruling it out though. I will also continue researching hormones and muscle contractions. I think this is on the right track.

I am going to start a research thread strictly for research and comparing facts PLEASE FIND IT (Menstrual cramps while running RESEARCH) and contribute facts! Let's try and get to the bottom of this pain ladies.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 4:27 AM

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Pain while running

I am so happy I am not alone with this. I am actually 13 years old and I am having this problem. When I am in gym class, It can get quite bad and I cannot do anything about it because everyone is around. This has really helped, but I still don't know what to do. Is it normal for a person my age to be having this problem? And what if I cannot stop for ten minutes and wait it out? What do I do because I can't stop in the middle of class. And recently, I have been feeling the need to throw up during the pain. But when I feel that, the pain is coming closer to an end. I really don't have a clue as to what I should do or what is normal for a person my age. Are there any things I can do to help it? Anything I can do beforehand?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 9:32 PM

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Some advice

get the same terrible uterine cramping. It always happens during my luteal phase when I over exert myself early in my run. Usually if I start off slow, warming up for a mile, then I can run pain-free. I suspect that it has something to do with digestion + hormones, since I generally feel the need to go to the bathroom as my uterus is contracting.

To narrow similarities, I have horrible circulation, I have had endometriosis and had surgery for it so theoretically I should be "cured." I have been trying to get pregnant for 2+ years to no avail. I ovulate regularly and feel my ovaries during ovulation. I also have an intolerance to dairy + wheat when I eat them together.

My reproductive endocrinologist did not comment on this pain, but my naturopath said some of her patients complain about it and she suggests warming up to get some good circulation and prepare the body for a workout. I have found that this helps A LOT.

I am a long distance runner and I don't schedule races during the second half of my cycle after two disastrous race times. So I have found ways to work around my cycle so I can continue running. I also recommend yoga-- I bought a yoga for fertility dvd which has poses that massage the ovary, uterus, and lower spine. This helps relax the muscles and while it doesn't stop the pain if I run too fast too soon, it definitely makes me feel more limber in my warm up.

Hope this helps.

On another note: After a lot of research on gynecological issues (I am a college professor and have a great research database that gives me access to medical studies), I have found that a lot of gynecological symptoms are inconclusive and doctors can usually only correlate causes and symptoms, but cannot establish a direct cause + effect relationship. And many doctors then revert to putting patients on the pill, which only masks the symptoms. Be very careful of this. The pill is a synthetic hormone which can cause more harm than good. I echo some of the posts here, it's better to listen to what your body is trying to tell you than to hide the pain. I had severe periods and my doctor would prescribe painkillers and tell me to take 6 advil a day. He put me on the pill for a year and I finally decided I needed to know what was going on with my body. Had to switch to a specialist who finally diagnosed me with endometriosis after a laparoscopy. So, listen to your body + find a doctor who will take initiative in finding a solution.

Thursday, April 08, 2010, 12:32 PM

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Lower abdominal pain

I am 27 year old, i have pregnant since four weeks. Last 4 days i've been having some lower abdominal pain which is minimal in strength but can be stronger at other times. is this normal for early pregnancy? and am discharge also.


Friday, April 09, 2010, 6:23 AM

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Menstral Cramps from Running

It is reassuring to read all these posts and see I am not the only one having this pain. Interesting to see all the differing perspectives. I share similar symptoms - bad circulation in extremities when cold (Raynaids syndrome); pain only started recently - recall once last year and several times this year; been running for 20 years (military requirement!) but the pain only started last year; pain occurs after about 10 minutes of running and lasts for 15-20 minutes of excruciating pain. I will surely not pass a PT test if this happens during testing! Other symptoms are similar too, slanted uterois, fibroids, used to be on the pill and never had these pains then... Guess a combination of all these things could be causing it but the doctor has not yet seen anything serious enough for treatment...but then I have not yet mentioned this pain to her.

I appreciate the advise from the college professor. I'll have to look into this endometriosis.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 1:17 PM

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I feel your pain!

This will be long: I will turn 28 next month. I have experienced this since I was in junior high and was very active in sports. I played sports all the way into high school; playing VBall, a little BBall, and running during track season. I can't even describe the pain to those who have never experienced this. There have been times when I had to push myself to the extreme and hold the pain to the end of my run (especially when I had no options during "two-a-days" tryouts) At the end, I would fall to my knees, yelling, crying, and hyperventilating (trying to control my breathing). I'd freak the other girls/teammates around me. I thought I was the only one (I use to think I was a freak in high school) and I'm relieved to know that I'm not the only one who suffered from this intense pain. I went to numerous doctors and had so many different tests performed and NOTHING! It's very interesting to read everyone else's comments and feedback on this particular pain. I'm grateful too. Now, I haven't had this pain since my husband and I had a little girl back in '07. I didn't have a vaginal birth so I don't know what contractions feel like. I had partial placenta previa and my doctor ordered a scheduled C-section (which was a really good decision in the end). I've been running again since last year and haven't had any pains so far. I hope to find an answer someday because I went through A LOT when I was a teen and into college. Thank you to those who have shared their experience too. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010, 4:47 AM

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Pelvic pain during and after workout.

I read uterine contractions are caused by electrolyte imbalance and strain of jarring of the uterus and around it. Take tums before working out and drink electrolyte enhanced water.
Redundant colon also causes pelvic pain. Just read the article before you throw this one out.
Retroverted uterus, tilted uterus, causes pelvic pain. I bet a lot of us have a tilted uterus.
Lots of Docs don't know the answer to this one but my bet is it is definitly uterus cramping. Need to do stretches before we work out, helps a little, and keep hydrated.
Hope this helps someone.

Sunday, May 02, 2010, 10:26 PM

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I read nearly all of these posts, there's so many! I'm 26, and about 10 months ago I began to get this exact pain while running, and as everyone else, only in the last 2 weeks before my period, and it begins after about 10 minutes of exertive running, and if I don't stop, it continues to get worse until I end up on the ground writhing with pain, and subsides after about 10 minutes.

To give you my lowdown, I am 53kgs (117 pounds), relatively fit, healthy, and have been running (for personal fitness) since I was 16. I have average to poor circulation, I do not have endometriosis, but I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS, and they noted that I have a mildly bicornuate uterus, and a simple benign pelvic cyst (3cm). I mentioned these cramps to my doctor as a symptom at the same time, and as other doctors, she had no explanation. I am not on an oral contraceptive, I went on one for less that a year when I was about 21, but I believe that they cause more harm than good.

An interesting aside is that when I was younger (18-20) I used to row competitively, and a few minutes after a race (which is extremely intensive for about 8 minutes) was finished I would get a extreme period type pain for only about 1 minute. I do think though that this is a different thing to what I have now. I think there are many types of cramps associated with exercise, that men and women both get, but I believe what most of these women are talking about here is specifically a menstrual-related cramp, because of when it occurs, and its perfect replication of the feeling of period pain.

As for how to solve this mystery, I don't know! I noticed a lot of women mentioning that they are vegetarian, or don't eat much red meat - I have just found out I have borderline iron levels, perhaps this could be a possible factor?

It is most definitely brought on by a certain level of exertion, like someone mentioned perhaps once your heart rate goes above 170bpm or so.I am definitely going to try stopping as soon as the pain starts and easing back into it.

For those girls saying they experience a lot of pain during intercourse, I would seriously suggest being checked for endometriosis. And I also read that this can be a symptom of a tilted uterus.

I hope that between all of these posts we can continue to learn more about what we are all experiencing!

Thursday, May 20, 2010, 9:14 PM

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Possible Solution

I am a biologist and a runner and have had the exact same problem for as long as I have been menstruating. Generally speaking, muscle cramps are caused by a build up of lactic acid in the cells. Lactic acid is formed as a by-product when energy (ATP) breaks down sugars in the absence of oxygen. When there is sufficient oxygen in the blood stream, for instance, at the beginning of your run, energy is used to break down sugars into useful substances fairly efficiently. As oxygen decreases, for instance, right about when you start breathing more heavily during your workout, sugars are broken down into less useful things like lactic acid.
Oxygen is transported through the circulatory system by hemoglobin, which utilizes iron to bind O2 molecules to red blood cells. People with iron deficiencies (anemia) such as myself, require extra iron intake to maintain the normal functioning of hemoglobin-oxygen transport. In women, normal iron levels are also depleted by menstruation. People with low blood pressure commonly have minor iron deficiencies.
So, judging by what has been posted and what I've experienced, it sounds like the problem is exactly what it feels like: menstrual cramps. The uterine wall is contracting in response to exertion (what would usually be caused by the shedding of the extra layer of tissue during menstruation, but in this case, working out), depleting oxygen levels in the muscles of the uterus, and causing a build up of lactic acid. This seems to he further complicated by ovulation, which occurs around two weeks before menstruation and puts an extra energy/O2 demand on the muscles of the abdomen.
So, oddly enough, almost every solution suggested in this forum may work. What I would suggest, and is indeed what I am trying, is iron supplements and increased water consumption throughout the weeks before my period. During my period I take ibuprofen to help with the cramps, but as all anti-inflammatory drugs decrease blood pressure, I would be cautious about using such drugs before working out as it may actually cause cramping in other areas of the body. Birth control pills increase blood pressure which explains why they would help with cramps in the first place (more red blood cells means more oxygen to the tissues), but again, I would speak with a physician before trying any remedy listed above.
If I find anything new in my own experimentation, I will be sure to let everyone know. Until then, good luck and happy running!

Friday, June 04, 2010, 2:48 PM

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Thank you for all your posts! I am 33 y/old female and have been experiencing the same pains since I was 15 and a cross country runner. For years I didn't know what they were. A doctor I saw as a teen called them "bladder spasms" and prescribed AZO tablets. They occurred off and on in my 20's (sometimes occurring without rigorous exercise and after orgasm). ALWAYS with urge to have a bowel movement-no vomiting. I now know they are uterine contractions because I was pregnant last year and experienced these horrible contractions from week 6 until week 10. NO OB could tell me what caused it. My pregnancy had to be terminated at 4 months due to a severe chromosomal anomoly and I wonder now looking back if my body had attempted to expel the pregnancy via the contractions or was it related to something else? I'll never know. What I do know is that the same feeling I had in the early stages of pregancy is what I feel during a hard run just as everyone else. Here are my similarities:

I have a tilted cervix
I have Mitral Valve Prolapse
Larger than average thyroid (but not hyperthyroidism)
Very COLD feet/poor circulation
Mild IBS

I am not a vegetarian
I do not have endometriosis or fibroids/cysts
I am otherwise very healthy/active person
No lactose intolerance
Extremely REGULAR periods with normal cramping
I WAS on Birth control for 10 years-saw no difference in symptoms.

So this is all very much a mystery. I will tell you that having MVP-it is recommended to take magnesium supplements which I have neglected and since a prior comment suggested magnesium, I think I will continue with it to see if it helps. I hope that I do not experience fertility issues as a result of all this as my first try at pregnancy didn't go so well. Good luck everyone and keep running!!!! This makes us tough:)

Monday, June 07, 2010, 10:49 PM

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preliminary results

Hello again everyone

I've been testing my hypothesis for about a week now. The iron has lessened the pain a bit, but has not solved the problem. I did a little more research and found that a chemical called prostaglandin is largely responsible for smooth muscle contractions (uterus) and is released during exercise. It can be inhibited by NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen. I've also gotten some good results (less pain which goes away faster) by working my core muscles directly before working out.

I'm interested by the fact that heart irregularities seem to be common in our group. I'm going to see if there are any biochemical connections between the muscle contractions of the heart and contractions of the uterus.
Ill let you know what I find. Until then, happy running.

Saturday, June 12, 2010, 11:19 AM

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glad not to be alone

im so glad i found this thread. I really thought i was the only one suffering from this. Im 20 now and Ive been suffering from these horrible cramps since i was about 8 or 9. It started with running, then bicycling, then jump roping, and i started to notice a pattern. Any activity that got my heart beat going pretty good would send me into a horrible menstrual cramp, I didnt read every poster, but did anyone else bleed from the cramps? Whenever I ran within the first 10 mins the cramp begins, usually bringing me to the ground, where i would usually curl up and rock back and forward, most of the times after this i would start vaginal bleeding. Currently I am aware that I do have PCOS but it has not been connected to the pain

Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 9:19 PM

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menstrual pain when doing any vigorous exercise

Hi, My situation is very similar to allot of you, except my cramping comes anytime of the month, except when I actually have my period. Every time I exercise to the time that I am really trying to all out run or to all out Rollerblade or whatever exercise I do, and I get to the point that I am going all out the cramps slowly, very slowly hit me, and it takes about 10 to 20 minutes to to overcome the pain, the cramp. As well as no pattern what-so-ever. Don't know what to do. Right down to the trying to get pregnant part... My husband and I are trying to get pregnant, and I do not know if that has anything to do with it, if you know anything about this, PLEASE let me know. I was at the clinic today and the doc said that I should not worry about it, I should relax and I will eventually get pregnant....Here are my similarities:
- I am 27 years old - 5"5" - 150ibs
-COLD feet/poor circulation
-Extremely REGULAR periods with normal cramping
- The pain does not come while I am on my period
If ANYONE knows anything about this condition, PLEASE helps us....

Thursday, July 08, 2010, 9:52 PM

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another sufferer from the uk!

Unfortunately no answers but exactly the same symtpoms:

- absolutely terrible pain 10 mins into my run, (terrible pain, I can't even move, today in the park had an 'oh no, what am I going to do' moment thinking I was about to die for 10 mins.

- Irregular periods and PCOS. Sometimes I get very paInful periods and I am prescribed Mefenamic acid for the pain which helps, but not while running as you take it on the first day of bleeding, but I get the running pain BETWEEN OVULATING AND MY PERIOD.

- I am a vegetarian, and occasionally suffer from anaemia when not looking after myself properly. (vegetarianism is never an excuse!)

- I dont drink milk, but do eat cheese.

- At the gym apparently my BP was low, but I had been running and when I had it checked at my GP she said it was normal..

- Had a consultation with a Gyn the other day. USELESS! The MALE doctor told me that this pain was part and parcel of being a 20 year old woman, and that is what happens when you bleed. (very patronising)

He also said that if running was painful then I should just give it up! He advised that I go on the pill 'if im that worried about it.'
No test for endometriosis as he said it was pointless untless I'm ready to have children or I haven't tried the pill first.

I am 5"4 and 123lbs, NEVER eat before running, ALWAYS stretch, can be guilty of letting myself get dehydrated as I dont like carrying water on a run.

Not sure what to do as the medical community obviously doesn't have an answer, its so frustrating, I absolutely love running, but the pain is ridiculous and doesnt feel very healthy. if any lovely ladies out there get any help please let us know!

Friday, July 16, 2010, 6:00 PM

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Pain while running

My daughter has started to have the cramps that many of you have been describing. We have gone to doctors, and talked to her coaches and trainers, but none of their suggestions have worked. We are now starting to try pickle juice. This was suggested by her soccer coach who uses pickle juice or mustard to aid cramps during game. I know that these cramps are not skeletal muscle cramps but I thought it would be worth a try. Have any of you tried this?

Saturday, July 24, 2010, 8:42 AM

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I read something years ago in a running magazine, and when I would get a 'stitch' in my side, my impulse was to stop running. This article suggested keep running at a moderate to low pace and to really, REALLY watch your breathing. Concentrate on your breathing, make sure you are taking in sufficient air and then exhaling the co2 -- focus on your breathing, it should be in through the nose and out from the mouth, focus, focus on taking in and breathing out in rhythm. This always, surprisingly, helped for me. It might take a minute or two, but it did help. Good l uck!

Sunday, July 25, 2010, 12:47 PM

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Solution Possibly thanks biologist and runner

I have been a trainer for 7 years and I haven't had a ton of problems with this but a recent client who is very fit described the same symptoms to me. Now grant it I am a male and haven't had these symptoms but hear me out. It seems that because of the loss of blood in the menstrual period its very common to have iron deficiency and possibly other nutrients. Poor circulation compounds this problem. The reason people are feeling this at the beginning of the run is burst in exercise requires the body to start pumping blood to the major muscles to keep them "fed" with nutrients. Leaving the center of the body with even less essential nutrients which cause cramping. The reason this passes is cause after your body acclimatizes to the exercise it returns to pumping some blood to the center of your body renewing the essential nutrients in that part of your body. So by doing things that will increase the blood flow to center of your body... or allowing it to warm up to that point before really creating the stress. If you are interested in more thoughts about this I would be happy to further explain in the link below is my email.... Remember I am not a Doctor simply someone who cares


Saturday, August 07, 2010, 7:21 PM

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Similar pain

I have the same problem, but it doesn't start until after I stop running and begin to cool down, I run about 1.5mi a day, and it doesn't occur every time I run. Does anyone else have this after they run?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 1:26 PM

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pain after running

Sometimes I don't get the cramps until after I stop running (or swimming). Sometimes I can feel them a little while I am running so I stop and then it gets far worse.

Thursday, September 16, 2010, 9:54 PM

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Related PEERtrainer Blog Post:"


Saturday, September 25, 2010, 7:24 PM

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This sucks!

I just got back from a run, and I noticed these period like cramps also. But with me, I would slow down to a walking pace from being out of breath, and that's when I noticed the pain, as soon as I started to run again, they stopped. So it was opposite for me. In the last year, I have had alot of strange pains and things going on in my body that have been unexplainable. After a trip to the ER in February, then multiple trips to the ob this year, the only thing they have told me is that my white blood cell count was high, then diagnosed me with a uterine infection, (How the hell do you get a uterine infection? I've never had any kids!) Also she said I had a tilted uterus. also that there was fluid on my ovaries, which could indicate an ovarian cyst, (after a TVUS) And the other thing Ive had this year was UTI. Other than that, I have had some bowel issues this year, and the most recent pains have been in my bladder/ovary area. I sometimes feel like that area is being stretched, (make sense?) and it my bladder hurts after Ive gone pee sometimes. I also sometimes feel this urgency to go pee in my urethral area, but I don't really have to go. It's almost like my urethra is being pinched or poked or something. I have actually poked it myself with a Q-tip and it was very uncomfortable. I am not sure if that feeling was normal or not as Ive never done that before, but it didn't feel very normal.

I am very eager to get to the bottom of this crap, and my past obgyn was of no help at all really. Except she thought I might have IC (interstitial cystitis) :"(

If anyone else can relate to any of these symptoms I've had, let me know.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 7:30 PM

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Uterine cramps while running

I have had this issue for 13 years.
All kinds of tests, nothing wrong with me.
No doctor can tell me why or how.
I'm so fed up.
I'm a NSCA CSCS trainer for 18 yrs. so I'm totally stumped.
My next test is wearing a compression suit, at least tights.
I'll keep you all posted.
Has anyone tried compression tights?

Saturday, October 09, 2010, 3:24 PM

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Cramps while running

I'd been having these for about a 18 months before I managed to get someone to investigate. 12-14 minutes into a run, about mid-cycle, I would get what I describe as "contractions", like really bad period pain but with a feeling like a needed to push... I'd be on the floor curled up in a ball for about 10 minutes. But once the pain had passed I could quite happily run for 2 hours! Still, it wasn't great when it happened whilst racing! Anyway, had a laparoscopy in May this year - I had some adhesions between the back of the uterus and the bowel. Seemed that this could be the cause... It would make sense that at certain times of the month, the movement of running could cause the pain if the bowel and uterus were joined, instead of being free moving.

Sadly the pains returned this week. 20 minutes into a run this time, which is an improvement (if I manage to get a bit faster, I could even complete a 5k before they kick in!) but I was pretty p'eed off. Again, doubled over for about 10 minutes, then able to carry on.

The doctor suggested going back on teh Pill, which I am reluctant to do... have had problems with this in the past. Has anyone here had any experience of Yasmin or Yas the new generation pills, and has it helped with the symptoms?

It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one this happens to, but surely someone has to know what the cause is....

Friday, October 22, 2010, 5:21 AM

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Me, Too!

I also had the exact same kind of cramping (feels like menstrual cramps, comes in waves) and I have to completely stop running and wait for a good 10 or 20 minutes for the pain to go away. I also went to see a doctor, and after an MRI found out I had ovarian cysts (like 11/15/06 11:21 PM poster). The doctor prescribed me birth control pills to clear up the cysts, and that pretty much stopped my pain. Since then, I stopped taking the pills after being on them for about 3 years, and the pain has started back up again! Not exactly sure if pain is directly related to the cysts that I was having, but it is possible that the two are related given the timing for me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010, 4:28 PM

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1st time today experiencing these menstrual like pains!

I went for my reg run today and exactly 20 mins into my run I started getting really heavy menstrual cramps. I got scared because I know my period is not due for another 3 wks. I def thought something was really wrong. Anyway, I had to stop and felt so nauseous as well. I walk for the next 10-15mins and it completely went away. The rest of my day went on as normal. I guess in a way it's comforting to see that I am not the only experiencing this. However, seems like there aren't any solid answers to this condition! Yikes...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 6:03 PM

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Okay, so I have returned to this exact website many many times this past year. Before coming across this website I couldn't find anyone or anything that described what was happening to me on runs and when I had a strenuous work out! I'm so happy that I'm not the only one and that I'm not a crazy person! (Trying to explain this to my family, friends, and coaches for years never worked and now that I've sent this article to my mom and fiance they finally understand what I'm going through.)


I think (after 8 some odd years) I may have figured out a big part of the problem when I run!!!! Just about 30 minutes ago I got the diarrhea cramping and had to come upstairs to my room because my pain was so severe I literally had to leave the gym, in tears from the pain, and blast the AC in my apartment.

Then it hit me, my friend who I sometimes work out with suggested that we turn the AC off this time in order to work up a better sweat and just leave the door open to let a natural, outdoor breeze flow through. I willingly agreed because I absolutely love to work up a sweat as it makes me feel like I'm really getting a great workout. Then, I started running, sweating a bunch, and the pain started up. I left and ran to my room, splashed cold water on my body and face like always, stripped my clothes off so fast, and blasted my AC and fan on my body. I immediately started to feel better.

I then looked up "overheating" online in relation to menstrual/diarrheal cramps and I felt like I hit the nail on the head. Everything it said about overheating and cramps and hydrating and overheating and working out in humid climates (i'm living in thialand right now...humid...) which causes the sweat not to do its job since the humid air is so damp.....omg.

Granted, I haven't tested my theory yet but it sounds really legit. I remember time in high school when we had to work out in the crappy old gym with no central air conditioning and times i ran my subdivision in summer and it's all making sense!

I hope this is the answer! I'm going to be testing this theory over the next few days!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 11:15 PM

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Case 4,444

33 yo 5'6" 128lb.

I ran CC in High School. I never had the problem then, but it started a year ago when I began running again (I hadn't run seriously since HS). It starts about 1 - 1.5 miles into a run, in the lower right abdomen, it seems to radiate around to my lower back, and does feel as though I need to have a b.m. but once I get to the bathroom I've found that I don't need to go as the pain eases off. Sometimes pain slowly subsides while walking, sometimes it doesn't stop until I sit still. Diet is mainly pescatarian, though I occasionally eat red meat (less than once per month), do consume dairy (though it will be lactose free milk for now to test the theory), I feel I stretch enough, but do not warm up before a run. I haven't been informed of any reproductive abnormalities (although I haven't asked), but I do have very intense, painful menstrual cramps and severe low back pain during menstruation. I plan to go through a process of elimination of all the ideas I've noted from the thread. I'll post any results that may be useful.

Thursday, December 09, 2010, 1:01 PM

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i know this is old post but hope you get it:
Kefir cured my IBS and helped many others!!! u can buy it or make it your self it is quite simple...
endometriosys can happen to males as well but lets hop dont have it...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 12:23 PM

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ovarian torsion

I too have had these same types of stomach pains (i refuse to call them cramps since they are so much worse) since I was 16. They are debilitating about 10-12 minutes into my run, and then anywhere from 5-15 mintues they last and then just all of a sudden are gone and I can continue running. They have become less frequent as I have gotten older, but I still get the same pain. Today it was worse than ever. I know it does not have to do with fitness as I run marathons, have qualified for the boston marathon, and I am currently training for an ironman, but if I get these pains in a race it severely hurts my time.

I was wondering if anyone had ever been told the problem was ovarian torsion that can go away quickly. The symptoms present as ovarian torsion would. I lot of women, myself included, get cysts on their ovaries between ovulation and menstruation, that can cause the ovaries to become enlarged. If they then twist around each other or themselves, this cuts of circulation, and if it lasts too long they become necrotic (they die). This can happen with testicles as well BTW. I think the jostling of running could cause this, it may also explain the infertility many women were experiencing due to the death of cells while the blood supply was cut off.

Let me know if anyone has ever been advised about this idea. I am in medical school and we discussed a case of ovarian torsion and the pain was just so similar to what I have experiences.

In addition, women with older posts, PLEASE let me know if you have discovered any reasons behind this pain.

And finally, do not let this pain keep you from loving running! I sincerely believe the frequency decreases with fitness and I still need running to keep me sane!

Friday, December 31, 2010, 12:56 AM

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I think I found the problem

Ladies I think I found the answer to our problem. I also have those horrible cramping while I run. They are so horrible that I have to stop for a while to let them pass. But while studying I think that I came up with the problem. It might be ischemia. It's when you don't get enough blood supply and oxygen to a certain area of your body. And in this case it would be the uterus. And that problem could be caused by a lack of blood vessels that go to the uterus. Or just that the blood vessels constrict and this prevents the flow of blood. I'm not sure as to how to fix this problem besides taking Advil before running, which I do all the time, but I will definitely look into this more. I have some friends in the vascular and gyno field. I will talk to them and maybe come up with a permanent solution for all of us.

Sunday, January 23, 2011, 10:24 PM

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I have come to the conclusion that the cause of these horrible pains, that we are all experiencing, are genetic as my twin sister and I both have the same problem. We are both fit, healthy and yes we are vegetarians... I am pleased that we are not the only ones as no one seems to understand what we are experiencing when we describe the pain. I hope that someone finds a solution as I feel as though I should NEVER run again!

Thanks :)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 3:22 PM

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mentrual cramps while running

I have read through every comment here trying to find common threads. Here are the most common:
Uterine tilt
Other ovarian or fiberous cyst issues (hormone related?)
Possible low iron (lots of vegetarians out there)
A majority have issues post ovulation
Low blood pressure and/or low thyroid
Beginning of workout and/or more exertion than usual

The strangest thing is that it resolves itself after a few minutes and doesn't return.

Here's my theory: When those of us with low circulation increase our exertion suddenly for a period of time, the blood doesn't get oxygen to our organs at a rapid enough pace. Perhaps that sends a signal that, if our egg had been ovulated, we are putting it in danger with the low oxygen. The prostaglandins go to work contracting the uterus, not to expel the possible fetus but to hurry and put blood in the area and get it re-oxygenated and back to normal. Once that has had its chance to work, we are fine to continue the exercise.
Why this happens to some and not others could be explained by the combo of things from low iron (low oxygen) and low blood pressure, plus the hormone issues that might be causing the cysts, etc.
What do you think? Crazy? I think I'm on to something.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 7:45 PM

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mentrual cramps while running

It's me again. I just wanted to add that some women probably get relief from the pill because it stops ovulation and the body isn't too concerned with fetus preservation.
And some women have relief with NSAIDs because it keeps the prostaglandin down.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 7:49 PM

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possible solution

Hello. I too suffer from these menstrual like cramps while running for the past 20 years. It only happens when I run, no other form of intense excercise triggers the pain. It happens about 5 minutes in and does not matter whether it is slow jogging or a fast run. I have 30 minutes of the most intense pain of my life (including having to go to the bathroom, vomiting, cold sweats, and not being able to speak the pain is so bad). After 30 minutes, I'm grateful the pain is gone and do not continue running. I tried using the NuvaRing about 5 years ago when I was 30 and for some reason, that little device that you insert in your vagina as a form of birth control does the trick for me. I run pain free. So 4 years ago I chose to stop the NuvaRing to have children. I tried to run when I was not using it and the pain was back like clockwork. Now I've had my twins and I'm back on it. I tried to use the NuvaRing about 6 months after their birth but no dice. My body could not hold it in place and it kept slipping out. I just went for my annual exam last week and asked my dr to prescribe it again. It has stayed in for a week with no problems and I went for my first fun in 4 years yesterday. I ran a mile, no problem (okay my inner thighs were sore and so were my calves but no cramps). I ran 2 miles today. No problems. I hope this might work for some of you out there that have this same terrible pain. Good luck in your search for what will work for you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 12:58 AM

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I am right with you on this. You feel like its the worst period ever AND the worst..#2 ever all at the same time. I also have mostly felt this running outside, however it was happening to me OFTEN a few months back on a treadmill, and after running very little. At first I thought it happened when outside because of running faster and harder.. now I think it had to do with my birth control. I switched back to my original form of BC and have not have problems since. Please let us know if you find some answers!

Monday, February 28, 2011, 1:12 PM

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uterine contractions after running

I have uterine contractions after running since 16 yrs old. It only happens when I come back to run after not exercising for a while. When I exercise regularly it never happens.

Friday, April 08, 2011, 9:10 AM

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I think I found the problem

Yes, I think you did, too! Any update? Please keep us posted!

Thursday, May 12, 2011, 11:34 PM

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abdominal pain, running, ovulation

Hey doc it's funny you should say that birth control pills make the pain stop because I came on here to see if anyone else gets pain in lower abs and inner thighs when running while ovulating. I don't take birth control and am fully aware of ovulation days. I do intense cardio work out every day and noticed I get the pain only during ovulation times when working out. It feels like the beginning of a labor contraction so I figured the exercise is irritating my uterus while it is most full and ready for the egg so I think I am going to plan for more low impact and toning work during ovulation because it seems to me that the uterus does not like all that action at all. The fact you don't get the pain on birth control could support my theory since I know it prevents ovulation, but I am not sure how it affects the state of the uterus that would eliminate the pain. Do you know? Maybe less menstrual build up in the uterus on the pill or something. I don't know but because the pain felt so much like labor pain I immediately associated with something to do with my uterus and marked the times I get it on the calendar and it lined up with ovulation 100% of the time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011, 2:11 AM

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i think you might be right

Thursday, June 16, 2011, 2:26 AM

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cardio, labor pain like uteral conractions, ovulation, below average blood pressure

Hey doc it's funny you should say that birth control pills make the pain stop because I came on here to see if anyone else gets pain in lower abs and inner thighs when running while ovulating. I don't take birth control and am fully aware of ovulation days. I do intense cardio work out every day and noticed I get the pain only during ovulation times when working out. It feels like the beginning of a labor contraction so I figured the exercise is irritating my uterus while it is most full and ready for the egg so I think I am going to plan for more low impact and toning work during ovulation because it seems to me that the uterus does not like all that action at all. The fact you don't get the pain on birth control could support my theory since I know it prevents ovulation, but I am not sure how it affects the state of the uterus that would eliminate the pain. Do you know? Maybe less menstrual build up in the uterus on the pill or something. I don't know but because the pain felt so much like labor pain I immediately associated with something to do with my uterus and marked the times I get it on the calendar and it lined up with ovulation 100% of the time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011, 2:32 AM

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Thursday, June 16, 2011, 2:33 AM

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I get this too and only during ovulation. it feels a lot like the beginning of a labor contraction. Having given birth I would know this. Another posts suggests that this might be happening to us during ovulation to protect the potential fetus when the uterus feels like it is not getting enough blood when we start making so much blood go to all our hard working muscles. They also suggest this happens to women with lower blood pressure and circulation. I also have below average blood pressure so I believe this is the best explanation. My solution if you don't want to take birth control, which I don't... is to take it easier during the ovulation days. Maybe a good time for toning and strength training. Yoga and Pilates and such. Don't ever forget the nature of femininity, respect it, work with it, and it will work for you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011, 2:42 AM

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I too was having the same problem you all describe when out running. I have been in agony many times, and always mid cycle.
After reading all your ideas and advice, I decided to go on the pill and see if that would work for me.
I've been on the pill for 4 months now and it has been great. I've had no pain at all.
I don't have to miss training nights with my running club anymore, and so my running has improved alot, and i've just completed my first 10km run.
Good luck to you all in finding a solution.

Friday, September 02, 2011, 1:38 PM

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This is a new guide we created that will be very interesting to anyone looking to help solve their running pain.

A Method To Eliminate Physical Pain

Monday, September 05, 2011, 3:48 PM

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Holy cow - it worked

I have had wicked menstrual cramps since my period started and also cramping with ANY aerobic exercise lifting my HR over 145BPM at ANY time in my cycle. I am 38 and have adenomyosis and infertility. On a whim, I tried the one-a-day asprin regimen used for heart attack prevention - suddenly NO cramps during period or exercise. The effect has been going on for over six months now. Can someone else try this and see if it works or if I'm a mutant? My guess is that it might work for adenomyosis/endometriosis sufferers. The RX is just the 81mg aspirin once a day and it can be purchased at any drugstore (it HAS TO BE ASPIRIN not tylenol or anything else). Please re-post if you try it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 12:37 PM

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i'm a guy

hey i just thought id let you know. i'm a guy and i get this horrible pain 10 minits into a run . it's seems to happen when the heart rate and lungs increase . the pain is in the lower left abdomen for me and sort of spreds up under my rip cage. had it for 10 month every run i go on and ive got my army training in 3 weeks :0

Monday, December 12, 2011, 7:38 PM

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If anyone knows a doctor interested in this topic, please tell them about this thread! I discovered PeerTrainer a few years ago when I searched on "pain while running" and found this conversation. Here it is nearly 2012 and it's still going!

I want to report that after more than 10 years of suffering these cramps on probably 2/3 of my runs, I am now thrilled to be running pain-free. The solution, unfortunately, requires a massive amount of patience. As in *menopause*. I have just turned 50 and have gone 9 months since my last period. Pretty much this entire time I have not had the cramps.

Regarding the informal survey questions, I have low blood pressure. I had a couple of ovarian cysts and a couple of small fibroids a few years ago when I tested with ultrasound.

If you're 30, waiting until menopause is cold comfort. But I can't tell you how liberating it has been to be able to go for a simple run without fear of debilitating cramps!!

Best to all who are suffering with this vexing problem.

Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:52 PM

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another thought

Yes, this is an old thread, but clearly lots of us are still finding it. I could write most of what everyone else did. 10-15 min hits...terrible pain.... I just wanted to add one thought, though. I see some people mentioning vascular changes. And what is interesting to me is that I've been having other symptoms: feeling sick, dizzy, faint, AFTER EATING. I did searches and came up with postprandial hypotension. Changes in blood flow after eating lead to this hypotension (and my normal blood pressure is low, like many people here). Anyway, I've been getting both the dizziness following eating, sometimes, as well as these horrible cramps. Related? Anyone else have issues after eating?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 4:08 PM

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If you are in pain while running, you MUST read this article. This is the intro, a link to the full article is below:

"In order to get the motivation to exercise, run or move more, you must first make sure your body is in total balance and alignment. This article will explain to you why proper physical alignment is the first step in a process that will literally set you in motion. We will then show you some basic exercises which will help you get to this place.

The basic idea here is that when your body is out of alignment, physical pain is the inevitable result. As pain increases, your limitations grow. As this cycle deepens, you create the perfect environment for inaction. You can have all the mental energy and power in the world, and it will not fix this fundamental problem. In fact, if you take a "mind over matter" approach, it may make things a whole lot worse.

The good news is that the inverse is also true! When you get balanced and then get loose, possibilities start to increase. At PEERtrainer we are strong advocates of something we call "Fitness Fusion." Just like our Diet Fusion concept, Fitness Fusion involves focusing on areas that you might not expect, AND doing them together."


Sunday, March 23, 2014, 12:02 PM

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Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. Thank you so much. introduction to maternity and pediatric nursing 7th edition

Saturday, April 07, 2018, 5:12 AM

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thank you for your interesting infomation. Test Bank for HDEV 5th Edition by Rathus

Monday, May 07, 2018, 3:28 PM

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