If you experienced cramping during your menstrual cycle, you will most likely experience it after you stop menstruating as well. This begins to occur during the first stage of menopause, called perimenopause. You may continue to experience menstruation irregularly during this time, but it is common to get cramps even without bleeding. You have officially entered the menopause stage of life after you have not experienced a period for one year. At this time, cramping may still occur monthly—just because your ovaries no longer produce eggs does not mean you do not still experience some kind of monthly hormonal cycle—but it is rare, so talk to your doctor to be sure that you are otherwise healthy. Cramps after you have not experienced bleeding for over a year may indicate other more serious health problems. Also talk to your doctor if you have never experienced cramping before, but begin to suffer from cramps regularly.
You have a number of treatment options to relieve the pain you may experience from cramping, and your doctor can help you choose the best course of action for your body. While some women may find relief in simple over-the-counter medicines (the same ones used in earlier years for relief with menstruation cramping), others seek prescription strength drugs. In recent years, the idea of hormone replacement therapy has become a less popular option due to its association with cancer, but some doctors still recommend this course of action.
Natural remedies, such as herbs, are receiving thumbs ups from women across the country, and are now one of the most common treatments for menopausal women, as they help with not only cramping, but with other symptoms as well. This is a type of alternative medicine that is still being studied, but many women swear by the use of herbal remedies. Other alternative medicine treatment options include acupuncture, acupressure, and meditation.
There are also things you can do to relieve cramps at home, without medicine or medical procedures. These are often the same remedies used by menstruating women to relieve cramps during their periods. Try a warm bath to help with the tension and pain. Also remember that regular sexual activity is healthy and a great way to stop cramping. Massage can also be used at home as a temporary fix to cramps.
Overall, it is simply important to keep an open dialogue with your doctor about the numerous changes that are taking place in your body. Cramps are a common problem for the majority of women going through menopause, so you are not alone in your struggle to stop the painful cramping in the perimenopause stage of life.
By: Kathryn Whittaker
About the Author: