There was recently a video on social media that went vial of a woman describing what she calls “butt cramps” while she has her menstrual period. Many viewers commented on the video saying that they experience similar symptoms. It is commonly known that women may experience pelvic cramps during their period but what are these ‘butt cramps?’
What Causes ‘Butt Cramps?’
The truth is that there are several different factors that could be causing a painful cramping sensation in the buttocks during a woman’s menstrual period. Some of the possible causes include:
- The menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones that fluctuate throughout the cycle. One of these hormones is called prostaglandins, which can cause the walls of the bowels to contract and cause a cramping sensation.
- Endometriosis is another condition that could cause buttocks pain during a woman’s period. During menstruation, the tissue that builds up and lines the uterus every month in preparation for a possible fetus breaks down and sheds which causes bleeding from the vagina. When a woman has endometriosis, she has the same tissues build-up but they grow outside the uterus. The tissue can build up on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and even the intestines. During menstruation, these tissues break down but unlike the tissue in the uterus, they do not have a way to escape from the body. This can be very painful.
- Proctalgia fugax is a condition that causes cramping, spasm, or stabbing pain in the buttocks area. This condition can affect females or males. The cause of proctalgia fugax is unclear but it is known that it can be triggered by menstruation.
- Some other common conditions that could cause a cramping sensation in the buttocks for females or males at any time include muscle spasms, gastrointestinal conditions, hemorrhoids, and constipation.
How to Treat ‘Butt Cramps’
If you’re having consistent or severe pain that doesn’t go away, cannot be relieved, or is getting worse, you should see a doctor. Start keeping a journal of symptoms that includes how severe the pain is, when you have it, and how long it lasts.
If the pain is not severe and only occasional you can try some at-home solutions to relieve the pain. Try an over-the-counter NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil or Aleve. Make sure to only take one of these types of medication at a time, follow the directions on the medication bottle, and don’t take more than directed. Heat also is a great option for treating cramps. Try applying heat to the area of your cramps. There are multiple methods of doing this such as a heating pad, heating blanket, heat patch, or a warm bath.
- MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Rectal pain: Causes, remedies, and when to contact a doctor. Medical News Today. Retrieved July 21, 2022