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Can Menstrual Cramps Make It Harder to Conceive?

Can Menstrual Cramps Make It Harder to Conceive?

If you are trying to conceive, you may be concerned that painful periods will make it more difficult to conceive. While menstrual cramps will not impair your ability to conceive, the underlying reason for your painful menstrual cramps may affect your fertility.

Can Menstrual Cramps Affect My Ability to Get Pregnant?
Can Period Pain Affect My Ability to Get Pregnant?

What triggers menstrual cramps?

Constrictions are induced by prostaglandins, which are molecules in all bodily tissues, including the uterus.

Prostaglandins regulate body temperature, inflammation, cell development, and the constriction and dilatation of smooth muscle.

They also stimulate the contraction of the uterine muscles, which aids in expulsing the uterine lining. Prostaglandins also have a role in triggering contractions of labour and delivery.

If your prostaglandin levels are too high, you may have more severe uterine contractions. When uterine contractions are very forceful, a portion of the muscle may be briefly deprived of oxygen, resulting in painful menstrual cramps.

Because adolescents have larger quantities of prostaglandins, their menstrual cramps might be more severe. As people age and these levels decline, the severity of their cramps may diminish. Some Australian women have easier, less painful periods after childbirth.

Menstrual cramps induced by normal prostaglandin activity are known as primary dysmenorrhea. This form of painful menstruation cramps should not have a detrimental effect on your fertility. Secondary dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual cramps caused or exacerbated by other illnesses or disorders of the reproductive system. This sort of unpleasant menstruation is often linked to infertility.

 What Bad Menstrual Cramps Can Tell You About Your Fertility
What Bad Period Cramps Can Tell You About Your Fertility

Menstrual Cramps and Fertility

In the setting of secondary dysmenorrhea, illnesses that affect fertility might produce menstrual cramps. Some of these disorders develop over time, meaning that you may not have symptoms immediately or that your symptoms may increase over time. Several reproductive health problems may impact a woman’s menstrual cycle and fertility.


Endometriosis is infamous for creating painful menstrual cycles and potential infertility. In this situation, tissue identical to the endometrium (the tissue that normally lines the uterus) develops outside the uterus. This tissue reacts to monthly hormone fluctuations by bleeding, often resulting in scar tissue and discomfort.


In adenomyosis, the endometrium develops into the uterine muscle. Unlike endometriosis, in which endometrium-like tissue grows outside of the uterus, this condition involves the growth of endometrium-like tissue outside the uterus. Additionally, it differs from fibroids, which are tissue masses.

Adenomyosis may induce periods that are uncomfortable and heavy. It is unknown if it impacts fertility, although some research indicates that it may.


Fibroids are muscular growths that may develop in or on the uterus, cervix, or pelvic ligaments. They are normally harmless and tend to increase throughout reproductive years.

Many Australian women are unaware they have fibroids. Nonetheless, the growths may sometimes result in discomfort, decreased fertility, and an increased chance of miscarriage.

Inflammatory Pelvic Disease (PID) and Menstrual Cramps

Additionally, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a potential cause of menstrual cramps that might affect fertility. An infection causes PID in the reproductive organs, usually a sexually transmitted illness that is untreated or inadequately managed.

The pelvic inflammatory disease produces scar tissue between the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus, which often resembles a web. PID is the most prevalent cause of fallopian tube obstruction.

Pelvic Pain, Pregnancy and Menstrual Cramps

Pelvic discomfort may sometimes occur outside of the menstrual cycle. Some individuals suffer ovulation discomfort, for instance. Ovulation discomfort is common: Up to fifty percent of women report having experienced it at least once in their lifetimes, and twenty percent report having it monthly.

Pain during ovulation is not normal if it interferes with your everyday life, creates unpleasant sexual relations, or if it is abrupt and Some women have intense ovulation discomfort that precludes them from engaging in sexual activity within the fertile window. If you are attempting to conceive and cannot engage in sexual activity due to pain, your chances of conceiving will be diminished.

However, some individuals endure unpleasant sexual encounters regardless of the month. Sex shouldn’t be painful. Consult a doctor if you have repeated, chronic, or severe discomfort during sexual activity or ovulation.

Ovulation discomfort and painful sex might indicate a disorder affecting reproductive health, such as endometriosis.

Does taking painkillers during periods affect fertility?
Does taking painkillers during periods affect fertility?

Infertility, Menstrual cramps & Pain Relief

You must see a physician if you are suffering painful periods or pelvic discomfort. They can determine the source of your pain and prescribe therapy.

Medication to Treat Menstrual Cramps

Occasionally, hormonal contraception is suggested to treat menstrual cramp pain-related symptoms. It is not an option if you are trying to conceive, and it is unlikely to alleviate the underlying source of the discomfort.

OTC pain drugs such as ibuprofen (like Advil), acetaminophen (like Tylenol), and naproxen are the most popular therapy for uncomfortable periods (like Aleve.) It is preferable to use over-the-counter pain medication at the onset of uncomfortable period symptoms (as opposed to waiting until they have already begun).

There has been some contention that popular over-the-counter painkillers (particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines or NSAIDs) may interfere with ovulation and create reproductive problems.

While the early study suggested that consuming ibuprofen during the early phases of the menstrual cycle might have a harmful impact, subsequent research has not reached the same result.

There is evidence that pain treatment may marginally increase the number of reproductive parameters.

Research involving little over 1,000 women discovered that naproxen might lengthen the time to pregnancy in women attempting to conceive.

The impact seemed to grow with increasing naproxen dose. The effect was modest but statistically significant.

Surgery to Treat Menstrual Cramps

Surgery is also a potential therapy option if endometriosis, fibroids, or adhesions cause discomfort. Before contemplating surgery, you may choose to contact a reproductive endocrinologist. Sometimes, it is also advantageous to schedule fertility treatments shortly after corrective surgery.

If someone has severe menstrual cramp pain that does not respond to therapy, removing the uterus (and probably the ovaries and fallopian tubes) is indicated in extreme situations. If you are still trying to conceive, you may not want to explore this choice.

It is also essential to remember that removing the reproductive organs does not usually remove pelvic discomfort entirely. If your doctor suggests a partial or complete hysterectomy, you should seek a second opinion before making a choice.

Do period cramps mean you're infertile?
Do period cramps mean you’re infertile?

Other Reasons for Menstrual Cramps

Absent Period

Nothing is worse than missing a period for the wrong reason while trying to conceive. If your monthly visitor isn’t showing up and you’re not seeing the two pink lines you’re expecting; it’s a good idea to contact the doctor to determine the cause. It is because an irregular cycle has a dual impact on fertility: First, it will be significantly more difficult to decide on the optimal ovulation dates for conception. Importantly, recurring absences of the menstrual cycle are typically a sign of underlying disorders that might hinder fertility; some are significant, while others are quite easy to resolve.

In the absence of pregnancy, there are a variety of potential explanations for missing menstruation.

PCOS is perhaps the most well-recognized cause of irregular cycles. Amenorrhea may also be caused by hypothyroidism, excessive prolactin levels, zinc deficiency, intensive dieting or weight reduction, or strenuous exercise.

Many of these are readily treatable or reversible with the assistance of your OBGYN, who may send you to a fertility expert if required.

Unusual Flow

If you get your period every month, you have a significant advantage regarding your chances of becoming pregnant. However, your flow may give a clue as to the underlying problem if you don’t notice a positive pregnancy test month after month despite a somewhat regular cycle length. Abnormally heavy or light periods may occasionally indicate issues that need resolution before you TTC, so read on to see if any of them apply to you.

Heavy Cycle

At first look, it may not seem that having an exceptionally heavy period may harm your fertility, particularly if your period is still regular. However, it is not typical to have a really heavy period every month. The majority of the underlying reasons for extremely heavy periods are also associated with infertility or the inability to maintain a healthy pregnancy, including uterine fibroids or polyps, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and hormonal imbalance.

So how can you determine whether your heavy flow is excessive? an abnormally heavy menstrual flow is known as menorrhagia and is characterized by the following:

You have dizziness, fainting, anemia, or shortness of breath during your period. Heavy periods affect around one in five Australian women.

Light Duration

In most instances, a light menstrual cycle is not a reason to panic. If you’ve always had a somewhat mild or brief period, celebrate! It should in no way influence your chances of becoming pregnant. If the reason for light menstrual flow is not due to weight fluctuation or any other known cause, you might want to see your OBGYN.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, a disorder in which women generate higher-than-average levels of male hormones, is one of the most significant underlying medical reasons for a light period. Moreover, you’re likely aware that PCOS is one of the top reasons for infertility in women today. The good news is that PCOS patients may have a safe pregnancy and bring a baby to term if they get the correct medical therapy to maintain their hormones balanced.

Final Thoughts

Discuss the various treatment options with your physician if you are having pelvic discomfort. You may choose to begin with very easy treatments, such as over-the-counter pain medications.

Suppose you are concerned about the potential impact of these drugs on your fertility. In that case, you should know that although some research has shown that ibuprofen may have a detrimental effect on fertility, other studies have not reached the same conclusion. Naproxen may have a modest negative impact on fertility, although the nature of the association is unknown.

While painful menstrual cramps don’t cause infertility, a number of the underlying factors connected to the condition might. Because some of these illnesses might worsen over time, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.

Finding the proper therapy may help alleviate your discomfort, safeguard your fertility, and boost your chances of future reproductive treatment success.

While menstrual cramps might not cause infertility, certain underlying conditions that affect fertility can also cause menstrual cramps