Do period pains serve any purpose?

Yesterday, a female friend of mine suffered from period pains so violent they made her practically unable to walk, she threw up anything she ate and had a thundering headache. And, of course, moods to make ol’ Belzebub himself think twice before asking her to fetch the remote. She’s looked it up and the doctor’s are positive it’s nothing but a very unlucky form of period pains.

Now, I know this isn’t unique. Many women suffer greatly in various ways during their menstrual procedures, but my question is; Why? And does it serve any actual purpose other than to make their lives miserable?

I thought that the cramps were caused by the contractions of the uterus that occur while shedding its lining.

What Ame said.

Hot tea lots of it (or coffee if that’s her thing) all day long, heatpads, vibrating pillows, Aleve.

I used to miss days of school because of said same problems.

I have horrible period pains. Finally some nice gyn explained that they were caused by an oddly placed cervix. I’m not sure why that’d make a difference, but apparently it does.

My mom had awful periods because her cervix was ‘tipped.’

I solved my period pains by going on birth control. My b/f is extremely grateful.

Nothing has a ‘purpose’. You need to get over this idea fast to be able to think clearly about it.

Ask yourself this: Can these pains negatively affect the survival rate of babies? Can these pains negatively affect fertility rates?

If ‘no’, then these pains/traits won’t be selected out.

Mine were possibly misdiagnosed as uterine fibroids. I was also “cured” by the pill for a few years.

Then they dxd PCOS which had nothing to do with it except explain why it was only two or three times a year (when not on the pill).

Modern women have many more cramps than did primitive woman who spent much of her life pregnant or nursing. So cramps were probably much less of a problem in the evolutionary scheme of things. And supposedly after the first child, the cramps lessen markedly.

I have horrid cramps and was also diagnosed with a tipped or retroverted uterus. It means the uterus tilts towards the back instead of the belly button. It leads to back aches as well as the usual cramps. Doctors used to correct a tipped uterus with surgery but it actually occurs in over 25% of the population and is just an abberration, not an abnormality.

Welcome to the SDMB, Sanguine.

All I know is that ‘super strength motrin’ is the best cure for the pain! ( For me, anyway )

They can come back, tremorviolet. I have been told by a woman – who’s given birth twice – who is most of the way through menopause that she never knows if she’s going to have horrible awful cramps or none at all during her periods – and God only knows when those will arrive anyway.

Another pcos’er checking in, and every so often i get period pain that completley floors me. I find that curling into a fetal ball and shrieking at anything that moves works wonders, also add liberal ammounts of chocolate :smiley:

Primitive women were also considerably more physically active than modern women, at least in industrialised countries, and exercise is – for most women – an effective way to relieve cramps. (This was one of the few things my high school gym teachers were right about.)

I don’t have an answer to “why” in the sense of “what purpose does the pain serve,” but prostaglandins seem to be the cause of the pain.

Do period pains serve any purpose???

Hell, do most people on this Earth serve any purpose??

I had pains so severe that for an entire day each month, sometimes two, I would throw up, faint and be wracked with pain that came in waves. Nothing helped me, not even the pill.

I endured the pains from 11 years old to 30 when I had my baby and about 20 months period free thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding. The pains came back but differently flavoured, not so long drawn out, and unpredictable.

One medicine which did help me considerably was Loxonin which is a muscle relaxer, it stops the spasms rather than deadens the pain (no painkiller ever touched my pain in any way.) I’d recommend anyone with period pains to look into this type of drug, it really helps.

A natural method of helping with the pain is to have an orgasm. Try it, it REALLY works! A friend of mine told me when I was about 16, and from that time on I could buy 20 minutes or so of sleep time before the pains built up again.

Ummm. This might be a cross-language misunderstanding (I’m Swedish, unless you noted), but what I meant by ‘serving a purpose’ wasn’t in any philosophical way or anything quite like it at all. So sorry if it sounded like I was looking for divine reasons. What I meant was whether the pains came from a particular process crucial to completing the menstrual procedure or if they were just… there. It seemed a perfectly logical question at the time. Somehow it felt pretty unfair that women would have to have monthly pains for no apparent reason at all.

I don’t know if I’m getting there or not… :slight_smile:

Anyways. Thanks for sharing everyone.

qts: Cheers :slight_smile:

The pain could also be related to endometriosis. These are tiny cysts which attatch to the uterus (though they can spread throughout your entire pelvic region) and are aggravated by menstrual blood, causing the pain.

I used to suffer from crying, puking, writhing-on-the-floor-wishing-I-was-dead *agony * every month. Three or four doctors later, I finally found one who understood what the problem was, and was able to treat it.

Tell your friend she doesn’t have to suffer. There are ways to deal with these problem. The only difficulty is in finding a sympathetic and knowledgeable doctor.