When a woman officially goes through menopause, it means that she hasn’t had her period for 12 consecutive months. Without monthly ovulation, most women do not suffer from typical menstruation symptoms such as cramps and bloating.
However, for some, it is still possible to get cramps after menopause. Oftentimes, these are a sign that you haven’t completely reached menopause yet, or they could be indicative of another health condition.
If you are still receiving period symptoms such as cramps, bleeding, lower back pain, fatigue, or constipation, this might be why!
Endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue similar to what grows in the inner lining of your uterus grows outside of it as well. The inflammation caused by these extra growths generally stops after menopause, but someone women with endometriosis may still have symptoms of cramping and pain, especially if they are taking estrogen therapy.
These non-cancerous growths usually stop growing or shrink after menopause, but their existence can cause pain and some women continue to receive painful conditions. If this is the case, it may be best to consult a physician about whether you should receive an imaging test such as a CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound to look at your ovaries. Pelvic exams and biopsies can also help diagnose what condition you are suffering from.
Apart from menstruation, you may be experiencing cramps, nausea, or diarrhea because of gastrointestinal issues such as the stomach flu, food poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or other condition. Pain from these conditions will not be in the uterus, but the lower abdomen.
Ovarian or uterine cancer
The risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers increases after 50, and symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, bloating, and weight loss in addition to cramps may indicate you might have cancer. However, there may be many other reasons you could be experiencing cramps so consult your physician before making a ny final decisions!
If you have a family history of ovarian/uterine cancer, took estrogen therapy for menopause, started menopause after 52, got your period before age 12, or have used an IUD before, you may be more likely to experience post-menopause cramps. Using painkillers, heating pads and eating anti-inflammatory foods could help ease your symptoms and reduce cramps!