Popular questions...


What is period pain?

Period pain is caused by prostaglandins (hormones released during the menstrual cycle) that cause the muscle layer of the uterus to cramp or contract. As well as pain in the lower abdomen, women can experience back pain. Period pain generally occurs on the first day of your period, although for some women it can last longer or start in the days before their period begins. It is usually relatively mild, so that it can be managed by applying warmth (such as a hot pack), or with mild pain medications such as acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen. Pain that is so severe that you need to take time off or take pain medications regularly, or that wakes you up at night is not considered normal and may need investigation with your doctor.

FAQ Frequently asked questions

Related Topics

About this article

Author: Kellie Heywood
First answered: 23 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 1122 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Periods


Welcome to Health&. We aim to help keep you healthy and well.

We provide helpful information and guidance to manage your health. The information is personalised to allow you to make better decisions about your health. We use the latest medical guidelines and provide information that has been reviewed by doctors at Health&. It is important to note that we only provide information - we do not provide medical diagnosis, treatment or advice. The health information provided should not be a substitute for professional medical care. Before acting on the information, please consult your doctor to make sure it is right for you. In the event of a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or emergency services - dial 000 (in Australia) or 911 (in the United States of America).

At Health&, you can securely store your health records. We respect the need for privacy and security of personal information. We are bound by legal requirements for privacy in Australia. Health& is also a registered Healthcare Provider Organisation (just like your doctor), so we will not share your personal information with anyone. We apply the highest levels of security for the storage, management and access of your personal information, using industry standards for encryption. To further safeguard your information, we recommend that you use a strong password and take care to protect it.

Health& is the first consumer-led population health study in Australia. We collect anonymous health data to support medical research and population health initiatives. The information contributes to major improvements in the health of communities. Your participation helps others to also benefit.

You need to be at least 18 years old to sign up. Please read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy before using Health&.


Content goes in here.