Menstrual cramping or dysmenorrhea (the clinical term that literally means “bad menstruation” in Latin) affects almost 90% of women at some point during their lives. Cramping is caused by prostaglandins, a substance within the body that lines the uterine wall.

During your period, your uterine lining is shed and prostaglandins are released. Since it can be heavy or contain clots, prostaglandins can cause your uterus to contract and tighten as it strains to get rid of the lining.

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