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Tampon Cramping Is Uncomfortable—We Asked Experts Why It Happens

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Cramps are often an unfortunate side effect of having your period, but they can and do happen to plenty of people. At random moments during your period, cramps may feel worse, sometimes they’re not so bad, and other times, they seem to happen at moments where you’d least expect them. Case in point: after inserting a tampon. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but some people might notice that they have cramps after putting in a tampon. But why does that happen, exactly? And does it mean you shouldn’t be using tampons at all? Here’s what you need to know.

Why do people get cramps in the first place

When you have your period, your uterus contracts to help get rid of the lining that has built up over the past few weeks. Hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which are also involved in pain and inflammation, trigger those contractions, explains Christine Greves, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando.

The amount of prostaglandins in your body can vary and, when they’re high, you can have more severe period cramps, Dr. Greves says. While some discomfort during your period is expected, excessive pain isn’t normal and should be explored.

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