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Is my period pain normal?

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

Have you ever wondered if the pain you experience with your period is normal? Do your mum, sisters and your friends tell you that they feel period pain too, so it must be normal?

It is common to suffer a bit of menstrual cramping but it is not normal to have your life disrupted by pain. Too much pain can be a sign of a more serious problem.

Normal period pain

Menstrual cramps are felt in the pelvis and in the lower back and it often feels heavy and uncomfortable. It is usual for cramping to occur just before your period, or on day 1 or 2 of your bleed. Some women will feel uncomfortable for 2 to 3 days.

Many women experience a bit of constipation just before their period, so the discomfort that comes with a period can feel worse due to a congested bowel. The constipation should ease when your period starts.

Normal period pain will cause you discomfort but it should not affect your daily life. Some women find that walking and other exercise can improve the pain.

Bad period pain

If the cramping with your period pain requires you to take pain killers and stay at home from school or work, then this is not normal.

Natural treatment for period pain

You might be surprised to know that naturopaths recommend an anti-inflammatory diet to effectively reduce the pain during menstruation. This is a great alternative to the contraceptive pill for managing period pain.

Many girls and women can greatly reduce the pain they experience by eliminating dairy and/or wheat from their diet. These foods can cause inflammation in some people.

Other women have food intolerances that can be investigated and treated, leading to an easier period.

Herbal medicine and nutritional supplements are also tools for supporting a healthy menstrual cycle and reducing pain during a period. Your pain should greatly improve within 3 months of consulting with a naturopath, changing to an anti-inflammatory diet, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels.

If the menstrual pain doesn't feel like a cramp, and you experience it as more of a stabbing or a burning pain, then you may have an underlying condition and you should consult with a doctor who specialises in women's health. If your pain doesn't improve after 3 months of diet changes, or it is completely debilitating, then it also requires further investigation.


This is a very common condition which can cause debilitating pain with a period and also at other times of your cycle, such as ovulation.

Endometriosis pain is caused by endometrium-like tissue (similar to that of your uterine lining) found in other parts of your body such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowel and bladder.

Endometriosis pain is exacerbated by increases in oestrogen throughout the menstrual cycle. Ongoing research into the causes of endometriosis suggest it is a condition of inflammation, immune system dysfunction and bacterial proliferation.

Natural treatments for endometriosis include

I may recommend functional testing for SIBO and gut microbial mapping to determine if you have digestive dysbiosis. Sometimes vaginal microbiome testing is also very useful when investigating period pain. Read more about this in my blog an update on endometriosis.

Pain between periods

Sometimes women feel a sharp twinge in their ovaries around the half way mark between their periods. This is normal and it's a sign that you have just ovulated. It's also normal to not notice this twinge.

The ovulation pain lasts only a short time and shouldn't require a pain killer or affect your activities during the day. 'Stabbing' pain at ovulation may indicate endometriosis. Please see a women's health doctor if you experience any other type of pelvic or ovary pain between your periods.

Women's Wellness

Womens' wellness is my passion! The women who come to see me in my clinic have experienced improvements in range of problems such as period pain, PMS, peri-menopause, menopause, endometriosis, vaginal/vulval conditions and infections and polycystic ovary syndrome.

If you are interested in working with me, please contact me. I would be delighted to be a part of your support team.

Simone :)


Sydney Naturopath Simone Jeffries

Hi! I'm Simone Jeffries. I am a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and certified wellness coach. I am also a foodie and an advocate for a whole food diet.

I love to support you with hormonal conditions, histamine intolerance and vaginal imbalances.

I welcome clients to consult with me at my clinic in Manly on Sydney's Northern Beaches, and online from anywhere in Australia.

The information in this blog is from my Bachelor of Health Science degree, experience from working with women in my clinic, and continuing research.

This blog is for information only and not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek assistance for any medical concerns.



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