Ever thought you were alone in feeling this odd pulsating cramp-like sensation in your bum when you're on your period? More specifically, inside your anus? Well, we're here to tell you that it is perfectly normal and that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the world who, when menstruating, feel these anal cramps as well.
A condition worth talking about
As uncomfortable and perhaps even embarrassing of a sensation this might make you experience, it's important to talk about the realities of menstruation in order to destigmatize the misplaced fear surrounding women's bodies and their sexual health.
As it turns out, TikTok users have taken it upon themselves to open up the conversation surrounding this seldom talked about effect of menstruation. One user in specific who goes by the name Jalyka Smith posted a video on the social media app titled 'when you're on your period and feel the stab in your booty.'
An expert weighs in
The video has since garnered over three million views and has helped in shedding light on those who have been suffering from this side effect with users thanking Smith for kickstarting the conversation. The video even caught the eye of NHS Surgical Doctor, Karan Raj, who later edited and shared Smith's video to include a thorough explanation of the science behind these cramps. Dr. Raj explains that:
It's known as proctalgia fugax—fleeting anal pain. During your period, hormones called prostaglandins are released, which causes the muscles of the uterus to contract, causing the lining of the uterus to shed and it causes pain and cramps.
Prostaglandins also cause contractions of the rectum and the pelvic floor muscles around the anal canal. These intense contractions can cause muscle spasms and anal cramps.
The NHS urges people to seek medical attention if these cramps become too painful by saying that:
It is a condition that causes episodes of sudden, severe anal pain that last for a few minutes at a time. Don't feel embarrassed to see your GP—anal pain is a common problem that they're used to seeing.