Menstrual Cramps: The Questions What causes menstrual cramps? Menstrual cramps are like cramps elsewhere in your body. A muscle contracts too hard or too fast, constricting the blood flow and producing pain. In this case, the muscles are in the uterus. Mild cramps could be the result of things other than your period. Good pain-free menstrual health is closely related to good health and a positive mental attitude. The simple health habits of good posture, exercise, adequate diet, regular elimination —all are important in preventing painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea). Does everybody get cramps? No! Many girls and women don't feel pain from cramping at all. Some just feel a little discomfort. But a lot of girls do get painful cramps in their stomachs or back area. If that happens to you, talk to your parents, doctor, or school nurse. Moderate exercise, a hot bath, or a heating pad can be comforting. There are also helpful medications you can get at the drug store. If your mother has bad menstrual cramps, does that mean you'll get them too? There's no medical reason to believe that a girl will get menstrual cramps just because her mother does. But if you have somehow learned to expect that you will, then your chances of experiencing cramps may be increased. So it's important to realize that menstruation is a normal, healthy, event that doesn't have to include cramps. Does the use of tampons make menstrual cramps worse? Many women get menstrual cramps, but there is no evidence that the use of tampons causes cramps or makes them worse. But if you ever experience pain from using a tampon, talk to your doctor or school nurse. Is exercise good or bad for cramps? Exercise helps to relieve tension that may cause cramps. It also increases flow of blood to muscles, which can help during your period. Read about cramps menstrual and learn helpful tips for dealing with your period from BeingGirl.