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Overview of abdominal cramps

Most women experience abdominal cramps at some point in their life. This symptom can be so painful that it interrupts your life. Other times, these cramps are fairly mild. Abdominal cramps can be a normal occurrence, but other times the pain can signal a serious problem, especially when coinciding with other symptoms, such as painful irritation, abnormal vaginal discharge, odor or unusual bleeding.

Possible causes of abdominal cramps

As mentioned, cramps can be normal, but it may be a sign that something is wrong. Possible causes include:

  • PMS or menstruation
  • Sexually transmitted disease, particularly chlamydia or gonorrhea
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease or cervicitis, complications of untreated STDs
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Food poisoning
  • Kidney stones
  • Appendicitis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

Diagnosing abdominal cramps

If there is a chance you may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease, STD testing is an important step in diagnosing this problem. Chlamydia and gonorrhea most commonly cause abdominal cramps in women. If the STD test returns negative, a doctor can diagnose other causes.

Treating abdominal cramps

When caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea, an antibiotic can cure the infection. However, a proper diagnosis must be made to administer treatment; gonorrhea and chlamydia symptoms are similar but require different treatment. It’s crucial to treat this problem quickly, because these STDs can cause infertility when left untreated. Furthermore, all partners who have may been exposed must be treated to avoid reinfection.

Written by 

Abby Morgan

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