A woman who gets these cramps shared a TikTok video about the pain—turns out she's hardly the only one to deal with them.

By Korin Miller
May 05, 2021
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Pelvic cramps are a known side effect of getting your period, but it's not the only body area affected by menstruation. In fact, some women experience pain in their butt or butthole when they're on their period.

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Credit: Getty Images

One woman got super candid about her experience with butt cramps in a new TikTok that's gone viral. "When you're on your '.' and feel the stab in your booty," Jalyka Smith wrote, before writhing around and screaming things like, "I'm dying!"

A flood of people related in the comments. "Literally the worst. Feeling. You just gotta sit there and endure it," one commenter wrote. "Can I get a show of hands for everyone who thought THEY ARE THE ONLY FEMALE WHO EXPERIENCES THIS??! Same…," another said.

OK, but—no pun intended—what's behind this? And how can you get relief if you, too, struggle with butt cramps during that time of the month? Doctors weigh in.

What causes butt cramps during your period?

It all boils down to the same factor causing all those other issues during your period—hormones. "As a period begins, cells that line the uterus called endometrial cells break down and let out hormones known as prostaglandins," women's health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, tells Health. "Prostaglandins can cause inflammation and contraction—and some women experience contraction of the muscles in the bowel and rectum."

Prostaglandins make your anal and rectal area more sensitive during this time, ob-gyn Jessica Shepherd, MD, CEO and founder of Sanctum Med Wellness, tells Health. "Those prostaglandins also increase contractions of the rectal tissue and the bowels, which can cause pain and cramping," she says.

While they're not overly common, butt cramps can also be a sign of endometriosis, Christine Greves, MD, ob-gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, Florida, tells Health. (Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue similar to endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus and implants itself on other organs.) "If you have endometrial implants in the anus, you will naturally have discomfort there when you're on your period," Dr. Greves says.

What can you do to get relief from butt cramps during your period?

If you suffer from butt cramps during your period, doctors advise easing them with a few steps.

Rest in a warm bath. This can "definitely help," Dr.Wider says, because it relaxes your muscles in your anus and rectum to help prevent cramping.

Take an NSAID. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help tamp down on butt inflammation, cramps, and pain, Dr. Greves says, just as they can help tame pelvic pain caused by your period.

If you regularly experience butt cramps, Dr. Greves says it's a good idea to check in with your doctor about them, just to make sure something else isn't causing it.

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