Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    excruciating pain during every other period
    mrhea posted:
    hello. im a 28 year old female. mother of one. i have horribly painful periods alternating months. the pain is so bad that it causes me to pass out and vomit at times. Its much worse than labor and lasts about 1 to 3 days with no relief in between. It started when i was 23. i had one episode and ended up in the E.R. Then got pregnant so i didnt have another episode until I was 24. but since the its like clock work (every 56 days) alternating periods. the pain is always on my right side. my doc has tested me for every std and has done numerous sonograms etc. In aug 2012 he did a laparoscopic procedure and found a "signifigant" amount of endometriosis. He told me the procedure should give me a couple years of relief, but my pain was back in Nov. Also i have pain in between periods (feels like there is a rock in my back) and i have been growing thick wirey facial hair. my doc still insists its not a hormonal problem. Please help! I feel like im missing out on my life!
    mrhea responded:
    forgot to mention that my blood flow during the painful months is much less than the non painful months....
    Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
    Dear mrhea: Often the severe cramping, accompanied by nausea and vomiting, is a result of excessive prostaglandin production. Most menstrual cramps are caused by the release of prostaglandins from the lining of the uterus. Prostaglandins create both the cramps of labor and menstrual cramps by making the uterus contract. Common cramps may start prior to the onset of flow and usually last 72 hours. There are also receptor sites for prostaglandins in the bowel and central nervous system. Thus prostaglandins can produce not just cramps but also nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and other "flu-like" symptoms.

    In your specific case you also have the known, marked endometriosis ("endo"). Sometimes the endo can even invade the muscular walls of the uterus--this is called adenomyosis. In both instances the pain of menstruation, caused by prostaglandins, is amplified by the pain from the bleeding of the endometriosis implants.

    What is most perplexing to me is the precisely every other month (right side only) severity of your pain. Endo implants do not usually act this way. One thing I would wonder is if your uterus is to the right of the midline of your body--or if there are more endo implants on the right side. Some women do seem to have unequal menstrual pain from month to month.MULTIPLE literature searches at the National Library of Medicine site did not yield any useful citations. One journal article from 1984 described a patient with a pelvic mass on the right from a supposed IUD caused infection where pain was erratic.

    In terms if the coarse facial hair, one cause MIGHT be increased male hormones ("androgens"), or decreased levels of sex hormone binding protein produced in the liver. One of the common causes of this can be polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Usually women with PCOS are plagued with irregular/missed periods, acne, unwanted hair growth, and may be overweight. Typically none of these would be likely to cause your pain symptoms.

    I would urge you to return to your GYN about the reappearance of the severe pain. They may want to do a trial of one of several types of hormone therapy used to suppress endometriosis to see if this can eliminate the cyclic pain. Gosh, we hope something can be found to give you back your quality of life.

    In Sympathy,
    mrhea replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
    Thank yor for replying. My doc put me on depo and I haven't had the excruciating pain for 6 months thank God! He also put me on Spironolactone for the facial hair but I stopped it after a month because my veins were swelling in my feet and pulsing really hard(not sure if the spironolactone contributed to it). I am not sure why I had this horrible pain for 7 years and depo has stopped it but I am glad it did. I wish there was a specialist I could see about all this because I hate being on hormones but for the time being it is working..
    as7241 responded:
    I know I'm late to reply to this but I'm experiencing the SAME EXACT thing. Im 29, it just recently started for me though. April was the first month and it was god awful, 10/10 on the pain scale and I'm not one to fuss over anything. May was fine and then in June, the pain was back but worse, only on my right side. I ended up in the hospital with a BP of 80/40 and no answers. I have to follow up with my GYN but I'm freaking out because my cycle is about to start and I'm terrified the pain will be back. Have you had continued success with depo?
    mrhea replied to as7241's response:
    Hi, I'm sorry to hear that u are going through this as well. I stopped taking the depo because I was growing massive amounts of facial hair and I was spotting everyday for months. My pain is back as I suspected it would be and I'm going to request a cat scan on my pelvic region. I truly feel that something other than the endometriosis is causing the pain because most women with endometriosis have heavy periods and mine are very light when I'm in pain. Another thing that I'm concerned with is that when I had my last ultra sounds the technician asked me if I have ever had a tubal ligation on my right side, which I have not. I live in a small town and unfortunately it takes months to get into doctors and the last time I went I asked for my hormones to be checked and he refused because since I do experience bleeding every 28 days I'm "having normal periods so my hormones are just fine". I spend hours on end every chance I get scouring the Internet looking for some sort of answers and I do remember reading somewhere that if your overies aren't producing enough hormones prior to your menses that it causes light blood flow. I really want to get the the root of this problem and try to solve it the best I can without hormone therapy or pain meds. I'm not sure about u but this is ruining my life. The pain in my back is everyday now and it's preventing me from working to the best of my ability and doing things with my daughter. I really hope u don't go through this as long as I have. I have a doctors appt tomorrow with a new primary care doctor and I'm going to ask to be referred to a specialist so I will let u know how that goes. Best of luck to u!
    jackalyn93 replied to mrhea's response:
    Hello and I'm sorry to you both! I have THE EXACT SAME THING! I am 22 years old and am barely going through the stages of finding out what is going on. I had an ultrasound and everything appeared normal. This is very weird. I have an appointment with my OBGYN in a week so we will see what they say about this.
    mrhea replied to jackalyn93's response:
    Hi there. I hope u have better luck then I did when it started. I was told I had "cramps" because all my ultra sounds came back "normal". It wasn't until a month ago that my new doctor took one look at my records and diagnosed me with pcos. It took 7 years for my old doctor to agree to do laparoscopy and diagnose the endometriosis. I always had doubted that the endometriosis would cause all this pain alone but now I know the pcos exists so it makes more sense to me. My advice to u would be to demand a laparoscopy so your doctor can see everything that's going on and take care of it quickly. Your doc will most likely want to put u on birth control pills too.
    gvsucourtney responded:
    I cried reading this. My symptoms are very similar to you and my doctor cannot figure things out. I have horrible cramps every other cycle. The pain causes nausea, lack of appetite and extreme fatigue for the first 1-3 days. I get sharp pains on my left side every ovulation and right before each period too. My PMS symptoms are heightened sore breasts, extremely moody, cravings for chocolate and caffeine (which otherwise I rarely eat) and my breasts even lactate. The pain that I get every other cycle leaves me paralyzed at times. I'm 29. I was pregnant once at 19 and terminated the pregnancy.
    These symptoms started about 3 years ago and have gotten worse. Other than endometriosis my doctor hasn't diagnosed me with any other illnesses that can cause this. I have never been in labor, but the pain I feel every other month can't be much worse. I find myself on my knees in the middle of the night because the pain will not allow me to lay down. Or I hang my arms from the top of a door to try to get relief from the pain. The most embarrassing part of this all is the amount of facial hair I've grown recently. It's thick, dark and causes hair bumps all along my jawline. I have to shave everyday to prevent a noticeable 5 o'clock shadow. My menstrual issues affect my life. I try to avoid scheduling trips and activities during the bad months. I pray that you find some relief and if you have any revelations or suggestions I would appreciate if you can keep this thread updated, as will I. Good luck and thanks for feels good to know you're not the only one.
    amaried2009 replied to gvsucourtney's response:
    Wow--I have scoured the internet looking for answers for the past year and this is the first time I have heard of other women who are experiencing the same thing I am!
    I have been so scared of my period for a year now. I knew something was wrong last June and I contemplated bringing myself to the ER. I held out and scheduled with my obgyn's colleague (my doc was out of town, unfortunately) only for her to tell me that I was having a "bad period". It's really demoralizing and degrading to have another woman treat you as if you don't know the difference between something truly being wrong and a "bad period". I ended up going to the ER the next month b/c it was so bad and they couldn't tell what was wrong, either. My Doc finally diagnosed me with endometriosis, but didn't have any answers as to why it was "every othe rperiod".
    I am curious if any of you have been in tune with your body to know if it's doing the same for me....if so, I think I just came across something that has spared me a horrible period!
    Do any of you feel that when you get your period, your body is trying so hard to get rid of it, but you produce absolutely nothing?
    Does your stomach feel swollen? I can tell I have reverse menstruation every other month. This is where it goes back through your tubes and implants in your abdominal cavity (hence my endometriosis).
    I look about 6 months pregnant every other month and my kids know they can't even lay a finger on my stomach during that time.
    Now on to the hopeful part....I have refused drugs and birth control for a year b/c I hate what happens to me when I'm on them. I knew my body had something wrong and I was dedicated to finding it out.
    In april, I nearly gave up, but bought this last supplement as one last chance. I don't want to be too hopeful, but I just had a normal period for the "excruciating pain" period. It was actually better than my "non-painful" month.
    I started taking serrapeptase (a digestive enzyme that helps to break down dead material) in hopes of it clearing up my endo and also maybe helping out a fallopian tube (I figure if it's just every othe rperiod, something with the tube or ovary should be incorrect, right?). I was sooo nervous a few days ago when I was supposed to get my period, only to find that my period was completely normal.
    My hopes is that none of you think I am endorsing a product as wishful thinking, or anything close. I feel a strong duty to let you women know what I came across b/c I am so thankful to have found the right blogs and to have discovered what I think could clear my body up! I am continuing to take the serrapeptase and plan to do so for awhile until I have at least 3 normal periods for the "painful" side.
    I will update again (if I remember) once I have another period on the same side to see if I was just blessed to have a pain-free period, or if the serrapeptase truly helped to clear up something in my body.
    Good luck to you all--I wouldn't wish this pain on any other woman. I'm so sorry that you all are experiencing the same!
    amaried2009 responded:
    Hi ladies,
    Like I promised, I have returned to let you know how the serrapeptase has been affecting me.
    I just finished my "painful" period for the second time, and it was COMPLETELY PAIN FREE! I am so thankful to have stumbled upon an article referencing serrapeptase.
    I would storngly urge you all to try it just because i know it cleared up issues in my body. It is a little bit pricier...but it's sooo worth it. It will keep me out of another surgery (hopefully indefinitely, but at least a lot longer than if I hadn't taken it), off of birth control, and I won't have to worry about more medical professionals looking at me with blank stares.
    Good luck to you all!

    Helpful Tips

    Be the first to post a Tip!

    Expert Blog

    Below the Belt: Women's Health - Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, RNP

    From HPV to irregular periods to PMS to fibroids, Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, is here to share her knowledge and insight...Read More

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.