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Labour pain vs period pain

Ladies who have experienced childbirth... Did you find your normal pattern of period pain affected your labour?What I'm wondering is that I have always had really bad period cramps and I wonder if this is because I have a sensitive uterus or that I have a poor pain threshold for that sort of pain. Did any of you who take painful cramps on your period find you had shorter labours or find it hard to cope in labour?


  • I wouldn't say that I get awful period pain at all usually. When me contractions first started they did feel like that, but then they focused on my back and thighs - so nothing like a period! In the latter stage of labour I kept getting cramps in my thighs between contractions. My labour was 27hours long, but it wasn't the worst thing I could have ever imagined. I was just very very tired in the end image I don't think my pain threshold is very high, but labour is just such a different situation and no-one can predict how you'll cope with it. I'm convinced that distraction from the pain is the key to making it a more bearable experience.

  • I don't suffer too badly with period pain. I found that the very beginning of labour was kind of like period pains, but that quickly changed!!

    I have to say I have always considered myself to have a fairly high pain threshold, but (not to scare you) the pain of labour actually shocked me, it was worse than I thought it would be (sorry!!)

  • G/C to say I have always had terrible period pains, since being a teenager I have had sickness from the cramps and have been prescribed prescription drugs for them at times when they've been truly awful.

    I was induced so don't know how much like natural labour that is, but when I first started having irregular contractions they felt to me how I imagined most peoples period cramps are... but they do escalate quickly by the time I was able to go from the ward to a delivery room I couldn't walk while having contractions and had to hold the wall, but I was drug free at that point.

    It is an individual thing, I think if you just have a positive attitude it can help... I would say although it starts like period pain it changes and you can't predict how you will deal with it - but you will cope one way or another and afterwards it wasn't really the labour part I remember - just the delivery part! Good luck, you will be fine! x
  • I have always had pretty bad and heavy periods. I found with my first child that the contractions were 'managable'. For the first 24 hours I wore a TENS machine and went shopping, to a MW appointment etc. Once my waters broke and my contractions went down to every 3 mins - I'll admit it was a SHOCKER. For the next hour I had to really concentrate on the PAIN. But once I got in the birthing pool with a bit of gas and air - it subsided. I was in full on labour for 5 hours in the end and it was tiring but you really do adapt to the pain. And...afterwards it's so completely worthwhile.
  • i had a back to back baby so pains were nothing like period pains although i have never really suffered with bad period pains , i have a very low pain threshold i faint every time i have a smear and to be honest my labour was 23 hours with established labour being 18 hours and the majority of it was bearable , the tiredness was the worst to be honest , without scaring you the last bit is very very painful but your body kinds of takes i dont think you even know whats going on , well thats what it was like for me over i just screamed a lot but its all very blurry . the worst bit for me only lasted about 4 hours so in the whole scheme of things its nothing ...
  • I tend to have bad period pains on alternating months (weird) it has been to the point where I literally cant move.

    My labour felt nothing like period pains at all. I was surprised that the pain was at the bottom of my bump because I thought it would be at the top for some reason. I always thought I had a low pain threshold but actually although I have never experienced pain like it it wasnt that bad (comparedto what people said to me) and I survived on just water for pain releif. I do agree that the last bit (from 8-10cms) was really really painful but as soon as I was ready to push my body just kind of took over and I didnt find that bit painful at all, it was just a huge releif. Well untill crowning anyway :lol:
  • I had 2 quite different experiences in that with DD1 it felt a lot like period pains right from the start and was quite full on but I had an irritable uterus that was contracting irregularly and not actually dilating. As with the period pains etc I had as a teenager and in my twenties, I was also sick a few times during that labour too. With DD2 I had basically a textbook labour and the pains at first were much more like the type of twinge you get when you trap a nerve than period pains. By the time your pushing it's a combo of period pains and bowel cramps in my experience but at least you can push into them which really helps!

    I did find the after pains felt exactly like period cramps though.

    But in answer to your question, I don't think the type of periods you have affects the severity of your labour pains as every labour is different and on that basis I'm hoping this time she just pops out image
  • I think the speed and level of pain can depend a lot on when your waters break. My waters broke first and I only had what I would call bearable contractions for about 2 hours- after that they were on top of each other and unbearable- however I was examined and found to be 8/9cm at what I classed as the "unbearable" point lol so clearly they were doing their job!! I watch OBEM and the like and see them having semi strong contractions and I think I can safely say I never experianced those- just went from very mild to very painful (no way I could have walked through them). I useually have about 1/2 a day of quite painful period cramps but nothing horrendous. DD was very large and got a bit stuck and I had an anterior lip so it took me over 9 hours to get from 8cm to delivery with pain for 11 hours in total and bad pain for 10 hours - so essentially a short labour , if she hadnt have got stuck and mw had been on the ball I think my labour would have been over about 5 hours sooner (all be it with help) x
  • With my 1st my pain was hell! (Sorry but it was) I was induced and had a 5 day labour (awful hospital) and the contractions were so un-natural!

    My second, I went naturally and my pains were managable. Yes they were painful, but I felt that they were going to get worse (so i remained calm) they never did get as bad as with my daughter.

    I feel that there nothing like period pains. it's a wave of pain that you get, strangest feeling ever!

    Don't feel because your not good with pain you won't be good in labour. I strongly recommend hypnobirthing. with labour it really is mind over matter! you really have to stay in your own zone and not lose control. Then you can take one contraction at a time image
  • I did find the after pains felt exactly like period cramps though.

    You know, I never got afterpains at all with DD x
  • Hate to tell you this Kimmy but I didn't get them first time round either. 2nd time they were quite a surprise! I don't know if thats because I had a c section first time and a vbac second time but I have heard that they get worse each time image
  • Yeah I have heard that, so I'll expect them this time round x
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