Your Period Can Be A Real Pain In The Butt: Rectal Pain During Menstruation

Your Period Can Be A Real Pain In The Butt: Rectal Pain During Menstruation

Bloating, acne, fatigue, and cramps are common period symptoms that we’re all too familiar with. Butt recently, there have been a lot of discussions online about a usually unspoken symptom… “butt cramps”. Butt cramps during periods is, frankly, the absolute worst. If you experience butt cramps during your period, welcome to the reluctant club.

Now you might be thinking “oh my god, I’m not the only one” or you might be thinking “I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about”. Either way, we’re diving butt-first into everything you need to know about “butt cramps”.

So, what is it?

As if bleeding, cramping, cravings, fatigue, and a whole host of other hard-to-manage symptoms weren’t enough, periods may also grace some of us with this extra-special symptom - “butt cramps”. The cramping can feel like a sudden, “lightning bolt strike” or “painful muscle spasms in your booty.” As it turns out, there is a real medical term for this phenomenon known as “proctalgia fugax” or “fleeting anal pain.” According to medical experts, it is normal to experience cramps in your abdomen, back, and yes, even your anus, during your period

What causes it?

In the absence of pregnancy each month, the endometrial lining of our uterus sheds during menstruation, getting our body ready for a new cycle to begin. 

In order to ‘shed’ our uterine muscles contract and tighten to release the endometrial tissue. And that’s what causes aching, cramping and/or heaviness in the pelvic area, lower back, and/or stomach. (Super fun, right? Ugh.)

While some vagina owners have come to expect that period pain, what may not be expected is pain elsewhere. But the truth is, that hormonal changes during menstruation can affect all of our pelvic floor muscles, not just the uterus. The natural drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone can alter the strength or relaxation of our soft tissues, including… our butt.

During menstruation, the rectum is impacted by hormones called prostaglandins, which cause them to become inflamed, contract, and spasm. And while these hormones are really important for breaking down the uterine lining, they can get a little overexcited and affect those other areas of the pelvic floor. Like your rectum.

You might also get rectal cramps while you’re ovulating. Ovulation causes bleeding and fluid accumulation in the lower pelvis. This irritates the lining of the pelvic cavity and can create pain in other surrounding areas, like the vagina, cervix, uterus, bladder, colon, and—you guessed it–rectum!

Great, so now what do I do about it?

1. Rule out other diagnoses for rectal pain during your period.

The first thing you want to do is rule out any other conditions. Pelvic pain during your period is common. But severe pain, especially in other areas of the pelvic floor, can be a sign of something else going on. It’s best to talk with your doctor about other things that contribute to rectal pain, like:

  • Endometriosis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anal fissures, abscesses, or fistulas

2. Take good care back there.

One way to prevent butt-related issues is to keep your behind in tip-top shape. Avoiding constipation is a great way to keep those muscles calm and relaxed. Try these tips to help avoid any rear-end drama:

  • Eat a high-fibre diet, including veggies, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Don’t delay the urge to poop. Go when you need to go. 
  • Use a step under your feet when pooping to relax your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Drink plenty of water.

3. Take a walk.

The best way to decrease cramping is to increase blood flow. If you’re having a particularly crampy day, try taking a quick walk. Even 5 minutes can make a difference!

4. Stay hydrated.

Dehydration can make rectal pain during periods worse. So stay on top of that H2O as much as possible. Your body will thank you!


Women are admirably complex beings. While we still have much to learn about our hormones, we now know that ‘butt zaps’ are a completely normal part of the female experience will, and no you’re not crazy, they are real.

If you need a pick-me-up during a particular crampy day, a little retail therapy never hurts. Vee Underwear will have your behind feeling better than ever, made from the softest bamboo fabric. Shop Here.