Could my cramps be a symptom of ovarian cancer or menopause?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

I've always had cramps, but lately they seem to begin sooner and last longer, and sometimes I get them in the middle of my cycle. I'm 44. Could this be menopause? Or could it be a symptom of ovarian cancer?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

I read your question. I understand that your menstrual cramps are worse, which is a change for you. Menopause usually doesn't cause menstrual cramps at mid-cycle. Ovarian cysts or endometriosis are more likely to cause the cramping pain you describe than ovarian cancer. If you are really worried, you should go to the gynecologist and get checked out. There are many causes of pelvic pain, and you should be evaluated to see what is going on with you. Pelvic pain can be a sign that there is a problem with any of the pelvic area organs, which include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, intestines, rectum, pelvic muscles or bone. It could also be a symptom of infection, like a urinary tract infection.

Good luck.