From sore backs to aching legs: 5 weird symptoms you had no idea were period pain.

Periods are some kind of tragicomedy filled with knife-y stomach cramps, 24/7 exhaustion and wanting to punch people in the face. 

But if that wasn't already enough, there's also a whole other slew of ~other~ lesser-known period symptoms you probably didn't even know existed.

We're talking about the times when your period pain is like an 11/10 and you're laying on the floor fantasising about Uber Eats orders and at the same time wondering why you're experiencing excruciating lower back pain(??) and achy legs(??). 

Watch: The best position to sleep in when you get your period. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

To learn more about some weird period symptoms, we asked OB/GYN Dr Nicole Stamatopoulos about all the things we didn't know were period pain. And turns out there's A LOT.

So, next time you get your period and feel like your whole body is literally falling apart - know you're not alone.

Period Pain Symptom #1: Aching legs.

Ever get those weird achy pains in your legs? The ones that kind of feel like growing pains, but... you stopped growing, like, ten years ago? 

Well, it could be a sign your period is coming. 

"Some women experience leg pain before their period, commonly on the front of their thighs. This is because of the referred pain from the uterus, with the initial cramps prior to periods starting," explains Dr Stamatopoulos.


Just to break this down a bit, basically the pelvic region (where the ol' uterus has residency) is made up of a network of nerves - so when pain develops, it may radiate to some of the neighbours - such as your upper legs.

Some people might also develop these kinds of leg pains or muscle cramps during their period because of a reduction in the level of minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium (cause: loss of blood). Weird, right?

Of course, if you experience severe leg pain during your period, it's best to consult a gynecologist to rule out the possibility of underlying medical problems.

Period Pain Symptom #2: Lower back pain.

Similarly to leg pain and cramps, lower back pain is another common symptom of period pain you might not know about. 

For some people, the pain of the muscular contractions that occur right before your period (when your uterine lining sheds... and all that other fun stuff) radiates to the lower back. 

"Lower back pain may be due to the same reason as upper leg pain," confirms Dr Stamatopoulos. "The uterus is three-dimensional, and may therefore cause lower back pain. It is more common in women with a retroverted uterus."

Just FYI: A retroverted uterus means the uterus is basically tipped backwards - meaning it aims towards the back of your body instead of forward towards your belly. So fancy.

Listen to Mamamia's podcast for your face, You Beauty, where we talk about period skincare. Post continues below. 


Period Pain Symptom #3: Headaches and migraines.

Yes! More fun! Some lucky lambs may also experience headaches and migraines as part of PMS

Dr Stamatopoulos said this is pretty normal, and it mainly comes down to the fluctuation in hormones.

"This is due to the drop in oestrogen and progesterone that cause menstruation," she said. "It is unknown as why some women get them and others don't."


Most women will usually experience headaches and migraines anywhere from two days before their period to three days after it starts - so, yeah. It can linger for an annoying amount of time. 

Believe it or not, there's also actually different types of headaches that can happen around your period, too (for example, tensions headaches are a biggie). 

However, the most common ones are hormonal headaches and menstrual migraines. While they're both pretty similar in terms of the underlying cause (fluctuating hormones), the symptoms can vary.

A hormonal headache is usually mild to moderate and causes this kind of nagging ache or throb - while it's uncomfortable and annoying, it won't necessarily affect you too much. 

A menstrual migraine, on the other hand, is a little more intense. It's characterised by severe throbbing that can start on one side of the forehead and travel to the other. No good.

Depending on the severity of your headache or migraine, over-the-counter options may help - however, it's always best to check in with your GP or gynaecologist if the symptoms are persistent and you're not getting any relief.


Period Pain Symptom #4: Nausea.

Typically caused by hormonal and chemical changes that occur during your menstrual cycle, Dr Stamatopoulos said some women also get vomiting due to pain.

While these symptoms are pretty normal, the causes can be anything from PMS to endometriosis

While it’s normal to feel uncomfortable symptoms during your period. But these symptoms shouldn’t interfere with your daily life. 

Period Pain Symptom #5: Hip pain.

Just when we thought your body couldn't possibly buckle any further, in hobbled ol' mate Hip Pain. And she's NASTY.

This is one of the lesser-known symptoms (although common) and usually feels like a niggling pain around your groin area or hips.

"This is related to the pelvic floor muscles being too tight as a response to the pain," said Dr Stamatopoulos. "This pain is commonly mistaken for concerns with the ovaries. This can be so crippling that women miss work, school, and exams."

If this sounds familiar and you think something may be up, it could be worth discussing your symptoms with a medical expert. Because if you’re experiencing even a little bit of pain beyond what you’re fine with, it’s too much.

If you have any concerns about your period pain and symptoms, it's obviously best to see a professional (hit up your GP or gyno) and discuss your options.

Read more: 

Do you experience any of these kind of period pains? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty + Mamamia.