7 Unexpected Signs of Stress
Why it could be stress: Your stressed body is pouring out chemicals that help you take action and dialing down production of those that would alleviate your distress, says Sinha. And that means you'll feel pain more acutely, including discomfort from your menstrual cycle. Women with higher levels of perceived stress reported more severe symptoms, including cramping and pain, during their periods, found one study in the Journal of Women's Health.
Other possible causes: See your doctor to rule out causes like fibroids, a copper IUD, pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis.