You’re probably all too familiar with the negative side effects of pregnancy, especially if you’re pregnant. Sometimes, the side effects might even continue after you’ve delivered your baby while your hormones are still running rampant for a few weeks. Your acne might stick around for a while, your baby weight might be difficult to lose, and your shoe size might even change. However, in addition to having a wonderful new family member to fawn over, your pregnancy might have some positive side effects that last beyond delivery. After they deliver their first baby and resume menstruation, many women report fewer and less intense cramps during their period. 

Painful menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, are inconvenient and unpleasant. Few women go through life without them, as they are an extremely common symptom of menstruation. Some women even need to seek special treatment if their dysmenorrhea is particularly painful. Research shows that after pregnancy, you will probably have less painful cramps during your period. In fact, some studies even suggest that they’ll go away altogether. This is certainly one of the more attractive side effects of pregnancy. Results from various studies suggest that this might be because pregnancy desensitizes the prostaglandin receptors in the uterus so that delivery is less painful. After pregnancy, the receptors don’t become re-sensitized, and therefore menstruation is less painful from then on. While research shows that this is a plausible reason for decreased dysmenorrhea after delivery, there is still some debate as to the definite reason.

Whatever the reason, less menstrual pain after pregnancy is a wonderful thing. If you’re upset about the ways your body is changing over the course of your pregnancy, this will at least give you something to look forward to. If you’ve had really intense menstrual cramps in the past before your pregnancy began, you can expect lighter and less frequent pain. If you rarely had cramps before your pregnancy, you might not even experience them anymore when you’ve had your first baby.

Once you’re a new mom, cramps are the last thing you’ll want to worry about. Luckily, you might not have to, as they’ll be lighter and less frequent than ever after you’ve delivered your first baby. If your period is especially irregular after you’ve given birth otherwise, make sure you let your doctor know as soon as possible. Irregular menstruation is often a sign of another problem.

Source: Zeev Harel: Dysmenorrhea In Adolescents And Young Adults: From Pathophysiology To Pharmacological Treatments And Management Strategies. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy Volume 9 Issue 15 pp. 2661-2872 October 2008