How do I know when to go to the ER when having period cramps? My lower back and legs are in pain, and my entire pelvic area is throbbing in pain. I can barely stand up.

painful menstrual crampsIt is normal to have mild cramps or no cramps during your period but it is not normal to have the pain that you describe. Cramps should not limit your activity such as being able to stand up, walk, go to school, or participate in sports or social events. If they do and/or your pain is not relieved with over the counter pain relievers, it could mean that there is another reason for your symptoms such as endometriosis.  If you haven’t done so already, first make an appointment with your primary care provider and talk about options such as prescription strength pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium or a trial of birth control pills. If you experience pain that doesn’t get better with pain relievers, rest, or comfort measures such as a heating pad, call your primary care provider (PCP) and explain your symptoms. Your PCP will tell you if you need urgent care.