I'm a healthy, 24 year old woman who has been struggling with this issue for years. I get my period every 3 weeks, and 1 week or more before my next period begins, my cramps are so sharply painful while running that I am forced to stop only about halfway through my usual distance. It is a very severe, stabbing pain. My cramps are painful, but not severe, for only the first one or two days of my period, aside from running. I'm frustrated that I can only run normally for about 2 weeks at a time, then am set back again. I have asked my HMO doctors about this issue, and usually the only advice I receive is to take birth control pills. I want to avoid pharmaceuticals. I also wonder if there may be more to this problem than just severe cramps that I should have checked out. Any advice?
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