Bootyhole cramps, booty daggers, butt cramps...the list of non-medical terms for severe cramping in the anus during menstruation is extensive. Regardless of what you call it, the experience can be both sudden and painful. Often, it'll have you like this:
Though cramping is a very common experience for people with periods, many don't openly speak about this particular subject — most likely due to the private nature of both periods and buttholes — and, before viral videos about anal cramping took off on TikTok, many felt as though they were the only ones who suffered from the pain.
However, according to general surgeon and massive TikToker Dr. Karan Rajan, anal cramping — formally known as proctalgia fugax — is common, and it's rarely something that needs medical intervention.
"During a period, hormones called prostaglandins are released, which causes the muscles of the uterus to contract and the lining of the uterine to shed, and causes pain and cramps," Dr. Rajan said.
"The prostaglandins also cause a contraction of the rectum, the pelvic floor muscles, and muscles around the anal canal," Dr. Rajan continued. "These intense contractions can cause a muscle spasm and anal cramps."
But we still had one question...
When speaking to BuzzFeed about a possible remedy, Dr. Rajan suggested: "Proctalgia fugax can sometimes be eased with warm baths, which can help reduce muscle spasms, or avoiding prolonged sitting, which can [tighten] pelvic floor muscles and muscles around the anus. Generally, stretching and movement [should] help, but thankfully it’s usually a transient issue."
Through his educational TikTok account, which teaches over 3.4 million followers about different medical phenomena, Dr. Rajan subsequently reached a large audience of men who do not experience periods and yet reported feeling similar cramps.
"Proctalgia fugax can affect men too for [similar reasons], so avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is advisable," Dr. Rajan said. However, for men, he noted that it's "important to [rule out] other causes of anal pain, like hemorrhoids, fissures, and ulcers."
If you are experiencing prolonged anal cramping or pain, it is best to consult your doctor.