By the time you reach 21, you’ve already experienced some pretty significant changes: growth spurts, puberty, the realization that bubblegum pink probably wasn’t the best color for your bedroom. But as you enter adulthood, the next two decades can bring about some surprising physical and mental upheaval. We talked to dermatologists, gynecologists, and psychologists to find out some of the most common changes women experience in their 20s and 30s and what to do about it.
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Your 20s: Wicked Bad Cramps
Depending on when you first started your period in your teens, you may not experience one of its most unpleasant side effects until you hit your 20s: painful menstrual cramps. This is due to prostaglandins, hormones your body produces in order for the lining of the uterus to shed, and these hormones are in peak production at this time of life, explains David Plourd, MD, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Naval Medical Center in San Francisco. Regular exercise, as well as taking a pain reliever that contains Naproxen a few days before the onset of your period, can dull painful cramps.