The luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is the premenstrual phase. The luteal phase begins on the day of ovulation, which can be anywhere from day seven to day 22 of a woman's cycle. Some women experience cramping during this phase and this can be completely normal, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic describes cramping during the menstrual cycle as "dull, throbbing or cramping pain in your lower abdomen." The pain can also radiate into the lower back and thighs. Most women experience this type of cramping at some point in their cycle.
Several normal processes in the female reproductive tract can cause cramping during the luteal phase. According to WebMD, one the first day of the luteal phase, cramping can occur because of ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovary. Cramping also can occur during the last few days of the luteal phase leading up to menstruation, or the release of the endometrium, the thickened uterine lining.
Excessive cramping or extremely painful cramping can indicate a more serious problem with the female reproductive tract. In some cases, cramping can indicate endometriosis, uterine fibroids or noncancerous tumours, adenomyosis, cervical stenosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The Mayo Clinic recommends visiting a doctor in order to diagnose and treat these problems.