Help! are my cramps normal?

Hi ladies! I am 28yo and healthy. I have always had horrible cramps and up until two years ago I was on birth control; the kind where you get your period every three months. While on the pill, my cramps were tolerable. 
Since I have been off the pill, I have excruciating cramps for 1-2 days at the start of my period. I am TTC, for two years now, which is why I am not currently taking BC. 
On a scale from 1-10, my pain level is at a 9. Medicine doesn't help and I'm miserable. 
How "bad" are normal cramps? Finally I have the courage to ask others. 
I have talked to my doctor in the past, which they recommend BC.
Let me add- the pain radiates down my legs legs and my back.