Menstrual pain is not new. It is estimated that more than half of women experience menstrual pain, which can range from mild to severe. Sometimes pain can be so bad that it starts to interfere with normal activities. In medical terms, excessive menstrual pain is known as dysmenorrhoea.
There are many risk factors for dysmenorrhoea or menstrual pain such as consumption of alcohol during menstrual periods, obesity, heavy bleeding during menstrual periods, smoking, and many more.
Menstrual pain is characterized by pain in the abdomen and is accompanied by various other symptoms including:
Types of Dysmenorrhoea- Primary and Secondary.
1. Primary dysmenorrhoea – It is the most common type of menstrual pain which occurs naturally and is not associated with the disease of the uterus. Primary dysmenorrhoea occurs when there are cyclical changes in the muscles and lining of the uterus.
Normally uterus is made of smooth muscle fibers which contract during menstruation. These contractions cause pain and discomfort and these contractions can be triggered by various chemicals that are produced in the lining of the uterus.
2. Secondary dysmenorrhoea – It is a term that is used when menstrual pain occurs due to the presence of some disease. There are certain diseases that could be the reason why periods hurt so bad.
Some of the common causes of secondary dysmenorrhoea are as follows:
Endometriosis is one of the common problems in women and is estimated to affect approximately one in every ten women of reproductive age. Endometriosis is a disease that occurs when the tissue that usually forms in the lining of the uterus is found outside it. Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. Endometriosis is one of the common causes of chronic pelvic pain and infertility.
Apart from pain before or during menstruation, endometriosis is accompanied by a large number of symptoms such as painful bowel movements, painful urination during menstruation, excessive tiredness, and certain gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and nausea.
The exact cause of the development of endometriosis is not known but experts suggest that during the menstrual cycle most of the uterine lining and blood are shed through the cervix into the vagina, but sometimes tissues enter the pelvis through the fallopian tube. Endometriosis occurs when these cells stay in the pelvis.
Adenomyosis is sometimes known as internal endometriosis. It is characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue within the myometrium in the uterus. Adenomyosis is a medical condition in which the cells of the lining of the womb, known as the endometrium is found in the muscle wall of the womb, known as myometrium. It is believed that there are various factors that could play a role in the development of Adenomyosis, including genes, hormones, and the immune system.
Heavy and painful menstrual periods and pre-menstrual pelvic pain are the two most symptoms that are associated with Adenomyosis. Other symptoms may include pain during sexual intercourse and changes in bowel movements. Adenomyosis not only affects the menstrual cycle in women but is also responsible for infertility in many women.
Many times Adenomyosis is left undiagnosed as many women may not experience any symptoms and it is diagnosed only through a scan. Adenomyosis is usually diagnosed by an internal transvaginal ultrasound scan.
3. Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroid is a benign tumor that grows from the muscle tissue of the uterus. Many times uterine fibroids are also known as leiomyomas or myomas. Uterine fibroid is one of the common problems in women and it is most common in women who are in their 40’s or early 50’s. It is believed that a large percentage of women experience uterine fibroids at least once in a lifetime.
Uterine fibroid is associated with the appearance of a large number of symptoms which include changes in menstruation ( heavy menstrual periods, heavy menstrual cramps, anemia, and vaginal bleeding other than menstruation ), pain during sexual activity, pain in the back, problems with bowel movements, pain during urination, and infertility.
There are many factors that increase the risk of developing uterine fibroids and some of them include age ( the risk of suffering from uterine fibroids increases with advancing age), obesity (research has suggested that women who are overweight are at high risk of uterine fibroids), eating habits (what we eat is also associated with the occurrence of various health problems, including uterine fibroids).
4. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a condition that is characterized by an infection of the reproductive organs in a woman. Pelvic inflammatory disease is basically an infection of the upper genital tract of women and it includes the uterus, endometrium, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
Most often the pelvic inflammatory disease is left undiagnosed as the symptoms that occur can be mild. Some of the symptoms that can occur in patients having pelvic inflammatory disease include pain in the lower abdomen, unusual discharge from the vagina, and a burning sensation while urinating. There are many causes of pelvic inflammatory disease usually, it is caused by sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea. Excessive pain during menstruation is one of the most common signs of pelvic inflammatory disease.
What Might Be the Causes?
If you are also unaware of the causes, then you must know that every 28 days, there is no sperm so it could fertilize the egg, in that case, the uterus contracts to expel its lining. A hormone called prostaglandin is responsible for triggering this process. They cause muscle contraction that leads to cramps in the abdomen and can make a person nauseated as well.
Some risk factors might include:
- Never given birth.
- Early puberty
- Young age
- Women who face sleeping problems have reported that they get menstrual cramps every time. This means sufficient sleep plays a major role in helping a person to get rid of period pain.
If the pain is unbearable while you are having periods, you can take over-the-counter medicines, birth control treatments or some home remedies that can help relieve the pain. Medicines like anti-prostaglandins effectively work in reducing the cramping in the uterus as well as relieving discomfort. Medicines may be painkillers and NSAIDs which alone can lower the pain and provide relief to the woman.
There are some home remedies as well that can help a woman in minimizing the menstrual cramps:
- Soaking in a hot bath can help to relieve the cramps
- You can apply a hot water bottle, and heated pads to your stomach to get rid of the pain.
- Drinking warm beverages like warm tea can make you relax and comfortable.
- According to one study, it has been found that ginger helps women if they take it within 3-4 days of their periods.
There are several safety measures that can be taken in order to reduce the risk of cramps:
- Regular exercise
- Opting for healthy food
- Reducing stress
- Acupuncture is a good technique to reduce menstrual cramps.
If the pain gets worse, it is better to consult the doctor and get medications.
This is all about menstrual cramps. Hope you get benefitted. Share it with your friends to make them aware.
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