Menstruation, or getting a period, happens once a month in women of childbearing age. It’s normal to have pain and cramps during a period, but sometimes they get severe. That’s called dysmenorrhea.
Talking to a healthcare provider is vital if dysmenorrhea interferes with daily activities or causes significant pain and discomfort. With proper management, individuals with dysmenorrhea can still lead fulfilling lives during their menstrual cycles. Let’s understand more about their symptoms, causes and available treatment options.
What is Painful Menstruation ?
Dysmenorrhea is a medical condition that causes painful menstrual cramps in women. Primary dysmenorrhea is recurrent pain with no other diseases or causes and typically occurs one or two days before your bleeding starts.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is recurrent or persistent pain with a specific disease or condition, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), uterine fibroids, endometriosis or cervical stenosis. It can start at any age and may be a lifelong problem. It is more common than primary dysmenorrhea and has a later onset.
Symptoms of Painful Menstruation
The symptoms of Painful Menstruation include:
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Lower abdominal pain
- Back pain
The severity of the symptoms can vary from woman to woman, with some experiencing mild discomfort while others experience severe pain.
Causes of Painful Menstruation
The causes of Painful Menstruation can vary, but primary dysmenorrhea is thought to be caused by an overproduction of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances produced in the uterus.
Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by underlying medical conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Diagnosis of Painful Menstruation
To diagnose Painful Menstruation, the doctor will first take a detailed medical history and ask about symptoms, such as the severity of pain, when it occurs, and how long it lasts. They may also perform a physical exam to check for any abnormalities in the reproductive organs.
In some cases, tests may be necessary to rule out other potential causes of pelvic pain, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. These tests may include an ultrasound or MRI scan.
Ultrasound produces an image that helps doctors visualise the condition of the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix and ovaries.
CT scan – It provides cross-sectional images to identify the patient’s underlying condition.
MRI – This test produces detailed images of internal organs to diagnose the condition.
Treatment options for Dysmenorrhea
The treatment options will depend on the symptoms and the condition of the patients.
Medications for Painful Menstruation
The treatment options for dysmenorrhea include medications such as NSAIDs and other pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen or naproxen, and hormonal birth control.
In severe cases, a hysterectomy (uterus removal surgery) may be necessary to remove underlying medical conditions.
Prevention for Painful Menstruation
Painful Menstruation cannot always be prevented, but some lifestyle changes may help reduce the severity of the symptoms. These include
- Regular exercise
- A healthy diet
- Stress management
- Avoiding smoking and alcohol
With proper management and self-care, dysmenorrhea can be effectively managed and should not significantly impact daily life.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert Gynecology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Dysmenorrhea is a common medical condition that affects many women. It can be debilitating and interfere with daily activities, but treatment options are available to help manage the symptoms. If the person is experiencing painful menstrual cramps, it is essential to talk to the healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan.
Q. What is dysmenorrhea?
A. As previously mentioned, dysmenorrhea is a medical condition that causes painful menstrual cramps in women. It can be primary or secondary and is characterised by lower abdominal pain, back pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, and fatigue.
Q. What causes of Painful Menstruation?
A. The causes of dysmenorrhea can vary, but primary dysmenorrhea is thought to be caused by an overproduction of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances produced in the uterus. Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by underlying medical conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
Q. What are the common symptoms of Painful Menstruation?
A. The common symptoms include lower abdominal pain, back pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, and fatigue.
Q. How is Painful Menstruation diagnosed?
A. Dysmenorrhoea is usually diagnosed based on a physical examination and review of symptoms. The doctor may also perform diagnostic tests such as ultrasound or laparoscopy to rule out underlying conditions.
Q. What is the treatment options for Painful Menstruation?
A. Treatment options include over-the-counter painkillers, and lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and stress management can also help manage the symptoms of dysmenorrhoea.