What is Dysmenorrhea? An Overview!
Menstruation is a normal and natural phenomenon that occurs as the uterus sheds its lining once per month. Some discomfort, cramping, and pain during menstruation are normal. However, excessive period pain that interferes with your day-to-day activities is not normal at all. Excessively painful menstruation is what is known as dysmenorrhea. There are two major types of dysmenorrhea: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. Secondary dysmenorrhea occurs in people who have had normal menstruation that turned painful later in their lives. If you have always experienced excessive pains before and after periods, then it may be primary dysmenorrhea. Whichever the case, you need to know that it is not normal, and it is imperative for you to see a reliable gynecologist such as Dr. Pamela Snook for diagnosis and treatment.
What are the Causes of Dysmenorrhea?
It is not always easy to identify the underlying cause of excessively painful periods. All in all, some people are simply at higher risk of suffering from dysmenorrhea. Some risk factors associated with painful periods include:
- Being below 20 years old
- History of close relatives with painful periods
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- Getting to puberty before the age of 11
- Never having had given birth
- Having irregular periods
The hormone, prostaglandin is responsible for triggering the contraction of muscles in the uterus to expel its lining. The contraction can cause inflammation and pain. However, excessively painful periods can result from a number of underlying conditions such as endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome, fibroids in the uterus, adenomyosis, and cervical stenosis, among others.
Home Treatment Tips
If you are having abnormally painful periods, there are several home-based remedies that you can try to manage the pain. Some of them include:
- Massaging the abdomen
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga
- Taking a warm bath
- Taking anti-inflammation medication
- Taking supplements and vitamins
When to See a Doctor
If painful periods are interfering with your capacity to undertake basic tasks for a few days every month, then it may be vital for you to visit your gynecologist. It is particularly important to see a doctor urgently if you:
- Have had at least three painful periods
- Are passing blood clots
- Have pelvic pain when you are not on your period
- Experience continuous pain after placing IUD
- Have cramping accompanied by nausea and diarrhea
Medical treatment of period pain include:
- The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- The use of pain relievers
- The use of antidepressants
- Hormonal birth control to prevent ovulation
In the case of uterine fibroids or endometriosis, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Overall, it is apparent that although some cramping is normal before and during periods, excessive period pains, also known as dysmenorrhea, pains are not. Therefore, if the amount of period pains that you are getting is interfering with your day-to-day businesses, then you may have to consult a gynecologist. If you are looking for a reliable gynecologist in Winter Park, FL, Dr. Pamela Snook of Contemporary Women’s Care is the answer.