Dysmenorrhoea or Painful Menstrual Periods Causes and Treatment


Many women suffer from painful menstrual periods or dysmenorrhoea. This is a condition of menstrual periods accompanied by pain due to the contractions of the uterus. These contractions are similar to that felt during labor though they are less intense during menstruation. The blood vessels in the muscle wall are compressed during the contractions which result in temporary stoppage of the blood supply to the uterus. This process releases the chemicals that trigger pain. The body also releases prostaglandins which cause contractions and pain.

The uterus sheds it lining, which is why the periods occur and the contractions help the uterus to shed the lining so that it can grow a new lining. The pain experienced during this process is a side effect.

This pain may be in the form of cramps in the lower abdomen, sharp pain which comes and goes or back ache. For some women this pain may be so intense that they are unable to perform their daily chores. Some may also experience headaches, tiredness, dizziness, diarrhea and nausea. These symptoms may start few days before the menstruation or with the start of the periods and will decrease as the periods finish. Some discomfort and pain is normal during menstruation but excessively painful menstrual periods which is also known as dysmenorrhoea is not normal.

In primary dysmenorrhoea, pain occurs with the beginning of the periods and is not related to any other problem of the reproductive organs. The basic cause of this is increased level of prostaglandin. In secondary dysmenorrhoea, the pain occurs later and is usually related to problems in the uterus or the pelvic organs. The causes of painful menstrual periods or dysmenorrhoea are the following:

1. Ovarian Cysts: Presence of ovarian cysts can be painful during menses.

2. Fibroids: Fibroids occur when non cancerous tumors grow in the uterus. This leads to heavy and painful menstrual periods.

3. Endometriosis: The cells which normally line the uterus start to grow outside the uterus and cause pain.

4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: In this condition the ovaries, uterus and the tubes get infected and inflamed. This leads to pain during menses.

5. Sexually Transmitted disease: These can also result in painful periods.

6. Stress and Anxiety: Stress and anxiety can cause dysmenorrhoea.

7. IUD: Intrauterine device is a form of contraception which is fitted inside the uterus. IUDs cn cause pain especially during the initial months of insertion.

The doctor may conduct a pelvic examination to figure out the cause of the excessive pain. Other tests likely to be done are pelvic ultrasound, laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Mild cases of painful menstrual periods can be treated at home itself by following certain ways. These treatments will help you reduce the pain and give some relief. Some treatments for painful menstrual periods are as follows:

1. Massage: Massage your lower abdomen gently in light circular motion to get relief from pain.

2. Exercise: Try to keep yourself active with mild exercises.

3. Warm Bath: A warm bath will help you relax and also help in easing of the menstrual pain.

4. Relaxation: Yoga or meditation may help you relax your body and mind. Try some relaxation techniques which will help to distract the mind from the pain.

5. Hot water bottle: Application of hot water bottle or a heat pad to the lower abdomen may help in this condition. Be sure the bottle is not too hot else it can cause burns.

6. Medications: Medications like pain killers, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, some contraceptive pills or antibiotics may be prescribed by the doctor.
The treatments stated above will help to ease off the pain.
Read about Irregular Menstruation Treatment. Also know about Painful Menstruation Treatment.


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