causing painful cramping before and during their periods. Sadly yet a matter of fact, some women are even bedridden by their distress, often having to miss work or school and postpone/cancel important plans.
Causes of painful periods
Period pain occurs when the muscular wall of the uterus contracts. Mild contractions recurrently pass through your uterus, but they’re usually of mild nature that most women can tolerate well or won`t feel them at all.
During your monthly period, the wall of your uterus starts to contract more vigorously; to encourage the internal lining of your uterus to shed away as part of your monthly menstrual cycle.
When these muscular contractions happen, it compresses the blood vessels that line your uterus. This temporarily hampers the blood supply to your uterus and ultimately denies the uterine tissue from enough oxygen supply. Without oxygen, the same uterine tissue would be releasing certain chemicals that can trigger pain in your belly; prostaglandins. These prostaglandins causes the uterine muscles to contract more, therefore increasing the intensity and frequency of pain. Moreover, because of excess prostaglandin levels, dysmenorrhea can be accompanied by a number of distressing symptoms that include Headache, back pain, nausea, vomiting, sense of bloating, and pain radiating to the thigh.
So far, it`s not clear why some women do suffer more than others (primary dysmenorrhea). Researchers have suggested that some women may have a build-up of prostaglandins that trigger more intense contractions in these women in comparison to others.
Less commonly, your period pain may be caused by an underlying medical condition (secondary dysmenorrhea), such as:
- Endometriosis – the cells that normally line the inside of the uterus start to grow in other places within the body, usually in the fallopian tubes and ovaries; when these cells shed and fall away, they can cause intense pain
- Fibroids –non-cancerous uterine tumors, which can cause you to suffer heavy and painful cycles
- Cervical stenosis (stricture of the internal cervical os, the opening to the uterus)
- Adenomyosis – the tissue that normally lines your uterus starts to grow within the muscular wall of the womb, making your periods predominantly painful
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases – your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries become infected with bacteria, leaving them severely inflamed (swollen and irritated)
- Intrauterine device (IUD) – used for contraception, it can sometimes induce period pain, especially in the first few months after insertion inside your uterus.
Managing painful periods depends upon the severity of pain and associating symptoms. If the pain is described as mild and bearable, the following home care steps may help you to avoid prescription medicines:
- Apply a heating pad to your lower belly area, below your belly button
- Do light circular massage with your fingertips around your lower belly area.
- Drink warm beverages.
- Eat light but frequent meals.
- Keep your legs raised while lying down, or lie on your side with your knees bent.
- Take warm showers or baths.
- Walk or exercise regularly, and lose weight if you are overweight.
If you experience unbearable painful periods and it`s disturbing your life routine every month, it is advisable to consult your trusted Gynaecologist who will be able to assess your complaint and check whether you might have an underlying disorder that is causing this monthly agony for you.
There are true medical reasons for your monthly painful symptoms. And seriously, why should you endure such monthly agony when there are things that can be done to help?
Ladies, if you are suffering from the agony of painful periods, consult Prof. Liselotte Mettler, a visiting gynecology specialist at German Medical Center – the best obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Dubai. She is considered as one of the best obstetrics and gynecology specialists in Germany and is specialized in providing personalized and compassionate treatment for various gynecological conditions and disorders.
Prof. Liselotte Mettler
Obstetrics & Gynecology Professor – Germany
Honorary chair of the Kiel School of Gynecological Endoscopy and Reproductive Medicine
General Secretary of the International Academy of Human Reproduction
Board member of the World Endometriosis Society
Avivo Clinics – German Medical Center DHCC