Do you suffer from painful cramps during periods? No alarms! It's totally normal to have them.
But, if you suffer from extreme menstrual pain or severe pain that lasts longer than 2-3 days, then take heed. Painful periods may indicate certain underlying medical conditions.
Pain during menstrual cycle can be due to two major reasons – Primary Dysmenorrhea and Secondary Dysmenorrhea.
1. Primary Dysmenorrhea:
It occurs due to the excess of prostaglandin hormone in the uterus. It normally happens when a young girl starts menstruating. It is not related to any problems of the uterus.
2. Secondary Dysmenorrhea:
It happens due to problems in the pelvic region or the uterus. It mostly happens to women who have experienced normal menstrual cycles earlier.
The problems related to the uterus or pelvic areas which cause pain are as follows:
Normally the walls of the uterus thicken and grow. Uterus sheds this lining with tissue and blood during your menstrual cycle. When these cells grow on other body parts of your body outside the uterus, it results in endometriosis. These cells may get attached to other body parts like ovaries, bladder, rectum, bowel and other parts as well.
These growths outside the uterus do not get shed during menstrual cycles. When they come in contact with hormones from your uterus, they continue to grow and bleed as well. This tissue and blood accumulates in your body. It makes you experience pain and other symptoms like cramps a week before periods, lower back or belly pain etc. So, get yourself examined if you fall in the following group:
- You have painful periods lasting a week or more.
- Have genetic history in your family. For eg. Your mother has endometriosis.
- You have not given birth.
- You have started menstruating at a young age.
These are tumors that are benign that grow in the uterus. They are quite common in women of child bearing age. It may occur due to hormonal changes or due to genetic factors.
These fibroids can be very tiny in size. They can also grow large enough to fill up the entire uterus. Look out for the following symptoms:
- Painful periods and pelvic cramps
- Pressure on lower tummy area
- Longer than usual periods
- Bleeding between two menstrual cycles
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:
Pelvic inflammatory disease happens due to a bacterial infection in the reproductive organs of women. This infection is usually transmitted sexually and occurs in the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.
The bacterial infection can also occur due to child birth, miscarriage, abortion, endometrial biopsy or inserting an intra-uterine device in your body.
If you have pain during menstrual cycle that is more severe than usual, seek medical help. Severe pain can also be followed by other symptoms like fatigue, frequent and painful urination, nausea, loss of appetite and unusual bleeding.
Premenstrual syndrome is popularly known as PMS. In the days before your periods start and during periods, your hormones go topsy turvy. It causes different symptoms in women that vary and differ in degree.
Common signs of PMs are bloating, breast tenderness, nausea, brain fogging, cramps, fatigue, insomnia, aggression, anger, problem in focusing, mood swings etc.
A healthy diet with proper exercise goes a long way in managing pain due to PMS in periods.
Stressful lifestyle may also cause painful periods. Anxiety causes the release of stress hormone that lowers your threshold for pain.
So, if you suffer from severe cramps, practice slow and deep breathing exercise and create a harmonious environment around you. Take plenty of rest and eat healthy.
If you work out regularly, painful cramps during periods due to stress and anxiety will not bother you.
Stenosis of the uterine cervix implies narrowing of the cervix. It can occur as a birth defect or as a side effect of a surgical procedure.
The blood and tissue that are shed during periods cannot pass through the narrowed cervix. This causes blockage, spotting and painful cramps during your menstrual cycle.
It can make conception difficult too. However, this is a curable condition. Consult your gynecologist for ways to dilate the cervical passage. It will help ease the menstrual flow and pain.
Sexually Transmitted diseases:
If you suffer from abnormal bleeding and severe pain in periods, along with vaginal itching, burning sensation while urinating, lower back and tummy cramps, nausea or other symptoms, consult a doctor at the earliest.
Do not ignore severe pain during menstrual cycles. Listen to your body. Visit a gynecologist at the earliest and get a medical checkup done to rule out the possible medical conditions for the pain. In case of a medical anomaly, start with a proper treatment. Some conditions are easily preventable.
Stay aware. Give priority to your wellness!