Dysmenorrhea, also known as painful periods, is a common condition experienced by many women during their menstrual cycle. The pain can range from mild to severe and can occur in the lower abdomen, back, or legs. The condition can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life, making it difficult to carry out daily activities.
Causes of Dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea is caused by the contraction of the uterus during menstruation. The contraction is a result of the release of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause the uterus to contract. The severity of the pain can vary depending on the amount of prostaglandins released.
Primary dysmenorrhea, the most common type of dysmenorrhea, is caused by the normal process of menstruation. Secondary dysmenorrhea, on the other hand, is caused by an underlying condition such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or uterine fibroids.
Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea
- The main symptom of dysmenorrhea is cramping pain in the lower abdomen or back. The pain can range from mild to severe and can last for a few days. Other symptoms can include:
Treatment of Dysmenorrhea
Treatment for dysmenorrhea will depend on the cause and severity of the condition. For primary dysmenorrhea, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be effective in relieving the pain. It is important to take the medication at the onset of pain or before the onset of menstruation to prevent the pain from becoming severe.
For secondary dysmenorrhea, treatment will depend on the underlying condition. For example, endometriosis can be treated with hormones or surgery, while pelvic inflammatory disease can be treated with antibiotics.
In addition to medication, there are other ways to manage dysmenorrhea, such as:
- Heat therapy: Applying heat to the lower abdomen can help to relax the uterus and relieve pain.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can help to reduce stress and improve circulation, which can help to relieve pain.
- Relaxation techniques: Yoga, meditation, or deep breathing can help to relax the body and reduce pain.
- Acupuncture and acupressure: These therapies can help to relieve pain by stimulating certain points on the body.
It is important to note that if you experience severe pain, heavy bleeding, or other unusual symptoms during your period, it is best to consult your doctor. These symptoms could be a sign of a more serious condition and prompt medical attention is needed.
Dysmenorrhea is a common condition experienced by many women during their menstrual cycle. It can range from mild to severe and can occur in the lower abdomen, back, or legs. The main symptom of dysmenorrhea is cramping pain, and it can be caused by the normal process of menstruation or an underlying condition such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or uterine fibroids. Treatment options include over-the-counter pain relievers, hormones, surgery, antibiotics, heat therapy, exercise, relaxation techniques, acupuncture, and acupressure. If you experience severe pain, heavy bleeding, or other unusual symptoms during your period, it is best to consult your doctor.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.