Painful menstruation means what is commonly called Dysmenorrhea in medical language. Pain or discomfort during or just before menstrual period.
Most teenage girls and young women suffer to some degree from this pain.
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, most women have some discomfort during their periods, and more than half have some pain for one or two days each month.
What causes the pain?
The pain is due to excessive production of prostaglandins, the hormone-like substance that stimulate muscular spasm of the uterus.
The pain is abnormal, when it prevents you from engaging in daily activities.
What are the types?
There are two types of dysmenorrhea. Viz;
Primary Dysmenorrhea: This usually starts two or three years after menstruation. The problem often diminishes after age of about 25.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea: This begins in adult life and is due to underline disease conditions such endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or fibroids. The pain begins several days before a period and last throughout.
What are the symptoms?
• Cramping pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen
• Dull ache in the lower back
• Nausea and Vomiting
• You are likely to have prolonged, painful menstruation if you, smoke or drink alcohol.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends seeing a doctor if you have severe menstrual cramps or cramps that last for more than two or three days. You also should see a doctor if you have a fever, a foul-smelling, unusual, or increased vaginal discharge, if your period is more than a week late, or if your pain occurs at times other than menstruation. Call your doctor if you recently got an IUD or if you pass blood clots or have other symptoms along with the pain.
How to treat?
° Analgesic drugs such as aspirin, naproxen (prostaglandin inhibitor).
° Hot compress
° Treatment of secondary depends on the cause(s).
If pain persists, consult your health care provider.