Understanding Period Pain: Causes and Treatment

Understanding Period Pain: Causes and Treatment

Understanding Period Pain: Causes and Treatment

Period pain or Painful menstrual cramps are the immense pain suffered by women in the abdomen, which can be sharp or aching and shoot in from time to time. Few women suffer from unbearable pain that is abnormal, needs to be addressed. 

To create a nourishing environment for a fertilized egg, the female sex hormone estrogen causes the uterine lining (endometrium) to thicken every month. Soon after, a follicle, a tiny sac in the ovary that contains a single egg (ovum), ruptures and releases its egg (ovulation). If the egg becomes fertilized by contact with a sperm on its way to your uterus, the egg implants in the lining of the uterus. However, most often the unfertilized egg passes through your uterus and out of your body. 

Shortly thereafter, the uterus releases the lining, and the menstrual flow begins. To help with the release of the lining of the womb the uterine muscle contracts and pushes it out. This leads to cramping.

In other words, Prostaglandin, a hormone, stimulates muscle contractions in the uterus, facilitating the pressure of its lining.. These squeezes can hurt and make your uterus swell. The level of prostaglandin increases just before your period begins.

Painful periods are called dysmenorrhea, of two types: 

  • Primary dysmenorrhea: Painful cramps in the lower abdomen that begin shortly before or during the menses
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea: Menstrual pain due to an underlying disease or structural abnormality of the uterus.

A condition affecting the uterus or pelvic organs, such as endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease, can cause secondary dysmenorrhea. 

Causes of Abnormal Period Pain:

It’s not always possible to identify the reason for painful periods, but a few risk factors can lead to abnormal pain. 

  • Smoking
  • Hitting puberty before age 11
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Family history of painful periods
  • Infertility

Painful periods also occur due to conditions like

  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS): Hormonal changes in the body occurring 1 or 2 weeks before the menses. 
  • Endometriosis: Uterus lining tissue grows in unusual places like the fallopian tube, ovaries or tissue lining the pelvis.  
  • Fibroids: Tumors develop in and around the uterus. 
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Infection around the uterus, fallopian tubes or the ovaries.
  • Adenomyosis: Uterine lining grows into the muscular wall of the uterus, causing inflammation, pressure, and pain.
  • Cervical stenosis: The Cervix is so narrow that it slows menstrual flow, causing an increase in pressure inside the uterus.

Home treatment for relieving menstrual periods

  • Heating pad on the pelvic area or back
  • Circular massage with fingertips around the lower abdomen
  • Warm bath
  • Regular physical exercise
  • Keep your legs elevated while lying down. Or lie on your side with knees bent.
  • Nutrition meals, rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber
  • Vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium supplements, especially during PMS

Consult a Medical Professional

Consult the best gynecologists in the city if you experience any of this:

  • At least three painful periods
  • Pelvic pain when not menstruating 
  • Pain with diarrhea and nausea
  • Pain after the IUD placement
  • Blood clots with pain
  • Increased foul odor in vaginal discharge
  • Severe pain after intercourse


Methods of Diagnosis

When investigating the reason behind painful menstruation, doctors will likely ask about the medical history and do a physical exam. This includes

  • Pelvic exam to check for any issues in your reproductive system
  • Signs of infection.


In the presence of any underlying condition, they may suggest imaging tests as

  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan 
  • MRI

Our team of doctors in Lotus Hospitals look into the problems in detail and suggest procedures, accordingly. Our sub-speciality services are widely available for solving all kinds of problems.

Request your appointments, now!

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