Dysmenorrhea: Causes, Treatment Options and Why You Should not Normalize the Pain

Every woman in her reproductive years experiences a menstrual cycle once a month. During the cycle, your uterus sheds its uterine lining when fertilization fails to take place. Cramping, pain, and mild discomfort are likely during this time. However, when the pain is severe, forcing you to skip school or miss going to work, it ceases to be a regular occurrence. Clinically referred to as dysmenorrhea, the condition could be a sign of a severe underlying reproductive problem that needs an expert’s attention. The experts’ team at Contemporary Women’s Care specializes in several gynecological worries including painful periods in Orlando. The team will diagnose and treat the conditions that cause you severe menstrual cramping and improve your general well-being. 

What causes you to have painful periods?

Dysmenorrhea is in two types, primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea happens when you regularly go through mild pain before and during your menstrual periods. On the other hand, your doctor will term your dysmenorrhea secondary when you have a normal cycle that turns painful later in life. Secondary dysmenorrhea could be an indication that something is unusual with your pelvic organs including the uterus.

Before menstruation, your prostaglandin levels rise. The hormone is responsible for forcing your uterine muscles to contract and shed your lining if no fertilization occurs. As a result, discomfort and pain are common. However, when the period pain is severe, you could be having underlying conditions like

  • Endometriosis. The condition forces your uterine lining’s muscles and cells to grow in your body’s other parts, usually in your ovaries or fallopian tubes.
  • Adenomyosis. The rare abnormality happens when your uterine lining grows in your uterine muscles, causing your uterus to enlarge.
  • Fibroids. These are benign on the inside or outside of your uterine walls.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease. PID is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that begins from your uterus with a likelihood of spreading to your other reproductive organs.
  • Cervical stenosis. Characterized by a narrow cervix, cervical stenosis slows down your menstrual flow increasing uterus’ pressure.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). You will likely experience PMS approximately 2weeks before your menstrual flow because of your body’s hormonal changes.

What are the possible treatment options your doctor will recommend to treat dysmenorrhea?

During treatment, your gynecologist might recommend home remedies like practicing relaxation techniques and heating pads to ease your symptoms. However, if the various home remedies fail to relieve your symptoms, your doctor will recommend medical treatments. The treatment he will design will depend on your condition’s severity and root cause. If the pain results from an STI, your care provider will prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the infection. Other treatment options include:

  •  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Hormonal birth control methods
  • In case the other treatment options fail to treat issues like fibroids and endometriosis, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure. Suppose you no longer need to have kids and the pain worsens after several treatments. Your gynecologist may suggest a hysterectomy to remove your uterus.  

Though painful periods are usual, you should not hesitate to call your doctor when the symptoms interfere with your everyday life. Sudden pelvic pain could result from an infection which lack of professional treatment could damage your pelvic organs and lead to infertility. Talk to the specialist about your symptoms and discuss the possible treatment options. Schedule an appointment or contact the experts directly to learn more about dysmenorrhea.           

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