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more about Dysmenorrhea

Painful menstruation

  • This is the most common pain experienced by women: Approximately 50% of woman experience this pain, and 10% experience severe or disabling dysmenorrhea.  Uterine contractions occur during all periods, but, in some women, these cramps can be frequent and very intense; in such cases, the condition is known as dysmenorrhea.  Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by normal uterine muscle contractions and affects more than half of menstruating women.  Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual-related pain that is caused by abnormal medical conditions, such as endometriosis.

  • Lower abdominal crampy pain that occurs before the beginning of the menstrual period and lasts 1 or 2 days into the period.
  • Pain radiating to the back region or inner thigh region
  • Nausea, vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation
  • Headache, fatigue may accompany the pain
  • About 10% have severe symptoms, causing them to take more days off work and experience a performance loss at school, compared to unaffected woman.

  • Primary dysmenorrhea

- It is caused by the production of prostaglandins during menstruation.  Prostaglandins are chemicals that occur naturally in the body.  Certain prostaglandins enhance uterine contractions, causing pelvic pain.

  • Secondary dysmenorrhea
    1. Endometriosis
    2. Pelvic inflammation
    3. Adenomyosis
    4. Uterine myoma
    5. Ovarian Cyst
    6. Pelvic congestion
    7. Intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD)
    8. Uterine polyp
    9. Uterine malformation
    10. Cervical stenosis

  • Based on history of symptoms and physical exam to rule out secondary causes.  The physical will include a general exam and an internal pelvic exam.  Younger adolescents who have not become sexually active usually will not require a pelvic examination.
  • Blood samples may be taken (from veins in the arm) to rule out hormonal abnormalities and pregnancy.

  • Common pain relievers: aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen
  • Birth control pills
  • The treatment of underlying disease
  • Self-care:
    1. Rest
    2. Drink a hot cup of regular tea, chamomile or mint tea.
    3. Heating pad or warm-water bottle on your abdomen
    4. Take a warm bath. 
    5. Gently massage your abdomen. 
    6. Mild exercises

more about Dysmenorrhea

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