Health

a painful period for women

This condition encompasses multiple symptoms and associated risk factors, but medicine has also advanced in diagnostic tools and treatments.

Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more intense menstrual cramps. Photo: Shutterstock.

The menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) They are stabbing pains in the lower abdomen. Many women have menstrual cramps just before or during your menstrual periods.

Some diseases, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids, can cause menstrual cramps. Treating the cause is essential to reduce pain. The menstrual cramps that are not caused by another disease tend to decrease with age and often improve after giving birth.

Symptoms

Symptoms of menstrual cramps include the following:

  • Pain throbbing or cramping, which may be severe, in the lower abdomen

  • Pain that begins 1-3 days before the period, peaks 24 hours after the start of the period, and decreases in 2-3 days

  • Pain continuous deaf

  • Pain extending to the lower back and thighs

Causes

During your menstrual period, the uterus contracts to help expel its lining. Substances similar to hormones (prostaglandins) involved in the pain and inflammation trigger uterine muscle contractions. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with menstrual cramps more intense.

Associated factors

Endometriosis. The fabric that covers the uterus implanted outside the uterusmost often in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or tissue lining the pelvis.

uterine fibroids. These noncancerous growths on the wall of the uterus can cause pain.

Adenomyosis. The fabric that covers the uterus begins to grow into the muscular walls of the uterus.

Pelvic inflammatory disease. This infection of the female reproductive organs is usually caused by a sexually transmitted bacteria.

cervical stenosis. In some womenthe opening of the cervix is ​​so small that it prevents menstrual flow, causing a painful increase in pressure within the cervix. uterus.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam, including a pelvic exam. During the pelvic exam, the doctor will check for abnormalities in the reproductive organs and look for signs of infection.

diagnostic tests

Ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create an image of the uterusthe neck of uterusfallopian tubes and ovaries.

Other diagnostic imaging tests. A tomography computed or MRI provide more detail than a ultrasound and can help your doctor diagnose underlying conditions. A tomography Computed imaging combines x-ray images obtained from various angles to produce cross-sectional images of bones, organs, and other soft tissues within the body.

Laparoscopy. Although not usually necessary to diagnose menstrual crampslaparoscopy can help detect underlying disease, such as endometriosis, adhesions, fibroids, ovarian cysts and ectopic pregnancy. During this outpatient surgery, your doctor inspects your abdominal cavity and reproductive organs through small incisions in your abdomen into which a fiberoptic tube with a tiny camera lens is inserted.

Treatments

To ease the period painsyour doctor may recommend the following:

Analgesics. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium (Aleve), in regular doses beginning a day before your expected period start, can help control symptoms. period pains. Prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also available.

Hormonal contraceptive methods. Oral contraceptive pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation and reduce the severity of period pains. Are hormones They can also be given in different ways: injection, patch, implant placed under the skin of the arm, flexible ring placed inside the vagina, or intrauterine device (IUD).

Surgery. If the period pains are the result of a disorder such as endometriosis or fibroids, surgery to correct the problem may relieve symptoms. Another option may be surgical removal of the uterus if other methods do not relieve symptoms and if you do not plan to have children.

lifestyle and home remedies

In addition to getting enough rest and sleep, you can also try the following:

Get regular physical activity. Physical activity, including sexual intercourse, helps some women to alleviate the menstrual cramps.

Apply heat. A warm bath, or the use of a warm compress, hot water bottle, or heat patch on the lower abdomen, may relieve symptoms. menstrual cramps.

Try dietary supplements. Some studies have shown that magnesium supplements, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-1 (thiamin), and vitamin B-6 may reduce menstrual cramps.

Reduce stress. Psychological stress can increase the risk of having menstrual cramps and their severity.

For the menstrual crampsCome in the basic questions the following are included:

What is the most likely cause of my symptoms? Are my symptoms likely to change over time? Do I need to have any tests? What treatments or home remedies might help? Can you take me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions like the following:

How old were you when you started menstruating? How often do you menstruate and how long do your periods usually last? How heavy is your menstrual bleeding? Have you had bleeding between periods? Where do you feel the cramps? Do you have other symptoms besides the cramps, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, pain back pain, dizziness, or headaches? Do your symptoms cause you to limit your activities, stay home from work or school, or avoid exercise?

If you are sexually active, do you feel pain having sex? What treatments have you had so far, if any? Is there anything that has helped? Does any woman in your family have a medical history of similar symptoms?

Source consulted here.

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