Many women experience pain during the periods or just before their menstrual cycle. It is different and varies from person to person. Some women are blessed with a normal period cycle, with no pain. But to the ones it effects, pain during the periods can be the worst nightmare. In the condition of “Primary Dysmenorrhea,” the female feels extreme and pain and cramps before and during her menstrual cycle.
In certain cases, women initially have normal periods but later on, for some health, hormonal or medical reason, experience pain during periods. This condition is medically termed as “secondary dysmenorrhea. Both Primary and secondary dysmenorrhea have the same symptoms of the heavy flow of blood during periods, cramps, pelvic pain, passing clots with the period blood, back pain, etc.
Causes of Pain during Periods
Periods come when the uterus sheds its inner lining. This generally happens once a month. This sometimes causes pain and cramps and uncomfortable sensations. A lot of pain experienced during periods is the condition of Dysmenorrhea. The causes of dysmenorrhea are not certain. During periods, a hormone called “prostaglandin” is released. This hormone triggers the contraction of muscles in the uterus. Such contractions lead to pain during the periods. Some of the general factors affecting the painful menstrual cycle are:
- History of menstrual pain in the family
- Genetic Reasons
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- Irregular Periods
- Hitting puberty before the age of 11 or 12
- Not have had a baby even till later adulthood
The above mentioned are the general causes of period pain. In some cases, it can also be a reason for certain medical conditions.
Abnormal conditions leading to period pain
- PMS ( Premenstrual Syndrome) – Several hormonal changes in the body cause painful symptoms including pain and cramps in the abdomen region, body ache, etc about 7-10 days before the onset of periods. These symptoms affect the female-only till the time she gets her period.
- Uterus Fibroids– A woman may develop a non- cancerous tumor inside the uterus. The reason for that is not available. These tumors are called Fibroids. These fibroids may exert pressure on the uterus, affecting the inner lining of the uterus and lead to abnormal and painful period cycle. The fibroid needs to be surgically removed in most cases.
- Endometriosis– The cells in the inner lining of the uterus grow on other parts such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, tissues or the inner lining of the pelvis, etc. This causes pain, especially during the period cycle.
- PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) – Sexually Transmitted Bacteria can cause an infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. This causes inflammation of the organs in the reproductive system and causes pain.
- Cervical Stenosis– In this condition, the cervix of the female is abnormally small and it slows the menstrual flow. This causes increased pressure inside the uterus causing pain, cramps, and discomfort to the female. This condition is very rarely found in women.
- Adenomyosis– This is a rare condition found in women. In this case, the lining of the uterus overgrows into the muscular wall of the uterus causing pain with inflammation and a lot of pressure exerted on the uterus.
How to Get Relief from Period Pain with home-remedies?
Some useful home remedies can help the person get relief from the pain caused by normal conditions and hormonal imbalance during periods at home. Such remedies cannot help in case the female is suffering from the medical conditions or abnormalities listed above. Some of the useful home remedies are mentioned below:
- Place a heated pad on the affected area. The heated pad can be used on the back or pelvic area. It should not be used in the abdominal or stomach area. The heat can give relief from the pain by giving relief from the cramps and inflammation and relaxing the muscles
- Gently massage the abdominal area with hot oil, moisturizer or any gentle cream or oil
- A hot water bath can relax the muscles, giving relief from the pain
- Try some physical activity. It may loosen up the muscles of the body and get relief from the pain. If the person knows about yoga, she should do some light, relaxing yoga
- Eat light, healthy and nutritious meals. Do not eat heavy meals
- Take vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-1, Omega-3 fatty acid, Magnesium, Calcium supplements and take in less salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol as they may cause bloating
- Try painkillers or anti-inflammatory medicines in case the pain becomes worse
How much pain is normal during periods?
Most women have pain during their periods. It is a general condition. But in rare cases, it can be a result of a medical condition. Consult a gynecologist in case you experience the symptoms below:
- Constant pain during IUD placements
- Three or more continuous painful period cycles
- Excessive passage of clots during periods
- Experiencing diarrhea, nausea, and cramps all together during the menstrual cycle Pain around the pelvic region, not during periods
Get professional help – Diagnosis and Cure
Abnormal and constant period cramps and pain most of the time indicate another medical condition. One should get professional help in case she experiences the above symptoms. A gynecologist can provide solutions and a cure for the pain and may help the patient get relief. If the doctor is unable to diagnose the condition, the patient may have to get some tests done to find out more about the condition in detail.
The patient may have to get an Ultrasound, MRI or a CT scan done. The doctor would be able to know the exact reason for the condition and then follow up with the condition. Medication may help the female get relief.
It should be made sure that the female takes a healthy diet including fruits and nutritious food to keep the body healthy during excessive blood flow.