Menstrual pain often turns a perfectly good month upside down, permeating through your belly and across your body in painful, powerful stitches. And when it’s done wreaking emotional and physical havoc, it takes a month-long sabbatical only to rear its ugly head the next month, like an unwelcome visitor who refuses to leave. Menstrual cramps are one of the most common byproducts of menstruation. While some women experience them before the onset of their periods, others only fall prey to them further on into their cycles.
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The good news is that menstrual pain, otherwise known as dysmenorrhea, lessens with age and can vanish for good once you’ve had your first baby. For now, think of it as the yin to your yang.
When it comes to period pain, cramping, bloating and discomfort is quite normal for most women. The trouble is, a sliver of these women experience inordinate amounts of unease during menstruation. Crippling pain, incessant bleeding, constant exhaustion and severe emotional skews aren’t as normal as you’d think. They are signs that you may be harbouring a rather serious problem. If your periods aren’t as much a walk in the park as others around you, it’s time you consulted a gynaecologist to assess your medical disposition. Often, painful periods serve as a forewarning to a deeper-rooted medical problem.
Causes of Painful Periods
- Contractions in the uterus that touch peripheral blood vessels
- The subsequent cut of oxygen supply leading to pain and cramping
Symptoms of Painful Periods
- Pain in the belly- Pressure in the belly
- Pain in the hips, lower back and upper legs
- Queasy stomach and vomiting
- Loose stools
Treatment of Painful Periods
- Slip a heating pad onto your belly or lower back
- Take a warm bath; the heat can work to ease your pain
- Rest adequately
- Keep away from salt and caffeine
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Gently massage your belly and back
Painful periods can be controlled and curbed with effective measures. Have a look at how you can reign in the pain.
Exercise can tip the monthlies in your favour, alleviating pain when Aunt Flo comes to visit. Women who exercise often experience less pain during menstruation than those that do not. To keep menstrual cramps at bay, make enough time for exercise on a weekly basis.
Consult a gynaecologist and seek advice on which pain relievers you can take to offset your pain. You may be advised ibuprofen or another form of pain relief that may hold you in good stead over subsequent menstrual cycles.
We’ve already glossed over how period pain may be tied to a more serious gynaecological condition. If it is, this phenomenon is known as secondary dysmenorrhoea, a medical term that implies that certain elements of your reproductive ecosystem are responsible for your cramps, not just your period. Secondary dysmenorrhoea may be triggered by a variety of conditions, like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, stenosis and fibroids.
It’s always wise to seek medical counsel from an experienced gynaecologist when it comes to managing menses pain. While your discomfort may be the sole outcome of menstruation, it’s always a good option to rule out potential conditions.
Typically, a gynaecological consultation entails a pelvic examination and specific tests and scans that spotlight essential organs in the abdominal region. If you’re a victim of the miserable monthlies, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. By shining a light on what’s really causing you pain, you can gain a deeper understanding of your reproductive topography. On Cloudnine, you can stand to gain and lose the pain.
Must Read: Live Q&A on Irregular Periods
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