What is menstrual pain? | Learn how to avoid it
We all try to avoid pain, and menstrual pain is no different. Ladies experience menstrual pains usually on the first day of their periods.
It is normal for you to feel some discomfort in your lower abdomen on the first day of your period. However, cramps might range from a little discomfort to severe pain that prevents you from doing your daily tasks.
Menstrual cramps are one of the most common causes of pelvic pain. Most women experience it before and during their period. So can you avoid menstrual pain?
- 1 What causes menstrual cramps?
- 2 Symptoms of Menstrual Pain.
- 3 When to Call Your Doctor
- 4 Diagnosis of Dysmenorrhea
- 5 Menstrual pain medication
- 6 Menstrual pain surgery
- 7 Diet and exercise can help menstrual pain in the long run.
What causes menstrual cramps?
You’ll most likely experience discomfort in your thighs, lower back, and abdomen when you’re on your period. Why does this happen?
The discomfort happens because the muscles of your womb tighten and release during menstruation to remove the accumulated lining.
Prostaglandins, a hormone-like molecule, trigger contractions and cause menstrual pain. A higher level of prostaglandins is the main link with dysmenorrhea.
Endometriosis happens when the tissue that lines your uterus gets implanted outside of your uterus. This is likely on your fallopian tubes, ovaries, or pelvic tissue.
Fibroids: These noncancerous growths in the uterine wall can be painful.
Adenomyosis: The tissue that lines your uterus expands into the uterus’ muscular walls.
Pelvic inflammatory disease: This is a condition in which the lining of Sexually transmitted bacteria is the most common cause of infection of the female reproductive organs.
Cervical stenosis: The aperture of the cervix in some women is too narrow to allow menstrual flow, resulting in a painful rise in uterine pressure.
Symptoms of Menstrual Pain.
Menstrual cramps can cause some of the following symptoms in addition to lower-abdominal discomfort:
- Pain in the lower back
- Leg ache that travels down the legs
- Fainting (in extreme cases)
Doctors are unsure why some women experience excruciating symptoms while others do not. However, some of the factors that have been associated with more severe pain include:
- Heavy menstrual flowy.
- The birth of your first kid.
- You’re under 20, or you’re about to start your period.
- Having an excess of or sensitivity to prostaglandins, a type of chemical in your body that affects your womb
Other factors to consider are:
- Uterine tumours.
- Endometriosis affecting the uterus is a kind of endometriosis (abnormal uterine tissue growth).
- The use of birth control.
When to Call Your Doctor
Tell your doctor if you have severe or strange menstrual cramps, especially if they continue longer than 2 or 3 days. Menstrual pain can be treated regardless of the cause. Thus it’s critical to seek medical attention. Your doctor will perform a pelvic exam on you. They will examine your vagina and cervix with a speculum.
They may collect a small sample of vaginal fluid for testing. The doctor might also examine your uterus and ovaries with their fingertips for anything unusual. If your cramps aren’t caused by your period, you may require additional testing to determine the proper treatment.
Diagnosis of Dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for menstrual pain. It has two stages (primary dysmenorrhea and second dysmenorrhea). As the name implies, primary dysmenorrhea is less severe than secondary dysmenorrhea.
To help your doctor understand your situation, you should be ready to discuss the following details:
- When did you get your first period?
- Do you have the pain before or during menstruation?
- How old were you when the cramps first started?
- Has your pain changed in the last few days?
- Do you have unpredictable periods?
- Any uterus discharges?
- Do you have any sexual discomfort or intercourse discomfort?
- Any fertility problems
- Have you experienced infections in the pelvis in the past?
- Are you currently using any medications?
- What makes the discomfort better or worse?
The doctor will undertake a pelvic check to rule out any problems. However, If there are any concerns about infection, cervical cultures and a blood test will confirm the diagnosis.
The patient may also be subjected to the following tests:
Pregnancy test: Your doctor may recommend a pregnancy test if your periods are irregular or you are not using birth control regularly.
Ultrasound exam: The doctor will conduct an ultrasound exam if he discovers any abnormal masses during the pelvic exam or if there is a new onset of menstruation pain.
A laparoscopy is a minor surgical technique that allows a doctor to view directly into the pelvic cavity using a fibre-optic scope.
A hysteroscopy: The doctor can see the cervix and inside the uterus by passing a hysteroscopy. This process will involve no cutting.
Menstrual pain medication
You could try the following to relieve period cramps:
- Use of warm pads
- Back and lower abdominal massage.
- Exercise, especially before a period begins.
- Thiamine (100 milligrams daily) (100 milligrams daily).
- Vegetarian low-fat diet
- Magnesium (1,200 milligrams daily)
Menstrual pain surgery
Fibroids, polyps, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis can be treated surgically.
- Uterine polyps are removed through D&C.
- Pelvic endometriosis and ovarian cysts are treated through laparoscopy.
- Endometrial ablation removes the uterine lining.
- The uterus is removed during a hysterectomy.
Alternative treatment for menstrual pain.
The majority of us dislike being sliced open. So, if you’re afraid of surgery, here are some options.
Alternative treatments may be beneficial, such as:
Acupuncture is a treatment in which extremely small needles are inserted into your skin at certain points on your body. Several studies have indicated that acupuncture can help with menstrual cramps.
TENS stimulates electrical nerves through the skin. Its devices are attached to the skin with adhesive patches that contain electrodes. To activate nerves, the electrodes deliver a variable level of electric current.
It may help by increasing your pain threshold and triggering the release of your body’s natural painkillers (endorphins).
TENS was more efficient than a placebo in relieving menstrual cramp pain.
3. Medicinal plants.
You can also use local products such as pycnogenol, fennel, or combination treatments to reduce Central cramps.
Diet and exercise can help menstrual pain in the long run.
You can avoid menstrual cramps by eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly. According to a study made in 2016, women who eat nutritious diets, exercise regularly and avoid stress have less period pain.
To avoid menstrual pain, eat less processed food and more fibre and vegetables.
Try some of the following foods:
- Vitamins abound in papaya.
- Vitamin B6 in brown rice may help to prevent bloating.
- Manganese is abundant in walnuts and pumpkin seeds, which help relieve cramps.
- Olive oil and broccoli contain vitamin E.
- Also, eat iron food such as Chicken, fish, and leafy green vegetables.
- Omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed have antioxidant properties and can help reduce pain.
Boron is a mineral that aids the body’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus. It also helps to relieve menstruation cramps.
Also, In a research conducted in 2015, it was found that boron help reduces the intensity and duration of menstruation discomfort.
The following foods have a high boron content:
- Peanut butter
If your diet is deficient in boron, you can take boron supplements. However, before using boron supplements, talk to your doctor.
Drinking water helps you avoid unpleasant bloating during menstruation.
Warm and hot water is usually preferable to cold for cramps. Hot liquids aid blood flow and may help to relax cramped muscles.
You can also boost your hydration by eating meals that are high in water, such as:
- Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
This mineral can aid in the relief of muscle cramps caused by menstruation. Calcium-rich foods include:
- Milk and dairy products
- Sesame seeds.
Nevertheless, check with your doctor to verify if calcium supplements are right for you before taking them.
You might not feel like exercising before or during your period, but it helps in reducing menstrual cramps.
However, try to do simple exercises instead of rigorous ones during your period.