You are not alone in suffering from menstrual pain, that is, pain and discomfort before and during your period. The symptoms can be pain in the stomach and back but also dizziness. You can on your own, in different ways, relieve menstrual pain.
How much trouble you have from menstrual pain varies, some only experience a slight discomfort maybe as little as a few times a year, even if that, others have recurring severe menstrual pain that affects everyday life, so-called dysmenorrhea. Some also suffer from endometriosis, which is a chronic inflammation that is often associated with menstruation and menstrual pain.
- 1 What is the cause of menstrual pain?
- 2 Symptoms of menstrual pain
- 3 Do I have severe menstrual pain?
- 4 The difference between menstrual pain and endometriosis
- 5 Relieve menstrual pain on your own
- 6 Treatment of menstrual pain
- 7 Living with menstrual pain
What is the cause of menstrual pain?
When you ovulate every month, the lining of the uterus becomes thicker. The mucosa becomes thicker in order to receive a fertilized egg and if no fertilization occurs, the uterus must dispose of the mucosa. The uterus then contracts and ejects the mucous membrane that comes out as blood, menses.
The uterus is a muscle that is surrounded by a lot of nerves and the contractions can lead to both cramps and pain and cause menstrual cramps and that you also get back pain, groin and thighs. Menstrual pain can also have other causes such as endometriosis, myoma or inflammation in the fallopian tubes or in the uterus.
Symptoms of menstrual pain
Menstrual pain can cause both dull and aching pain and strong pain in the lower abdomen. Some only get a little menstrual pain while others can get very sore. Menstrual pain usually occurs some day before menstruation arrives and is usually the strongest during the first and second days of menstruation.
Symptoms of menstrual pain
- Pain in the lower abdomen.
- Back pain and/or back pain.
- Pain radiating into the lower back, groin and/or thighs.
The aches can in turn cause headaches, dizziness, that you become cold sweaty or feel dizzy. Once your period has started, you may also experience nausea and diarrhea. How long you experience menstrual pain also varies, some feel it for one or a few days, others have pain throughout the period. There are also those who have no menstrual pain at all.
Do I have severe menstrual pain?
Severe menstrual pain, dysmenorrhea, is divided into primary and secondary menstrual pain. The primary is common in young women and can be linked to the first menstrual periods and can be very painful. The secondary often begins later in life, between the ages of 30 and 45 and can be caused by various medical conditions.
If I have severe menstrual pain – answer the questions
- I’m tired, on the verge of exhausted.
- My pain can be spasmodic, constant, or both at the same time.
- My pain can be felt in the abdomen, lower back or inside the thighs.
- I have other symptoms associated with the period, such as headaches, diarrhea, nausea and mood swings.
If you have answered “yes” to one or more of these claims, you may suffer from painful menstruation/dysmenorrhoea. Contact your health care department for a proper examination to find out what underlying causes may be behind it. However, the menstrual pain itself is treated just like primary menstrual pain.
The difference between menstrual pain and endometriosis
Many, including healthcare professionals, mistaken endometriosis for severe menstrual pain, but endometriosis is instead a chronic inflammation that occurs when the uterine mucosa ends up in places other than the uterus. Instead of being ejected through the vagina and becoming a bleed, the uterine mucosa can be ejected into the abdomen via the fallopian tubes and ovaries, something the immune system can usually take care of. However, in about one in ten people of childbearing age, the immune system is unable to take care of the tissue that remains and then a chronic inflammation, endometriosis is formed.
The most common symptoms of endometriosis are just severe menstrual cramps, pain that often begins before menstruation and becomes more severe during the first days of menstruation. Disorders similar to urinary tract infection also occur. Menstrual disorders, such as profuse bleeding, intermediate bleeding, irregular menstruation and short menstrual cycles, ie having menstruation more than once a month, are also signs of endometriosis. Some who have endometriosis experience no symptoms while others live with severe pain. Endometriosis has a tendency to recur and in case of suspicion of endometriosis (or if you have problems for other reasons) it is important to seek help for an examination and possible treatment. An ultrasound examination may be sufficient to diagnose with subsequent peephole surgery or magnetic camera examination to ensure the diagnosis. Read more about treatment with endometriosis.
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Relieve menstrual pain on your own
If you do not feel that the menstrual pain is a major problem but is manageable, and do not feel any other impaired health, such as nausea or just feeling anxious, you usually do not need to seek help for your menstrual pain. It is almost always possible to do something about menstrual pain on your own.
Painkiller drug Painkillers containing ibuprofen reduce uterine contractions and often relieve menstrual pain best. If you are not able to take these medicines, it is also possible to test medicines containing paracetamol. You can take these one or two days before menstruation, but always follow the directions on the package and always contact or consult the healthcare provider if you need to increase your dose or if non-prescription drugs do not help your pain.
How to relieve menstrual pain
- Pill The pill contains progestetron and estrogen, which not only prevents ovulation but also reduces the thickness of the uterine mucosa, which can lead to a lighter period with less menstrual pain. Ask your gynecologist as different contraceptives have different effects.
- Heat Adding something warm to your stomach or back for example can be soothing. The heat helps the muscles relax and then it hurts less.
- Exercise Many people avoid exercise and sports during menstrual cramps, but the cramp in the uterus can actually release just by moving. It can be a walk or easier workout, if you can.
- Six Masturbation or sex during menstruation can actually relieve the aches as an orgasm causes the uterus to relax.
- movements Different movements can affect how bad you get, try to find a position where it hurts less if you have to lie down, for example. Then it can be nice to pull up your knees, for example.
Treatment of menstrual pain
In health care you can get help prescribing painkillers on prescriptions or contraceptives that can help with menstrual pain. It may also be possible to get a treatment method called tens, a pain relief method that means that never under the skin is stimulated by electrical currents. It causes the body to work to reduce the pain. The treatment is given when you have pain and the effect lasts as long as the treatment is ongoing.
There are also a number of alternative treatment methods with varied results, but the main thing is to remember that menstrual pain is individual and therefore the treatment methods are suitable for you. Of course, you should not have such severe menstrual pain that you cannot go to school or work.
Living with menstrual pain
Many women live with menstrual pain and have found different ways to relieve the pain that can occur. Talk to friends and acquaintances around you, you are rarely alone and sharing experiences with others can feel safe. It can be good to remember that menstrual cramps can be exacerbated by external lifestyle factors such as stress, anxiety, smoking and alcohol so during the period when you experience menstrual cramps it is even more important that you take care of yourself.
Prescription-free painkillers, heat pad and peace of mind can be just what you need, the most important thing is to find a way to work even during menstrual cramps. If you experience that you suddenly suffer from menstrual pain and have not had it before or if you have a lot of menstrual pain, contact the health care for further advice.