Commonly referred to as dysmenorrhea, this condition is often characterized by severe cramps and abdominal pain occurring during menstruation. While it’s normal to experience discomfort during your period, the pain should not be so powerful that it interferes with your daily activities.

About painful menstrual cycles

Dysmenorrhea is a medical term used to describe the pain experienced by some women during their period. Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common type and typically occurs in women not diagnosed with any underlying condition. Generally, primary dysmenorrhea presents as persistent cramps in the lower abdomen that last throughout menstruation. The pain can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is less common but more likely to cause intense symptoms due to an underlying medical condition. Menstrual cramping can become much more severe and extend beyond the usual length or an average period. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Abnormal spotting between periods
  • Fatigue
  • Backache
  • Headaches
  • Depression

Several conditions can cause painful menstrual cycles, including:

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Adenomyosis
  • An infection or other type of abnormality in the uterus

Sometimes, the underlying cause may not be known, but you may still treat the pain with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or hormonal birth control. If you regularly experience severe menstrual pains that interfere with your life, it’s essential to see a pelvic pain specialist as soon as possible. An accurate diagnosis will help guide treatment and address any underlying health concerns.

What is the treatment for painful menstrual cycles?

Common treatments for painful menstrual cycles include:

  • Medications, both oral and patches
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • In certain cases, surgical interventions

Alternative treatments can complement these options, such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Yoga
  • Massage therapy
  • Herbal remedies

If you have any questions or concerns about managing a painful menstrual cycle, don’t hesitate to speak up so that you get proper guidance and care tailored specifically for you.

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Why choose Pelvic Pain Doc?

We believe that our patients can reclaim control over their lives and don’t have to live in constant discomfort. With this goal in mind, we implement innovative treatment options tailored to meet each patient's individual needs. We also use media appearances such as podcasts and articles to discuss pelvic pain, offering advice on ways to manage it from the specialist perspective. If you’re looking for the best care for your pelvic pain issues, see us at Pelvic Pain Doc for 5-star service from a recognized thought leader in the study and treatment of pelvic pain. Contact us today.

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