You are inching closer to that time of the month and you are already breaking a sweat in fear of period pain. Right? A whopping number of women in their reproductive age worldwide experience some form of pain, cramping, fatigue and discomfort during their periods. However, if it reaches a crippling degree of pain, it could mean your body’s demanding your attention.
Dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation affects a lot of women under the age of 20. This is known as primary dysmennorhea. It has been proven that during periods, the immune system releases pro-inflammatory agents like prostaglandins to stimulate uterine contractions. These movements help in the expulsion of the unfertilized egg as well as the lining tissues. This appears as moderate to severe pulsating pain in the lower belly and back. Below are the 6 causes of menstrual pain.1
In this condition, the lining of the uterus is found surrounding other organs like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and pelvic floor. Many a time, the strayed away parts of the endometrium leads to inflammation, cyst formation, and internal bleeding. This causes severe pain which unfortunately lasts longer than your bleeding days.2
This condition is also associated with the abnormal growth of the uterine tissues but it’s limited only to the uterus. Endometrium that lines the uterus implants and multiplies deep within the uterine walls causing severe cramping and pain during periods. It usually affects women in their 30s.
3. Uterine Fibroids
A very common gynecological disorder, fibroids are usually asymptomatic. However, if they grow in size, they can make your period flow heavy and cause extreme menstrual cramps. Women with the condition often complain of larger chunks of blood clots being expelled during their menses.
4. Insertion Of A Copper IUD
Among the various birth control methods, intra-uterine devices like copper and hormonal ones do have a high success rate. Nonetheless, the copper IUD still has a bad reputation for being the reason for heavier periods and stronger cramps in some women. If you think you are one of them, consult your gynecologist immediately.3
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
One more reason to wear condoms while having sex is a pelvic inflammatory disease. If STDs are left untreated, it can lead to a high degree of inflammation and scarring of the reproductive organs, which is characteristic of PID. This, in turn, causes painful menstruation. Awareness of the symptoms of STDs and practicing safe sex go a long way in preventing PID.
6. Congenital Defects Of The Uterus
No human body is alike. Differences can exist in the structure of the organs of the female reproductive system too. Structural anomalies in the shape of the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes and vagina lead to more painful or irregular periods.
Due to the distinct symptoms of menstrual discomfort, it’s easy to identify if something’s wrong with one’s gynecological health. Rather than procrastinating, be mindful of your body and seek expert attention to rule out any underlying causes. Be especially wary of unusual bleeding, bloating, pelvic pain, weight loss, fatigue or changes in bowel or bladder habits.
Follow a stress-free lifestyle, eat right and exercise daily. You will feel much relaxed and in control of the discomfort even during the periods.
|↑1||Iacovides, Stella, Ingrid Avidon, and Fiona C. Baker. “What we know about primary dysmenorrhea today: a critical review.” Human reproduction update 21, no. 6 (2015): 762-778.|
|↑2||Agarwal, Neha, and Arulselvi Subramanian. “Endometriosis–morphology, clinical presentations and molecular pathology.” Journal of laboratory physicians 2, no. 1 (2010): 1.|
|↑3||Shahnazi, Mahnaz, Somayyeh Sarrafi, Mohammad Asgari Jafarabadi, Sahar Azari, and Fariba Esmaili. “Comparing hemorrhages and dysmenorrhea with copper T380A and Multiload 375 intrauterine devices: A randomized clinical trial.” Journal of caring sciences 3, no. 3 (2014): 193.|