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Dysmenorrhea, the painful menstrual period: causes and treatment

Fibromyalgia symptomsPainful menstrual period

Fibromyalgia (fi·bro·my·al·gi·a) is a condition that causes pain all over the body . One of its  most common symptoms is  Dysmenorrhoea, known also as painful menstruation that occurs once a month when the uterus loses its lining.  This menstruation is often associated with pain and cramps, which is normal. But sometimes the pain becomes unaffordable that the female is no longer able to do her simple daily activities.

 There are two kinds of dysmenorrhoea, primary and secondary.

Primary dysmenorrhea happens to females who experience pain before and during menstruation. But if menstruation becomes painful later in life after being normal, it may be due to secondary dysmenorrhoea which may result from endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

   Reasons :

Determining the cause of pain during menstruation is challenging and here are Some reasons  :

  • Puberty before the age of twenty, having a family history of painful periods, smoking, profuse bleeding during menses,
  • Irregular menstruation, elevated levels of prostaglandins before the menstrual cycle, which leads to muscular contractions in the uterus when the mucous membrane is lost.
  •  Menstrual pain may also be the result of a medical problem such as:
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disease due to hormonal changes in the body that occur before menses.
  • Endometriosis is a painful medical disorder in which endometrial cells develop in other parts of the body, generally on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or tissue lining the pelvis.
  •  The presence of uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumours that may exert pressure on the womb or cause abnormal pain.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection that affects the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. It is mostly caused by sexually transmitted bacteria which cause inflammation and pain in the reproductive organs.
  • Adenomyosis is a rare disease in which the endometrium develops in the uterine muscular wall, causing inflammation and pain.
  • Cervical stenosis, a rare condition where the cervix is so tight that it slows the flow of the menstrual cycle,  causing increased pressure on the uterus, therefore pain.


Home remedies can help alleviate menstrual pain, such as :

        -using a heating pad on the

         pelvis or back.

        -Making abdominal massages and taking warm showers.

       – trying relaxation techniques or yoga.

       – Taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen several days before your period.

       -taking  vitamins such as

Vitamin B6, B1, E, calcium and magnesium.

  • Minimizing drinking alcohol and caffeine to prevent stress

If home treatment fails to relieve menstrual pain, there are medical treatment options. Speak to your doctor if :

-your menstrual pain interferes with your ability to perform basic tasks every month

  •  if you have blood clots, cramps with diarrhoea and nausea, sudden cramps or pelvic pain.
  • also for smelly vaginal secretions.

If the cause is pelvic inflammation or STD, your doctor will prescribe :      

          – antibiotics to treat the infection and decrease pain.

  •  medications that include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics other analgesics such as acetaminophen and antidepressants to help reduce mood swings during menstruation.

In the case of endometriosis or fibroids, the physician generally uses surgery to remove the tumours.  In rare cases, a hysterectomy is the only option if other treatments fail.

 This option is only used when a woman has no intention of having children or is at the end of her reproductive years.

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