The dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation is an irregularity of menstrual function characterized by painful periods appearing with menstruation. Many women experience menstrual cramps just before and during their menstrual periods.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pulsatile pain or cramping in the lower abdomen that can be severe
- Deaf and constant pain
- Pain that extends to the lower back and thighs
When to see the doctor?
If you started menstruating in recent years and you have menstrual cramps, it is possible that menstrual pain is not a cause for concern. However, if menstrual cramps disturb your life every month, if symptoms get progressively worse, or if you are older than 25 years and have just begun to have intense menstrual cramps, consult your doctor.
- If you are under 30 years old
- If you entered puberty early, at age 11 or younger
- If you have heavy bleeding during the menstrual period (menorrhagia)
- If you have irregular bleeding during the menstrual period (metrorrhagia)
- If you never gave birth
- If you have a family history of dysmenorrhea
- If you are a smoker
- CT Scan
Treatment and Management
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: These medications are useful in relieving the pain of menstrual cramps. Your doctor may suggest that you initially take over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, in regular doses starting on the day before the start of the start period. NSAIDs with a prescription, such as mefenamic acid, are also available.
Hormonal contraceptives: Birth control medications consist of hormones that avert the production of egg and eliminate the menstrual cramps. These hormones can also be delivered in several other ways: an injection, a patch that is placed on the skin, an implant under the skin of the arm or a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina.
Surgery: If menstrual cramps are caused by an underlying disorder, such as endometriosis or fibroids, surgical removal of abnormal tissue can help reduce symptoms.