Menstrual Pain, Causes and How to Manage It

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Dysmenorrhoea, Menstrual Pain, Causes and How to Manage It

A significant condition that girls experience in their adolescence and teenage years is menstrual pain. Most girls call it MP as an abbreviation for menstrual pain amongst their peers however it is medically called dysmenorrhoea.

Dysmenorrhoea is the pain that occurs before or during menstruation or both. It’s classified in to primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhoea occurs when the pelvic anatomy and ovarian function are normal and no abnormality has been found to cause the pain.

The actual mechanisms of primary dysmenorrhoea are unclear, but pain has been connected with high levels of prostaglandin in the uterus. This high prostaglandin levels increases uterine muscle contraction, resulting in decrease in blood circulation to uterine muscles. This occurs more in the teenage adolescent.

Secondary dysmenorrhoea, however, describes pain as a result of abnormality in the pelvic region. It’s not common amongst the adolescent but most often noticed in older women who are above 30.

Symptoms of Dysmenorrhoea

Primary dysmenorrhoea often coincides with the beginning of menstruation. The first onset is normally after first menses. Secondary dysmenorrhoea is rather connected with a later age of menstruation, after years of pain-less menses and the patient is usually above 30 years.

The pain begins as a dull pelvic ache 3 to 4 days prior to the menses comes and becomes more serious during menstruation.

Other symptoms which may be connected with secondary dysmenorrhoea include pain during s*x, irregular cycles, severe bleeding, bleeding between cycles or after sex. It must be noted that most of these symptoms can be brought on by other gynaecological conditions.

Symptoms experienced can vary greatly in different individuals and these include: low midline abdominal or pelvic pain that may radiate to back or thighs, dull or severe cramping pain which might last up to 12 hours before the menses appease.

Nausea and vomiting, headache, syncope or flushing, psychological distress – anxiety, depression or both – are other signs to look out for.


Physical examination includes a pelvic examination (an abdominal and internal examination) to be able to determine the underlying cause. This allows the physician to differentiate between primary dysmenorrhoea and other notable causes of pain connected with a medical condition.

There are no specific tests for the diagnosis of primary dysmenorrhoea. Specific investigations are ordered based on history, examination findings and severity of pain or other associated symptoms.

Investigations are only necessary if a secondary cause is suspected or in refractory cases of primary dysmenorrhoea. For patients with the secondary, investigations should be directed to the most likely cause.

Common factors behind secondary dysmenorrhoea include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic adhesions, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, gastrointestinal disturbances and, on very rare occasions, malignant tumours of the uterus, ovary, bowel or bladder could be responsible for this.

Natural treatments for Relief

Turn to tea

Certain teas can help to alleviate menstrual cramps, says Sonya Angelone, RDN in the San Francisco Bay Area. Research on herbal teas for menstrual pain relief is scarce, say experts, but teas have been used traditionally and can help. Because some of the herbs could act as estrogens, ask your doctor first before using one, particularly if you have a history of a hormone-related cancer or if you take blood-thinning drugs.

Fish oil, vitamin B1, or a combo of both can considerably lessen period cramp pain.

Tea with peppermint oil may also be helpful, Angelone says. She advises her patients with cramps to start out sipping the tea that gives them relief a week approximately before they expect their period. Ask your doctor if that might work for you.

Boost endorphins

Furthermore with their pain-relieving effect, endorphins also can boost your mood. Having an orgasm releases endorphins, Palmieri says.

Exercising does as well. The last thing you probably want to even consider whilst in the midst of cramps is exercise, but that can boost endorphins and help chase away pain.

A study published in March 2015 in the Journal of Family Reproductive Health indicates that both aerobic exercise and stretching helped soothe period cramps for 105 students in the research.

Up Your Intake of Foods That Contain Magnesium

Getting more dietary magnesium appears to help ease the pain of cramps, says DeJarra Sims, ND, assistant professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University’s California campus in San Diego and writer of Your Healthiest Life Now. Indeed, a Cochrane overview of dietary and other remedies published in 2001 concluded that getting enough magnesium can help relieve pain.

Magnesium can be found in many foods and as a supplement if you can’t get what you need from your diet. Magnesium really helps to regulate nerve and muscle functioning, among other vital tasks; researchers who evaluated the evidence on magnesium call it a promising treatment for menstrual cramps. However they can’t recommend a specific dose, because researchers have studied various doses. The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium for women of childbearing age is approximately 320 mg daily. An ounce of dry almonds or one half cup of boiled spinach each has about 80 mg.

Medical treatment

Medical treatments remain the most reliable and effective treatment for relieving dysmenorrhoea plus they include the usage of simple analgesics, prostaglandin inhibitors or anti-inflammatory drugs, combined oral contraceptive pills, Vitamin B1 (thiamine).

Anti-inflammatory drugs and COCP are the most often used therapeutic modalities for the management of primary dysmenorrhoea.

The healthiness of the girl child, is so essential in the adolescence period because of the number of hormonal agents at play.

Source Adesanya’s Blog

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