dys·men·or·rhoe·a

Growing up, we all knew one thing was for sure… period pain. Because this has been long accepted it has gone long untreated…. but it’s 2018 and time to change that.

Periods aren’t supposed to be super painful.

You should be rolling on the floor or missing work or school because of your period. There shouldn’t be a punishment for not getting pregnant!

Painful periods or dysmenorrhoea can be primary- meaning there is no identifiable cause to them or it can be secondary, meaning its because of an underlying pathology.

This might be weird, but lets talk about secondary first.

This usually happens to women who have had normal almost painfree periods and then BAM all of a sudden their periods are painful, it may also be accompanied by heavy bleeding…. THIS IS ALWAYS A SIGN TO GO TO THE DOCTOR. This could be because of fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease or other causes.

Now primary, if you remember your periods always being painful, then this just might be you.

Here are some things that put you more at risk for having painful periods:

  • you’re young
  • your mother had it
  • where you are is too cold
  • you’re upper class
  • you don’t have children
  • you smoke/ drink

There are several theories as to why this might be so and this includes an oestrogen/ progesterone imbalance which causes the pain. This is thought to be true because women who have periods without ovulating (aka without progesterone) don’t have pain. Another might be because the uterus is shedding its lining all in one versus in small pieces or the opening for the blood is too small.

Whatever the reason, the period is painful and there are some ways to treat it!

Now, the best treatment plan would be from your general practitioner or your gynaecologist but there are things you can do at home.

  1. Relax and go out more! It is believed that introverted and anxious persons have more painful periods. Don’t ask me why!
  2. Exercise
  3. Stop drinking/ smoking
  4. Take over the counter pain medications such as NSAIDs, Aspirin and Panadeine. Sometimes a combination of different pain killers may work best (but speak to your doctor before trying this first)
  5. Oral Contraceptive Pills. These cause you to not ovulate and can be found over the counter but you should always speak with a doctor first before starting any form of hormonal birth control.

When you go to your doctor she may offer you different treatment options, amp up the pain medications to prescription dose or give you a regime.

In general, this type of pain improves with age and having children. But who can wait? I know many of you suffer with painful periods and you don’t have to, see your doctor now.

Tell me, how do you treat your pain?

Samantha C. Johnson

NB. It is important to always see a medical practitioner before self treating, as you want to rule out other causes of this pain to ensure it’s nothing more sinister and also to get guidance on what is safe for you to try . 

 

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