Dysmenorrhea refers to the condition with menstrual cramps and painful periods.
Dysmenorrhea is of two types: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.
Primary dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual cramping and pain in the lower abdomen that usually occurs before or during menstrual periods.
It occurs in the absence of certain pelvic diseases. The primary dysmenorrhea is so common that the occurrence of it is about ninety percent.
With primary dysmenorrhea, you generally experience unusual uterine contractions due to chemical imbalances in your body.
On the other hand, secondary dysmenorrhea refers to the menstrual pain in the presence of pelvic diseases. Most often, the secondary dysmenorrhea condition occurs due to endometriosis, which results in infection, pelvic pain and internal bleeding.
Pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, pelvic infection, tumors, or polyps are also cause secondary dysmenorrhea. The pain usually begins few days before the onset of the menstrual periods and remains for several days after the periods.
Dysmenorrhea is so common that it affects forty-five to ninety percent of all women of reproductive age. You can develop this condition easily if you smoke, consume alcohol during menses, the onset of your menstruation is before eleven years, or overweight.
In general, dysmenorrhea obstructs your routine activities that may cause work absenteeism. With dysmenorrhea, you may experience cramping, pain in the lower abdomen, fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, frequent urination, back pain (lower), diarrhea, or headache.
You may experience a combination of these symptoms. Remember that the dysmenorrhea symptoms differ from woman to woman. Consult your doctor right away if you find any of these symptoms for several days.
The doctor will look at your medical history and perform a pelvic test to analyze the condition. You may be suggested to have blood test, urine test, ultrasound test, laparoscopy, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and hysteroscopy to detect the type of your dysmenorrhea.
Once the test results are examined, your doctor will start the treatment depending on your age, general health condition, medical history, severity and cause of the condition, your tolerance to the treatment options and your personal preference.
If you are with primary dysmenorrhea, the doctor may prescribe to use anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, ketoprofen or naproxen. On the other hand, anti-prostaglandin medication also helps relieve dysmenorrhea.
All these medications obstruct the formation of prostaglandin that causes menstrual pain or cramp and are eighty percent effective in treating the condition. Oral contraceptives also help treat the condition, as they reduce the production of prostaglandin.
The treatment for secondary dysmenorrhea ranges from medications to surgical procedures depending on the cause and stage of your condition.
On the other hand, you can also place a heating pad on your lower abdomen to ease the pain, massage your lower abdomen, maintain a healthy diet with low-fat foods, reduce salt in take, exercise regularly (walking, swimming, running, cycling), bath with warm water, and have enough bed rest.
Practicing yoga poses also help lessen the menstrual cramping or painful periods. Wide squat pose, pigeon pose, and camel pose are some poses that can be practiced to relieve your pain.