A normal menstrual flow may be accompanied by pain, but the difference with dysmenorrhea is that the woman can still perform her daily activities in a normal menstrual flow and would not need an analgesic.
There are two classifications of dysmenorrhea; the primary dysmenorrhea related to structural or functional disorder in the reproductive system. This type requires no management except pain management.
On the other hand, secondary dysmenorrhea is associated with underlying diseases like: endometriosis, leiomyoma, adenomyosis, ovarian cyst, pelvic inflammatory disease and presence of tumor or mass in the uterus.
The pain of dysmenorrhea is described as sharp throbbing pain that is located in the lower abdomen that may radiate to the sides of the pelvic area, the thighs and lower back. It may also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, headache and dizziness, disorientation, hypersensitivity to noise, light, smell and touch, fainting spells, over fatigue and irregular menstruation.
The first thing to do is to make a record of your menstruation cycle for the next three months, if the pain persists during this period you have to visit your gynecologist for proper assessment and evaluation. Treatment management may require you to take hormonal pills and pain relievers.
To manage the pain at home, here are the things you can do to lessen if not totally relieve it:
1. Have enough bed rest and sleep to decrease your stress level, your stress may aggravate the pain.
2. You may take a warm bath to sooth and relax your muscles or simply apply warm compress for 10 to 15 minutes over the pelvic area.
3. Have a regular exercise program especially if you know your period is near. Exercise promotes blood circulation that can relieve pain.
4. A self massage in the area of the abdomen may also be done.
5. An aromatherapy may also be relaxing.
In some cases where severe bleeding is controlled, surgery may be the management option. A hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be performed to prevent severe blood loss that can lead to anemia.