Dysmenorrhea: when menstrual cramps are very intense

All women feel Colic and pain during menstruation. And not only during menstruation, but also a little before it appears. Although it is usually known as menstrual colic, Did you know that it actually has a medical name?

From a specialized point of view, the most appropriate term is that of dysmenorrhea. That is, as we will see below, it basically consists of the severe pain felt in the pelvis and abdomen, and that tends to appear both before and during menstruation.

What is dysmenorrhea?

The dysmenorrhea It is considered as one of the symptoms of menstruation, a moment in which the detachment of the innermost layer of the uterus occurs, which involves the breakage of tissues and some small arteries that, finally, facilitate bleeding. It is characterized as being, in fact, one of the most common symptoms of the period.

That is to say, we are actually faced with a pain generally associated with menstruationduring the ovulatory cycles itself, but that does not cause injuries that affect the correct reproductive cycle of the woman.

There are several types of dysmenorrhea depending on its main cause:

  • Primary dysmenorrhoea: If no cause for pain can be found.
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea: If there is a known cause.

Between the different causes of secondary dysmenorrhea, and therefore, existing known causes, we find thyroid problems, stress, infections, miscarriages or misaligned intrauterine devices.

In other words, dysmenorrhea or "painful menstruation" are the pains that women manifest before the arrival of or during menstruation. Most of the time these menstrual cramps usually manifest just before the drop of the rule and up to 48 hours later.

These pains that affect women usually occur because hormones called prostaglandins spread throughout the uterus or womb of the woman contracting, which leads to these so sharp pains in the lower abdomen.

It must be mentioned that not all women can manifest this type of pain with the same intensity, some will have those stronger pains while others will not even suffer it.

Symptoms of dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps

However, there is a very common symptom that is directly and usually associated with dysmenorrhea, and it is the appearance of a colic-like pain similar to an intense cramping, which can be accompanied by some of the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Sickness
  • Vomiting
  • Back and waist pain

In fact, sometimes the pain tends to be so intense that it is common to be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. These symptoms tend to last around 24 hoursapproximately, although it is obvious that the discomfort lasts throughout the menstrual period.

What are your causes? What makes a woman suffer?

Not all women suffer from dysmenorrhea, understood as the appearance of intense menstrual cramps. In fact, it is estimated that it affects about a third of women, being more common in women whose menstruation appeared before age 11, are overweight or who maintain unhealthy habits, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.

Although the exact cause is not known, some scientific studies suggest that the "fault" is found in the excess production of prostaglandin hormones, which tend to accentuate the different contractions that occur in the muscles of the uterus, causing intense pain.

However, we must differentiate between the two types of dysmenorrhea that exist:

  • Primary dysmenorrhea: It appears as a consequence of a hormonal imbalance, being the main cause the abnormal uterine contractions, not existing a pathology or gynecological affection.
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea:it is related to some type of gynecological pathology, such as endometriosis, cysts in the ovaries, infections or fibroids of the uterus.

How to relieve the pain associated with dysmenorrhea?

Like all diseases you can fight your menstrual cramps with medicines or home or natural remedies that will help reduce the intensity of the pain you may suffer.

You can take Ibuprofen or Naproxen to calm the intense cramps, apply a compress of hot water on the abdomen.

It is highly recommended to exercise daily, such as walking or pelvic exercises.

Contraceptives can also solve this type of colic because they inhibit the production of hormones that will help reduce premenstrual symptoms.

Eat healthy, lots of complex carbohydrates, no alcohol, no caffeine and less tobacco,

You can make an infusion of celery, onion and rue 3 times a day.

Remember that…

  • Daughters with women suffering from menstrual cramps are more likely to manifest this type of problem as well.
  • Between 30 and 60% of women suffer from dysmenorrhea.
  • In women smokers and consumers of alcohol will be more likely to appear these symptoms.
  • Your psychological state, if you are sad, depressed or are more inclined to have low spirits will also influence directly.

Bibliography:

  • AEGO - Spanish Association of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Dysmenorrhea Accessed on 11/29/2018. Available at: //www.aego.es/otra-informacion/dismenorrea
  • Dina Abadi Bavil, Mahrokh Dolatian, Zohreh Mahmoodi, Alireza Akbarzadeh Baghban. Comparison of lifestyles of young women with and without primary dysmenorrhea. Electron Physician. 2016 Mar; 8 (3): 2107-2114. doi: 10.19082 / 2107. Available at: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4844476/
  • Mariagiulia Bernardi, Lucia Lazzeri, Federica Perelli, Fernando M. Reis, Felice Petraglia. Dysmenorrhea and related disorders. Version 1. F1000Res. 2017; 6: 1645. doi: 10.12688 / f1000research.11682.1. Available at: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5585876/
This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

Endometriosis (September 2019)