Hi, my name is Katlyn. As a mum of four kids, I take their health very seriously. However, I also take my own parenting philosophies seriously. Because of that, I have always attempted to find doctors and health care providers who resonate with my style. That includes everything from their thoughts on how often to prescribe medication to how they speak to my children. If you want tips on finding the perfect healthcare provider, please explore these posts. They contain everything I have learned over the years, and I hope my experiences can really help other mums and families! Take Care, Katlyn.
Period pain is a common complaint that most women will experience fairly regularly. It occurs when muscles in the uterus contract strongly, but it should not last for more than a few days. However, women may sometimes experience particularly painful periods that are not improved by pain relief medication and which last longer than two or three days.
Particularly painful periods are described medically as dysmenorrhoea, and they can be caused by several conditions. Here are just five possible causes.
1. Increased Hormone Levels
Menstrual cramps are triggered by hormones known as prostaglandins. When these are produced by your uterus, muscles contract in order to help expel the uterine lining. However, you may sometimes experience high levels of prostaglandins, and this will lead to more severe cramps. Higher prostaglandins levels are often created in response to injuries, but they can be caused by other factors. Your doctor can help you determine the cause and then recommend treatment.
Endometriosis is a condition that involves womb tissue growing in other parts of the body. This tissue can be found in areas such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, and pelvic floor, though it can spread to other areas in more severe cases. Untreated, it can lead to issues such as cysts, internal bleeding, and chronic inflammation, and these can all make periods more painful.
Adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis, but it involves tissue growing deep in the uterine muscle. This makes that muscle feel bruised, so pain can be more intense when it contracts. As well as painful periods, women suffering from adenomyosis may also experience pain during sexual intercourse.
Fibroids are a type of non-cancerous growth that can develop in the muscles of the uterus. Many women will have no symptoms, but large fibroids can distort the shape of the uterus. This tends to increase the amount of bleeding during a period. Since the uterus must cramp to expel large blood clots caused by heavy bleeding, large fibroids are often associated with painful periods.
Infections can also cause painful periods. Pelvic inflammatory disease is a common culprit. It involves an infection along a woman's reproductive tract, and it is usually caused by an untreated STI. As well as painful menstrual cramps, untreated pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to scarring and even infertility, so it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you may be suffering.
Contact a local doctor to learn more about women's health.