Pain During Periods
What Causes Painful Menstruation?
Menstruation occurs when the uterus sheds its lining once a month. The lining passes through a small opening in the cervix and out through the vaginal canal.
Some pain, cramping, and discomfort during menstrual periods is normal. Excessive pain that causes you to miss work or school is not.
Painful menstruation is also called dysmenorrhea. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs in women who experience pain before and during menstruation. Women who have had normal periods that become painful later in life may have secondary dysmenorrhea. A condition affecting the uterus or other pelvic organs, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids, can cause this.
If home treatment does not relieve your menstrual pain, there are some medical treatment options. Treatment will depend on the severity and underlying cause of your pain. If PID or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are causing your pain, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear the infections.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications that include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): You can find these drugs, such as Tylenol, over the counter, or get prescription-strength NSAIDs from your doctor.
Pain relievers: These can include over-the-counter options like ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin IB) or naproxen sodium (Aleve). antidepressants: Antidepressants can help lessen some of the mood swings associated with PMS.
Your doctor may also suggest that you try hormonal birth control: Hormonal birth control is available as a pill, patch, vaginal ring, injection, or implant. Hormones prevent ovulation, which can control your menstrual cramps.
Surgery can treat endometriosis or uterine fibroids. This is an option if other treatment options haven’t been successful. The surgery removes any endometriosis implants, uterine fibroids, or cysts.
In rare cases, a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) is an option if other treatments haven’t worked and pain is severe. If you have a hysterectomy you will no longer be able to have children. This option is usually only used in women who aren’t planning on having children or who are at the end of their childbearing years.