When Does Period Pain Become Abnormal?

Period pain is the bane of women’s lives and is generally accompanied by bloating, low mood and generally feeling lousy.  Years ago anything to do with the female condition was referred to as, ‘hysteria’.  Hippocrates thought that this was because the womb moved around and caused chaos wherever it ended up.  Others considered it to be related to witchcraft and demonic possession. Now we know that it is our hormones turning us into witches every month.

As well as feeling irritated by everyone and everything period pain is a perfectly natural part of our monthly cycle.  Some lucky ladies escape with only minor discomfort while others are curled up with a hot water bottle in agony.  If you think that the pain you feel every month is abnormal you should visit your doctor for advice.  

Causes Of Period Pain

Most period pain is caused when the uterus contracts.  These mild contractions instigate the shedding of the womb lining in preparation for a period.  Pain occurs because the contractions temporarily cut off the blood supply to the womb and depriving it of oxygen.  Chemicals released during this time increase the amount of pain and eventually the period will start.  Some lucky women don’t suffer too badly from the pain generated while others may have a build up of prostaglandins (chemicals) causing greater suffering.  

Conditions That Make The Pain Worse

Sometimes an underlying health condition can cause period pain to be severe.

Endometriosis: Cells that normally line the womb grow on either the ovaries or fallopian tubes. Pain occurs when the cells shed and fall away.

Fibroids: Benign (non-cancerous) tumours grow in the womb and cause painful periods.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Your womb, ovaries and fallopian tubes get infected with bacteria and is extremely painful.

IUD (Coil): When newly fitted the coil may cause heavier painful periods.  Once settled your period should return back to normal.

If you are suffering from one of these underlying health conditions you may also the following symptoms; change in bleeding pattern, irregular periods, bleeding in between periods, smelly/itchy vaginal discharge and pain during sex.

Lifestyle Changes

The following lifestyle changes can help ease the period pain:

  • Stop Smoking.
  • Exercise.
  • Heat.
  • Massage.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • TENs Machine

Treatments

When a family sized bar of chocolate and a bath does not reduce your pain you could try over the counter Ibuprofen.  If that doesn’t stop your agony Mefenamic acid which is a non-steroid anti inflammatory drug may take the edge off your pain.  It works by reducing the production of prostaglandins (the chemicals that produce pain). If symptoms persist your doctor may prescribe the contraceptive pill because it reduces the volume of the womb lining resulting in less painful periods.  If you have an underlying medical condition treatments may involve surgery.

When your period pain feels abnormal to you then you should visit your doctor to see if you have an underlying health condition.  To review and purchase treatment for Period Pain click here.