For women, a little pain during a few of their period days is common. But when this pain starts to get in the way of your everyday activities and is not relieved by over the counter pain relief medicine - then it may already be dysmenorrhea.
What is Dysmenorrhea?
Dysmenorrhea is what you call painful periods. There are two types: primary and secondary Dysmenorrhea.
Primary Dysmenorrhea - is the most common and usually starts from 1-2 days before a woman's period. It typically presents as a cramping pain felt at the lower abdomen.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea - is cramping pain as a result of another medical condition. This can be a number of conditions including endometriosis. The pain can be felt either before and/or during a woman's menstrual period.
Common Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea
Common symptoms with Dysmenorrhea can include;
- back pain
- leg pain
These symptoms typically start when the period starts, or earlier. The first 24 hours is usually the most painful.
Treatments for Dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea is usually treated with the following options:
- ibuprofen and naproxen, to relieve pain
- bed rest during the first day or so
- relaxation techniques
- applying heat to the abdomen (ie. hot water bottle)
- regular exercise and attention to overall fitness
Secondary dysmenorrhea treatment is dependant on the underlying medical condition.
Your Next Step
If you are experiencing repeated symptoms above you may be suffering from Dysmenorrhea or another underlying condition requiring further investigation.
Dr Gailani can offer advice on a possible diagnosis, further investigations and suitable treatment. For patients suffering from painful periods we would advise that you see your general practitioner and possibly obtain a referral to see Dr Gailani at omargailani.com.au