Painful Periods And The Various Treatment Options Available

July 7, 2017|Posted in:General

My wife Jan got interesting in my blogging, and asked me if she could write one. So what could I say? It doesn’t fit my normal blog, but what the heck! As a nurse in an Oby/Gyn office, this is a problem she sees all the time, and it’s something she wanted to talk about.

It is estimated that nearly 75 percent of all women will experience dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation. The symptoms will usually present themselves during PMS, and only increase as the period runs its course. Thousands of women live with the symptoms associated with a painful menstrual cycle, typically because they aren’t aware of the causes or the various treatment options that are available to them. Fortunately, an OBGYN can perform an examination to discover the root of the issue and take the steps necessary to help any woman get the relief they need. Here is an overview of the process, and information that can help a woman determine if the opinion of a physician is warranted.

Common Symptoms

While pain is often the most common symptom associated with dysmenorrhea, many others may be present. Many women report having issues with insomnia and experiencing flu-like symptoms. Also, they could suffer from severe headaches, dizziness, and diarrhea should they not get proper treatment. What may seem like a painful period could be an indicator of a more serious medical complication that requires oversight of an OBGYN.

Typical Causes

Though the cause may not always be identifiable, many things can lead to a painful menstrual cycle. The lining of the uterine wall is covered in a chemical that is designed to produce contractions when a woman is giving birth. If an abnormal buildup of this chemical forms, it can starve the uterus of oxygen and cause contractions and constant pain and discomfort.This is one of the first items the physician will want to investigate when determining the cause of premenstrual discomfort.

Pelvic Examination

The first step is to get a pelvic exam from a physician. They will inspect the area for any trauma that may be causing the discomfort. Sexual activity can damage the walls of the vaginal cavity and create pain that is escalated during a period. If no trauma is present, then the doctor will conduct a biopsy so they can test the levels Prostaglandins. If the levels are too high, they can then make recommendations for possible treatment options.

Treatment Options

Most women can get relief from this common condition through the use of minimally invasive treatment options. The doctor will first recommend lifestyle changes, such as alterations in a woman’s diet and the introduction of exercises to attempt to build up the strength of the uterine walls. Also, they may recommend NSAID pain relievers or birth control to help reduce the symptoms. Heat and herbal treatments have been proven to be effective in bringing temporary relief until the best treatment option is identified.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

If after several weeks there is no improvement, then the OBGYN may want to delve into the sexual history of the patient. If they are sexually active, then they may suggest a full STD panel. While not the most common cause, a symptom that seems related to dysmenorrhea that is not alleviated with conventional treatment options could be due to an STD. Treatment of the STD will likely require the use of antibiotics and steroids. It can take weeks to see relief from symptoms, but with the proper medications, it is possible to get back to normal.

Don’t live with a painful menstrual cycle any longer. Talk to an OBGYN and see what tests and medications they recommend to help alleviate the problem once and for all. This all too common problem can go unchecked and lead to even more severe pain and cause irreparable damage to the sensitive uterine wall. One appointment can reduce the fears associated with a painful menstruation cycle and get a person on the road to recovery in no time.

Recommended Doctors and Articles and Resources:
Dr Parker – ObyGyn
Dr Oz