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Period Pains (Part 2) ~ A Deeper Look At Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual pain, affects 40-95 percent of menstruating women and is one of the leading causes of regular absenteeism among young women- at work & in life.

In our previous installment, we briefly touched upon the 2 types of dysmenorrhea. Before we deep dive into them, understand that our body is not the enemy here –in fact it is always teaming with us to achieve its most harmonious and natural state of being. Pain is only one of the ways it communicates a lack of harmony. Now let’s get into it.

Primary Dysmenorrhea

This is described as dysmenorrhea that is not caused by an organ ailment. The first signs of pain normally appear six to twelve months following the first date of menstruation. The pain usually lasts anywhere from eight to 72 hours. The discomfort associated with primary dysmenorrhea is caused by uterine contractions, which are most likely caused by uterine muscle and the production of prostaglandins by the uterus.

Menstrual pain is spasmodic and commonly felt in the lower abdomen, but it can also spread to the back and thighs. Nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, dizziness, and, in severe cases, syncope and collapse are among the other symptoms. These also tend to get less severe as people grow older.

Secondary Dysmenorrhea

In contrast, when a physical anomaly is detected, the pain is considered a side effect and the condition is referred to as Secondary Dysmenorrhea. Acyclic or chronic pain are both possibilities, while a history of dyspareunia should also accounted for.

Secondary dysmenorrhea causes menstrual pain due to issues with the reproductive organs. Cramping can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Endometriosis: A condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus spreads outside the uterus. These bits of tissue can cause swelling, scarring, and pain.
Adenomyosis: A disorder in which the uterine lining extends into the uterine muscle. This disorder can result in the uterus becoming significantly larger than it should be, as well as abnormal bleeding and pain.
PID (pelvic inflammatory disease): A bacterial infection that begins in the uterus and spreads to other reproductive organs. PID can induce stomach pain as well as sex pain.
Cervical stenosis: The cervix, or the entryway to the uterus, becomes narrower.
Fibroids : Benign growths on the inside, outside or in the uterine walls
Other secondary infections include chronic salpingitis, and cervical stenosis

Menstrual Cups To The Rescue

Menstrual cups use is increasing in number, and among women they have definitely become the talk of the town. Chemicals present in tampons and pads, including bleach and dioxin, cause major difficulties in the human body. A period cup like the Femino Cup does not contain these chemicals. Although no scientific studies have been conducted to confirm this, many women experience less acute cramps while using cups. They also are happy to report that they do not even feel the cup when it’s in place.

Don’t Suffer In Silence

Despite the fact that dysmenorrhea is a prevalent gynaecological condition, it is generally underestimated. Make an appointment with your doctor if you're having trouble with your periods; you don't have to suffer in silence with cramps. There are ways to make painful periods less painful. Stay tuned for our final chapter in this series as we understand and navigate through these ways.

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