4 Shocking Causes of Painful Periods
There are different causes of menstrual pain. Menstrual cramps are generally categorized as primary dysmenorrhea. This condition is caused by the increased production of prostaglandins. These hormones cause uterus muscle contractions. This causes mild or moderate pain. If your periods cause severe pain, this can be a sign of serious underlying health conditions.
Below are 4 conditions that can cause painful menstrual cramps.
1. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a female’s reproductive organs like the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix. This condition can be caused by many different bacteria. Usually, bacteria from sexually transmitted diseases can cause PID. While some women don’t have symptoms of PID, others may experience:
- Pain in the lower abdomen that worsens during menstruation
- Vaginal discharge with a foul scent
- Painful sex
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Painful urinating
The treatment of pelvic inflammatory diseases requires antibiotic therapy. The doctor may prescribe two different antibiotics that kill many different types of bacteria. This helps to ensure that the disease is fully cured. In severe cases, you may require hospitalization and surgery. If left this condition untreated, infertility may develop.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus. It often spread on the other pelvic organs causing different unpleasant symptoms. Endometriosis can make your pelvic pain worse during menstruation and cause pain during sex. Other symptoms include painful bowel movements and urination. For some women, endometriosis can cause infertility.
The treatment of this condition usually includes medication like hormonal therapy, pain medications, and conservative surgery. During surgery, the doctor removes the endometrial tissues outside the uterus while preserving your uterus and ovaries. For severe cases, the doctor may suggest removing the uterus and ovaries.
3. Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are often benign tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. Not all women have symptoms of uterine fibroids. The presence and severity of the symptoms depend on the size of fibroids. The size can range from the small grape to grapefruit. The common symptoms of fibroids include heavy bleeding or painful periods, frequent urination, pain during sex, and lower back pain. This condition can increase the risk of reproductive health problems like infertility.
Women who don’t have symptoms of fibroid don’t need treatment. If you have symptoms, the doctor can suggest medications or surgery. Medications are usually used to treat mild symptoms. For severe cases, the doctor may suggest surgical fibroid treatment like myomectomy, hysterectomy, endometrial ablation, myolysis, or uterine fibroid embolization. These procedures include the removal of different types of the reproductive system.
Adenomyosis is a condition in which the endometrium breaks through the wall of the uterus. This can result in an enlarged uterus. This disease can affect the entire uterus or localize in one spot. While this condition is considered benign, it still may decrease the quality of a woman’s life significantly. The common symptoms of adenomyosis include severe menstrual cramps, pelvic pressure, bloating, and severe bleeding during periods.
This condition usually affects middle-aged women and women who have had children. Other risk factors for uterine fibroids include the history of uterine surgery and hormonal imbalance. If you have adenomyosis the doctor may suggest anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and hormone therapy for symptoms like heavy or painful periods. Surgical options for adenomyosis treatment include uterine artery embolization and endometrial ablation.
This isn’t always possible to prevent conditions that cause severe menstrual cramps. If your pain interferes with normal life or lasts longer than two or three days, you need to talk to your healthcare provider. The doctor can check whether other underlying conditions cause menstrual cramps and suggest an appropriate treatment plan to keep the pain under control.