photolibrary_rf_photo_of_woman_holding_stomachDysmenorrhea is referred to as “painful menstruation

Most women exhibit some amount of pain during menstruation.

However, in this case the pain is so severe that it may limit what a women is able to accomplish on a daily basis.

Her activities may be severely limited.

Most women begin having dysmenorrhea during adolescence.

This is usually within 4 or 5  years of her first menstrual period.

Painful periods become less common as women age.

Causes

Prostaglandins are chemicals that are formed in the lining of the uterus during menstruation.

These prostaglandins can cause muscle contractions of the Uterus.

The resulting pain can decrease blood flow and oxygen to the uterus.

Similar to labor pains, these contractions can cause significant pain and discomfort.

Symptoms:

-    Severe pain
-    Dull pain
-    Throbbing
-    Cramping
-    Sharp
-    Burning
-    Nausea
-    Diarrhea
-    Back pain
-    Abdominal pain
-    Leg pain
-    Vaginal or Pelvic pain
-    or others

Can begin as early as 1 year following first menstruation.

For some individuals menstruation becomes less severe but the majority have increased pain.

50 – 80% of women are affected at some time in their life

It is described like a pin or cramping in pelvic area that can be felt from back down to the knees

Cramping is associated with nausea, vomiting, headache, irritation, flushing.

Pain is from vasoconstriction of the Uterus

Treatment:

–    NSAIDs
–    Omega-3-fatty acids
–    Magnesium
–    Vitamin E
-    Zinc
–    Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
–    Hormonal Contraception
.             Norplant
.             Depo-provera
.     IUD’s

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