The period pain is a very common and a normal part of your menstrual cycle. Most women experience period pain at some point of their lives. Usually, period pain is felt like a painful muscle cramps in the tummy and this can spread to the back and thighs. Sometimes, this pain comes in intense spasms, while in other cases it can be dull but more constant. Also, it can vary with each monthly period. Some periods can cause little or no discomfort while other periods can be more painful.
There are some cases when you can experience pelvic pain even when you do not have your period. Usually, period pain starts when your bleeding begins but there are some cases when women can experience pain several days before the start of their period. Normally, the pain lasts between 48 – 72 hours but also it can last longer. Usually, it is worst when your bleeding is heaviest. Often, young girls begin to have period pain when they begin getting periods. The period pain which does not have underlying causes tends to improve as the women gets older. Also, many women can see improvements in their condition after they have children so they no longer have period pain.
Causes of period pain
The period pain happens when the muscular wall of the womb tightens (it contracts). The mild contractions continually pass through the womb but usually they are mild and most women do not feel them. When you are in your period, then the wall of the womb starts to contract more vigorously to encourage the womb lining to shed away as a part of the monthly period. When the muscular wall of your womb contracts then it compress the blood vessels lining your womb.
This temporarily cuts off the blood supply, and also the oxygen supply, to your womb. When you do not have oxygen, then tissues in your womb release chemicals which trigger pain. When your body is releasing these pain – triggering chemicals also it can produce other chemicals which are called prostaglandins. They encourage the womb muscles to contract more which is further increasing the level of pain. It is not known fact why some women experience more period pain than other women.
This may be because some women have a build – up prostaglandins which means that they experience stronger contractions. There are less common cases when the period pain can be caused by some underlying medical condition. This is called secondary dysmenorrhoea and it is a term which is used by doctors. Usually, the period pain which is caused by underlying condition is affecting older women. Women who are between 30 – 45 are having more chances to be affected by this period pain.
Here are some causes which can lead to period pain
- Adenomyosis: This is where the tissue normally lines the womb and it starts to grow within the muscular womb wall which is making your periods a lot of painful.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: It is happening where your ovaries, fallopian tubes and womb become infected with bacteria and this is causing to become severely inflamed.
- Fibroids: These are non – cancerous tumors which can grow in the womb and they can make your periods heavy and painful.
- Endometriosis: This is happening where cells normally line the womb and it starts to grow in other places, such as ovaries and fallopian tubes and these cells can cause intense pain when they shed and fall away.
The IUD (intrauterine device) is a type of contraception which is made from copper and plastic which fits inside the womb. Also, it can cause period pain, particularly during the first few months after it is inserted. You can notice a change in your normal pattern of pain if your period is linked to some of the above mentioned conditions. The pain can last much longer than normal or it can be more severe. If your period pain is caused by some underlying condition, then you can experience
- Pain during sex
- A thick or foul – smelling vaginal discharge
- Bleeding in between periods
- Irregular periods
If you notice some of the mentioned symptoms, then you should talk with your doctor as soon as possible.