Are all menstrual cramps the same? Should I go to a professional? There are many doubts that women usually have with menstruation. It is not surprising that many of us seek health insurance with specialists in gynecology that is capable of shedding light on these issues; and it is that no, not all of us feel the same menstruation. What’s more, on some occasions, excessive pain can be the prelude to a serious problem.
What exactly is menstrual pain?
Menstrual pain, which is also known as dysmenorrhea, is related to those cramps or cramps that we usually feel in the lower abdomen and that are associated with the period. Are they the only discomfort that we can feel during the period? The truth is that no. The woman can feel from back and thigh pain to headache. Also, she may have bouts of diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
What causes menstrual pain?
There are times when we take things for granted, like the period must always hurt. It’s not like that. Everybody is different. There are women who are more sensitive than others. What’s more, there are many women who feel pain even in the ovulation phase. Now, it is important to know that there are two main types of pain associated with these menstrual periods.
First type: primary dysmenorrhea
- It is undoubtedly the most common. It appears in the first menses and can gradually improve with age. We can say that the pain and general discomfort that is felt is a side effect of a natural process: menstruation.
- It is a more or less mild pain that is not associated with any problem with the uterus or the rest of the pelvic organs. It would, however, be related to prostaglandins, molecules responsible for contractions of the uterus.
- Menstrual cramps from primary dysmenorrhea usually respond well to analgesia. Also applying heat to the lower abdomen, hot showers and even maintaining healthy habits throughout the year, with daily moderate exercise and avoiding heavy meals.
Second type: secondary dysmenorrhea
It is important to be able to distinguish this type of menstrual pain, because here we are going to find an underlying cause. It is generally related to a problem with the reproductive system. The causes can be from endometriosis, fibroids, adenomyosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, among others.
When to go to the doctor
Undoubtedly, constant and strong pain is always a reason to go to a specialist. If the pain is very deep and does not disappear with the remedies mentioned in primary dysmenorrhea, it is time to consider going to the doctor.
Similarly, those women who suffer several symptoms from this list during their last periods should also consult a specialist:
- More abundant rules than usual.
- Rules much longer than usual.
- Periods accompanied by symptoms such as fever.
- Bleeding that appears outside the periods of menstruation.
It is also recommended to consult a gynecologist if dysmenorrhea appears for the first time over 25 years of age, as it is possible that, if it has not been noticed up to now, it is a secondary dysmenorrhea