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Menstrual cramps can vary between mild discomfort lasting a day or two to severe pain interfering with your day-to-day activities. They tend to be the most common causes of pelvic pain and can often be experienced just before and during your period. Uterine contractions that occur before or during the onset of your period are what cause the throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen. However, it’s important to understand what makes pain more severe for some and what can be done next. Below you will find out more about seven potential causes of severe period pain and how you can manage the cramps and discomfort.
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7 Causes Of Severe Period Pain And What To Do Next
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormone disorder, in which the ovaries produce more than the usual amount of androgens. These are male sex hormones that are typically seen in women in small amounts. Therefore, the name polycystic ovary syndrome refers to the numerous small cysts or fluid-filled sacs that form in the ovaries. Some of the most common symptoms include irregular and heavy periods, excessive facial and body hair, weight gain and difficulty losing weight, acne, thinning hair, multiple skin tags, and dark patches of skin. To decrease the effects of PCOS, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy weight and stay active.
Endometriosis is a long-term condition where endometrial cells, which are cells that resemble the uterus lining, grow outside the uterus, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It’s not clear what causes endometriosis, but there are many responsible factors, including hormonal, genetic, and immunological reasons. Find out more about endometriosis and learn how common this condition is and what the most common symptoms are. You can read about its potential causes and what is involved in confirming an endometriosis diagnosis. Additionally, you can familiarise yourself with treatment options for endometriosis, including painkillers, hormone treatments, surgery, and hysterectomy.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous abnormal growths, which may appear in the wall of the uterus. They are made up of muscle and fibrous tissue and are sometimes referred to as uterine myomas. However, many women may not know they have fibroids, as they don’t have any symptoms. Women who do have symptoms might experience heavy or painful periods, abdominal pain, lower back pain, constipation, a frequent need to urinate, as well as pain and discomfort during sex. If you have persistent symptoms, see a GP so that they can investigate potential causes and refer you for an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a bacterial infection of the organs of the female reproductive system. Typically, it’s caused by sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia. However, there are other infections that aren’t sexually transmitted that may also cause it. One of the most common symptoms you may experience is pelvic pain. Other symptoms you may notice include discomfort or pain during sex, bleeding between periods and after sex, fever, unusual vaginal discharge, and a burning sensation when urinating. You should visit a GP or a sexual health clinic, if you experience any symptoms of PID and if diagnosed, it can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
Cervical stenosis is also known as a closed cervix. And it occurs when the opening of your cervix is narrow or fully closed. It’s possible that you were born with a cervical stenosis or you may also develop it later. If you experience intense pain during menstruation or no menstruation at all, you might be suffering from cervical stenosis. This may result from a disorder or other conditions, such as menopause, cancer of the cervix, surgery that involves the cervix, or procedures that destroy or remove the lining of the uterus. To diagnose cervical stenosis, you may need to have a doctor’s evaluation. And possibly have tests taken to rule out cancer.
Adenomyosis occurs when the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus. As a result, this can cause lower abdominal pressure, menstrual cramps, and bloating before menstrual periods. All which can lead to heavy periods. The condition may occur in the entire uterus or localised in one spot. Although adenomyosis is known to be a benign condition, the frequent pain and bleeding associated with it may have a negative impact on your quality of life. Mild symptoms can be treated with the use of over-the-counter medications and a heating pad to ease the pain.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
An intrauterine device is a small birth control device that is placed into your uterus. There are various types of IUDs available, as some contain hormones, while others are hormone-free. Although they are safe for most people, they may cause side effects, such as severe menstrual cramps, irregular periods, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Pain may occur as you adjust to the IUD, but it might also indicate a larger problem. In some cases, your IUD might not have been placed correctly or it isn’t in the right place. Therefore, if you are worried about cramping or you notice new or extreme pain, it’s advisable to call your doctor.