Managing Period Pain (Dysmenorrhoea)

Having some discomfort during your period pain (also known as dysmenorrhoea) is part of the menstrual cycle.  The sensation is usually felt as muscle cramps in the stomach or abdomen which can spread to the back and thighs.  This sensation can vary with each period but unfortunately, the level of discomfort can be felt as pain at times.   The pain usually lasts between 48 to 72 hours and usually worst when the bleeding is heaviest.

Causes of Period Pain

Period pain occurs when the muscular wall of the uterus contracts when trying to expel the blood during menstruation.  When the muscle wall contracts, it compresses the blood vessels and reduces the blood supply (and oxygen) to the uterus thereby triggering the painful sensation.  The pain is worse when you have other conditions in your uterus such as endometriosisfibroidscontraceptive IUCD fitted in your uterus or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Click to view Good Samaritan Hospital video on Causes of Period Cramping

Management of Period Pain

1. Pain relieving medications

Mild discomfort can be relived by Paracetamol.  Anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Mefenamic acid and COX-2 inhibitors such as Celecoxib or Etoricoxib can receive more severe pain.  These medications work best if you start taking them just before the pain starts.

2. Hormone treatment

Contraceptive pill can be taken to help manage period pain in the longer term.  You will need to discuss this option with your doctor or gynaecologist.

3. Conservative Treatment

Placing a warm heat pad or hot water bottle (wrapped in a tea towel) on your abdomen may help reduce the discomfort.  Light gentle massage around the lower abdomen can help distract you from the painful sensation.

4. Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, keeping to an optimum weight and regular gentle exercises can help reduce the risk of having period pains.  

5. Supplements

Some supplements such as Magnesium, Fish oil, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids or Evening Primrose have been recommended to help with pain relief. 

Click to view Babylon video on Period Pain Relief

When to see your Doctor or Gynaecologist

You should consult your doctor and have a physical check up and/or ultrasound scan when you experience the following;

Click to view Parkway Hospital video on 4 Signs your period pain is not normal

Discuss the treatment options with your doctor, gynaecologist or pharmacist

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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