To see the rules, this is rarely a pleasure for women. But when the discomfort of menstruation is accompanied by severe pain, the periods go from embarrassing to downright disabling.
So despite what most boys think, no, period pain does not come from our imagination! They are a reality that all the girls and women concerned would do well without …
Temporary pain or dysmenorrhea?
Unfortunately, having a little temporary stomach ache during your period is normal and common. We speak of painful periods (or dysmenorrhea for fans of medical jargon) to describe pain located only in the lower abdomen, and which occurs either a little before or during the rules.
What distinguishes them from small temporary stomach aches? The duration first of all , since these pains will be felt between 1 and 5 days …
Then, the intensity of these pains : unlike a classic stomach ache, painful periods are more like cramps or even colic, which can be quite severe. So much so that it can become impossible to go to work; the pain is so acute that it literally nails us to bed.
Finally, although a painful period results in pain in the lower abdomen, the pain can sometimes extend to the lower abdomen , and even to the lower back.
Other symptoms of painful periods
When one suffers from dysmenorrhea, pain in the lower abdomen is unfortunately not the only ailment that one has to endure. It is usually accompanied by nausea, migraines, feelings of fatigue, dizziness, sometimes faintness or even vomiting and diarrhea.
A real ordeal for the women or young girls affected, who are generally completely KO 12 times a year for a few days.
Why the pain during menstruation?
To answer this question, we must first distinguish between dysmenorrhea which affects adolescent girls (primary dysmenorrhea) and that which affects adults (secondary).
Primary dysmenorrhea can be explained by the fact that during menstruation, the uterus contracts, and becomes hard . It can also come from a hormonal disorder, or a birth defect.
Secondary dysmenorrhea may be due to endometriosis (uterine lining grows outside the uterus), chronic infection, problems with ovarian polyps utériens etc . Pathologies which require compulsory medical care in the event of secondary dysmenorrhea.
How to treat dysmenorrhea?
If it is primary dysmenorrhea, it is advisable, before and during menstruation: to rest, to avoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeine, to take hot baths to relax the lower abdomen, to practice a gentle sport if possible.
In terms of treatment, there is no miracle: anti-inflammatory drugs, antispasmodics or analgesics. But no aspirin! Often, taking the pill makes the pain go away permanently.
If it is secondary dysmenorrhea, if our periods become unbearable, we no longer hesitate, and we will consult our doctor. Depending on our pain, he will find the right treatment for us.