Painful cramps

Painful menstrual periods are noticeable by crampy lower abdominal pain. A woman may feel sharp pain which comes and goes, or have dull, achying pain. Painful menstural periods may also lead to back pain. Painful menstruation affects many a women. For a few number of women, such discomfort makes it next to impossible to perform normal household, job, or school-related activities for a few days during each menstrual cycle. Painful menstruation is the foremost cause of lost time from school and work among women in their teens and 20's. The pain may begin more than a few days before or just at the start of your period. It usually subsides as menstrual bleeding tapers off.

Types of painful cramps

Even though some pain during menstruation is normal, excessive pain is not. The medical term for greatly painful periods is dysmenorrhea. There are two general types of dysmenorrhea:

1. Primary dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual pain that take place in otherwise healthy women. This type of pain is not interconnected to any specific problems with the uterus or other pelvic organs.
2. Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain that is credited to some underlying disease process or structural abnormality either within or outside the uterus.

Activity of the hormone prostaglandin, shaped in the uterus, is thought to be a factor in primary dysmenorrhea. This hormone leads to contraction of the uterus and levels tend to be much higher in women with severe menstrual pain than in women who experience mild or no menstrual pain. If you are like most women, you have almost certainly experienced menstrual cramps at one time or another. For some women menstrual cramps are incapacitating, while others experience only mild discomfort during their period.


Menstrual cramps are thought to be connected to a hormone-like naturally occurring substance called prostaglandins which causes the uterus to contract. If a woman does not ovulate it is improbable that she will encounter cramps during her period, for this reason physicians often prescribe oral contraceptives to ease painful periods. Though, you should be aware that birth control pills cause abnormal bleeding in some women. Primary dysmenorrhea take place most often in young a woman who have just begun their menstrual cycles and often becomes less severe after a woman has given birth or when she reaches her mid-twenties. Secondary dysmenorrhea is diagnosed when menstrual cramps are caused by other circumstances such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors, pelvic adhesions, and ovarian cysts or by the use of an interuterine device (IUD) for birth control.

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