Painful Period Treatment in Birmingham, AL
What is Dysmenorrhea?
A majority of women will experience some level of pain during their menstrual cycle. This pain is referred to medically as dysmenorrhea. Women with dysmenorrhea can experience them in two different types: primary and secondary. The highly trained OBGYNs at Birmingham Obstetrics & Gynecology have extensive experience diagnosing and treating abnormal period pain. Call (205) 933-8334 to schedule an appointment at our office in Birmingham today!
If a woman’s pain is the result of recurrent menstrual cramps that are not caused by any other medical condition, it is referred to as primary dysmenorrhea. These account for the common cramps that many ladies expect from their regular cycle, and typically present themselves about 1-2 days before that cycle begins.
Women may feel their menstrual cramps on a varying scale of pain from one another. While some may only experience mild discomfort, others can become nauseated by their uterine contractions. Other severe symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea include fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting.
It is also entirely possible for an individual to experience menstrual cramping outside of their regular menstrual cycle. This is often due to a disorder of the reproductive system such as:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Cervical stenosis
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Dysmenorrhea Risk Factors
There are several influential factors that can determine whether a woman is more or less likely to experience dysmenorrhea than others. Ladies have a higher probability for dysmenorrhea if they:
- Are younger than 30 years of age
- Have a family history of dysmenorrhea
- Have been diagnosed with a similar condition such as menorrhagia (heavy periods) or metrorrhagia (irregular periods)
Noticing Abnormal Symptoms? Speak Up
Unfortunately, many women assume that their pelvic pain must simply be a normal part of their regular period, which leads many to suffer silently from their symptoms rather than getting suitable treatment.
The best way to handle any sort of abnormalities in your cycle is to address them with your OBGYN. Whether you experience dysmenorrhea or other common signs of a reproductive disorder such as heavy menstrual bleeding, spotting between periods, or pain during sex, it is important to contact your gynecologist as soon as possible to address them. Specifically, if your dysmenorrhea lasts for more than 3 days and/or becomes increasingly more painful over time, you should seek treatment from a medical professional.
Both primary and secondary dysmenorrhea can be treated by your OBGYN. Primary dysmenorrhea can typically be relieved and managed using over-the-counter pain relievers and/or hormonal birth control. If the patient’s pain is identified as secondary dysmenorrhea then follow up examinations and diagnostic tests will likely be ordered to get to the root of the issue. Once a cause has been found, your OBGYN will be able to recommend suitable treatment options based on the individual patient and their unique case.