Extremely painful periods or Dysmenorrhea can be divided into two types:
-Primary dysmenorrhea (painful periods that are not caused by a disease or other condition).
-Secondary dysmenorrhea (painful periods caused by a disease or condition).
In primary dysmenorrhea, the mild symptoms are usually nausea, vomiting, headaches, backaches, diarrhea, and severe cramps when you have your period which usually only last for a day or two.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by some of the following diseases.
• Endometriosis, a condition where tissue starts to grow outside the uterus.
• Fibroids, cell growths on the outside, inside, or in the wall of the uterus.
• Copper Intrauterine device (IUD)
• Pelvic inflammatory disease.
• Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
• Sexually transmitted infection.(STIs)
• Stress and anxiety.
For all of these conditions, you’ll need a doctor to diagnose and to get the best treatment for your condition.
If you are experiencing painful cramps, here are some tips for reducing discomfort:
• Heat! If you have a hot water bottle or heating pad, put it on your abdomen and lower back. You can take a warm bath or shower for relief as well.
• Massage. Use light circular massage with your fingertips around your lower belly area.
• Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
• Drink water. Keeping hydrated during your period actually helps you avoid painful bloating.
• Vitamins! Try vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium supplements, especially if your pain is from PMS.
• Try over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen helps releive pain. (Start taking it the day before your period is expected to start, and continue taking it regularly for the first few days of your period.)
• Take hormonal birth control. Low-dose oral contraceptive control pills can be very helpful to regulate and lighten periods, and reduce PMS symptoms including menstrual cramps. Click here to learn about Lydia oral contraceptives.
• Exercise! Getting your body moving releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good. While endorphins don’t make pain go away, they distract you so the pain is less bothersome.