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Coping With Period Pains

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 9 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Period Pain Period Pain Relief Severe

Period pain is something that affects a great many women and can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. This pain, in extreme cases, can resemble the same pain that a woman might feel during labour.

What is Period Pain?

Period pain is caused by contractions in the womb or uterus and nearly always accompanies the woman’s menstrual cycle. For the most part the uterus or womb can be starved of oxygen for a time and this lack of oxygen allows for the release of certain chemicals which trigger off bouts of pain which are known as menstrual cramps.

As this is happening the body continues to release chemicals called prostaglandins which bring about stronger contractions and often cause pain in the womb; these contractions become stronger and more persistent as to does the pain.

Why Do Women Have Period Pain?

Unfortunately this is a common problem in women of child bearing age; it is caused as the womb discards some of its existing lining in order to make way for new lining that will help to fertilise an egg by allowing the egg to become implanted in the womb. This is a common factor in the cause of period pain and can vary from woman to woman, some feeling nothing whilst others feel tremendous pain.

Coping with Period Pain

Although you may not feel like it at the time one of the most effective period pain relief is gentle exercise. Many feel that when they endure this pain their best course of action is to rest and lie down however studies have shown that this only seeks to inflame the problem.

Over the counter medicines such as Ibuprofen and Asprin are also useful in the fight against period pain as they produce anti-prostaglandins. You should take these as and when directed and if in any doubt as to their effectiveness or indeed if you are in doubt as to whether or not you have an allergy to such pills you should consult your doctor before hand.

Hot water bottles or warm towels placed upon the abdomen also bring about a calming effect but these are short lived so should be combined with another form of treatment such as the taking of the medication we have already mentioned.

What Should I do if the Pain is Severe?

A great many women experience severe period pain but there is nothing more to it other than they are experiencing an extremely heavy menstrual cycle. However if the problem is such that the pain renders you incapable of doing anything else – and it does not fade after a reasonable period of time – you should consult with your GP immediately.

He or she may arrange for you to undergo an ultra sound examination to check for Endometriosis which can lead to complications if not treated quickly.

In some rare and extreme cases it may be necessary for the woman to undergo a Hysterectomy which is an operation to remove the womb although in most cases this is not necessary and is only performed if there is a considered risk to the woman’s overall health.

Further Information

As always it is important to consult with your doctor if the pain is persistent and shows no signs of easing. There may well be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the pain but severe period pain can cause the individual to become immobile during that time. If you are in doubt as to the nature of your period pain you should consult with your doctor or surgery nurse before embarking on any course of medication and always follow their advice as closely as possible.

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