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WHAT ARE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS?



MENSTRUAL CRAMP


WHAT ARE MENSTRUAL CRAMPS?


Menstrual cramps_ are pains in a woman's lower abdomen that occur when her menstrual period begins (or just before) and may continue for two to three days.


Pain that is only associated with the process of menstruation is known as primary dysmenorrhea.

If the cramping pain is due to an identifiable medical problem such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease, it is called secondary dysmenorrhea.

Treating the cause is key to reducing the such pain. Menstrual cramps that aren't caused by another condition tend to lessen with age and often improve after giving birth but that might be a long time of pain to wait for, why not treat it.


They may be throbbing or aching and can be dull or sharp. Symptoms can range in severity from a mild annoyance to severe pain that interferes with normal activities.


SYMPTOMS OF MENSTRUAL PAIN

In addition to cramps in the lower abdomen, a woman may also experience some of these symptoms with menstrual cramps:


Lower back pain

Leg pain, radiating down the legs

Nausea

Diarrhea

Headaches

Irritability

Weakness

Fainting spells (in extreme cases)

Menstrual cramps_are the leading cause of absenteeism in women younger than 30. Although over half of women who have menstrual periods experience some discomfort, 10% are temporarily disabled by symptoms.

The following circumstances may make a woman more likely to experience menstrual cramps:

She started her first period at an early age (younger than 11 years).


Her menstrual periods are heavy.

She is overweight or obese.

She smokes cigarettes or uses alcohol.

She has never been pregnant.

CAUSES OF MENSTRUAL PAIN

Approximately once every 28 days, if there is no sperm to fertilize the egg, the uterus contracts to expel its lining.

Hormone-like substances called prostaglandins trigger this process.

Prostaglandins_ are chemicals that form in the lining of the uterus during menstruation. 

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