Dysmenorrhea(Painful periods): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Types

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Dysmenorrhea(Painful periods): Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Types

In this video SimpliHealth expert Gynaecologist Dr. Vandna Khera Narula is discussing Dysmenorrhea(Painful periods) and its symptoms, causes, treatment & types. 

What is Dysmenorrhea? 

Dysmenorrhea means painful periods. Or,  pain that occurs in the lower abdomen and pelvic region during the menstrual cycles. It is basically of two kinds:

  1. Primary
  2. Secondary

Primary Dysmenorrhea 

It starts within a year or two with the onset of menarche i.e., puberty when the menstrual cycle in the girls starts. There is no physical cause for primary dysmenorrhea. It is a very common thing, which we see in our day-to-day life amongst young girls. And more commonly it is seen in those girls who get menstrual periods when they are 12 years of age or they are very thin, and they have irregular cycles or very heavy cycles.

Secondary Dysmenorrhea

Then when we come to secondary dysmenorrhea, the reason for this is normally because of some kind of lesion present in the uterus or pelvic organs. The most common amongst them are fibroids, then we have endometriosis and adenomyosis. Then there are some rare causes of dysmenorrhea which is a pelvic inflammatory disease when there is an infection in the uterus and the adjoining organs and rarely carcinoma or IUCD or any other problem. 

Treatment

Now what we discuss is the treatment. When it comes to primary dysmenorrhea the treatment is quite simple.

Primary Dysmenorrhea treatment 

First of all, a very easy treatment for that is taking a hot water bottle. The heating pads can be used. And the advantage of using the heating pad is that it doesn’t have any kind of side effect. It’s very easy and quite an effective means of treating primary dysmenorrhea. 

Then the second line of treatment is the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or mild painkillers. Amongst mild painkillers, we can have paracetamol or Ibuprofen. Primary dysmenorrhea can be treated in the long term by following a good active schedule, an exercise schedule. Maintaining a good active lifestyle and regular exercise routine. And also multivitamins play a role, diet also plays a role. 

Secondary Dysmenorrhea: Diagnosis and Treatment 

It is is concerned, you can diagnose secondary dysmenorrhea by the history of the patient, pelvic examination by a gynaecologist. When the patient comes to us for the checkup we do ultrasonography. And in rare cases whenever you think it’s endometriosis or adenomyosis, we might go for laparoscopy. 

The treatment of secondary dysmenorrhea then depends upon whatever the causes are. It can be a medical or a surgical kind of treatment. Here contraceptive pills also play a role. Because it means pain caused by ovulation. And the hormonal contraceptive pills also inhibit ovulation and play a role in elevating the symptoms of this disease. 

And if you have fibroids or adenomyosis or endometriosis then laparoscopic surgery plays an important role in mitigating the symptoms. Also, we have hormonal IUCDs which can be used for treatment, whatever the causes. 

So, in the end, I would like to conclude. If you have a problem of  this type of pain that occurs during periods, please consult your gynaecologist so that a proper treatment plan can be charted out depending upon the cause.

As I’ve already told you if it’s primary dysmenorrhea you need not worry. Because during the latter half of the life or generally what we say is after childbirth it gets automatically reduced.

And as far as secondary dysmenorrhea is concerned, all the diagnostic procedures are done by the doctor, the ultrasonography or the pelvic examination, the history taking are done by the gynaecologist and the treatment is accordingly advised. And there is no need to worry, you can easily get rid of the symptoms of this disease. 

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