One of the most annoying things during menstruation is the abdominal pain it causes, which is often also called painful menstruation or stomach cramps. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, most women experience discomfort during menstruation, and more than half of them experience pain before menstruation or the first few days of menstruation.
Usually, abdominal pain during menstruation is normal. However, if the pain experienced is excessive, even causing you to skip work or college, or make it difficult for you to move, it might be caused by other more serious causes.
Dysmenorrhea, normal abdominal pain occurs during menstruation
Painful menstruation is commonly known as dysmenorrhea. Some of the symptoms of dysmenorrhea include cramping or lower abdominal pain, pain in the lower back, deep thighs felt withdrawn, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness.
For some people, dysmenorrhea can disappear in a short time, even without treatment. However, there are also those who have to take certain medications to reduce pain due to dysmenorrhea. In fact, there are also those who still experience dysmenorrhea even though they have taken medication.
People who are under 20 years old, have a family history of dimesnorrhea, have smoking habits, irregular menstrual cycles, experience first menstruation before age 11, and often experience heavy bleeding during menstruation are people who are at high risk of dysmenorrhea.
Causes of menstrual abdominal pain
Abdominal pain during menstruation occurs due to contractions in the uterus or uterus. This uterine muscle contraction is triggered by the hormone prostaglandin, which levels will increase just before menstruation begins.
If during the menstrual cycle there is a contraction that is too strong, it can suppress the nearby blood vessels, so that it can cut off the oxygen supply into the uterus. As a result, low levels of oxygen in the uterus can cause pain and cramping.
However, not all causes of abdominal pain during menstruation are caused by the normal process during menstruation. There are times, there are other causes that underlie the pain you feel in the stomach during menstruation. The following are some of the causes of menstrual pain that often occur:
- Syndrome premenstrual (PMS) . This syndrome normally occurs one to two weeks before menstruation begins and usually disappears after menstruation occurs.
- Endometriosis. Medical conditions that occur because cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other parts of the body, usually in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or tissues that line the pelvis, causing pain.
- Fibroid womb . A non-cancerous tumor that can put pressure on the uterus or cause abnormal menstrual pain.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs. This infection will cause pain and cause inflammation in the reproductive organs.
- Adenomyosis . It is a rare condition in which the uterine lining grows into the wall of the uterine muscle and can be painful because it causes swelling and pressure.
- Cervical narrowing . It is a rare condition in which the cervix is so small that it slows menstrual flow, causing an increase in pressure in the uterus causing pain.
How to prevent and treat abdominal pain during menstruation?
To reduce menstrual pain, you need adequate rest, avoid caffeine and alcohol, avoid foods that contain lots of salt, exercise regularly, or massage the lower back and abdomen. You can also compress your lower back or stomach with a towel dipped in warm water or with a bottle filled with warm water.
Or, you can take painkillers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin to relieve the pain that is experienced. You can drink it immediately after menstruation or when abdominal pain begins to feel. However, if these things do not also help you reduce pain during menstruation, you need to consult a doctor to get the right treatment.
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