Period pains are common but women and people who have periods experience them differently. It lasts for a couple days and is usually worse on your heaviest days.
Common pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS)
Changes in your bowel movements such as constipations or diarrhoea
What causes period pain?
During menstruation the muscular wall of the uterus contracts to help the lining shed as a pregnancy has not occurred. The contractions compress blood vessels which cut off the blood supply for short periods of time and stop oxygen. This results in the tissue of the uterus releasing a chemical which cause pain. The body produces another chemical to cause stronger contractions in the uterus which cause further intensify the pain.
However, every person who has periods experiences period pain differently. Some don't have pain, whereas others experience high levels of pain.
Treating period pain
If painkillers, hot water bottles and comfort don't help your pain levels you may need to seek professional support.
You could be prescribed a contraceptive to thin the womb lining and reduces the amount of prostaglandin your body releases, and therefore experience less pain. However, if your period pain is severe and at home and contraceptive treatment is not working you may be referred to a consultant gynaecologist.
Specialist treatment for period pain
If your period pain is severe and consistent then you may be referred for tests to investigate if you have an underlying medical condition causing the pain.
Gynaecological conditions that cause period pain
This is when your uterus contracts stronger that normal and can cause lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
When cells similar to the ones lining the uterus grow in other places and cause pain and inflammation when they shed as there is no where for the blood to go.
When tissue that lines the uterus grows within the muscular wall of the uterus, causing pain
Pelvic inflammatory disease
A bacterial infection which caused inflammation and pain
Non cancerous tumours in the uterus which can cause heavy painful periods
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