Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrheal refers to dull abdominal pains that women experience just before their menses. In many cases these pains will proceed during menses. The extent of pain will differ from one lady to another. While some experience the cramps as a mere discomfort, some experience pain severe enough to have them hospitalized. Cramps during menses can be the result of underlying medical conditions such as fibroids in the uterus as well as endometriosis. It is important to find out the root cause of the problem as this will help determine the appropriate course of treatment.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-93qWK5uZM”]
In some cases, menstrual cramps are not caused by any particular thing, and for such ladies, the intensity of the cramps will usually reduce as they grow older. Some women will attest to the fact that the pains decrease following child birth. Whichever the case, cramps are characterized by a number of symptoms as described below.
- A throbbing pain in the lower part of your abdomen.
- This pain usually extends to the lower back as well as the thighs.
Other than the pain, cramps in women will experience the following symptoms:
- Nausea and in extreme cases, vomiting.
Ideally, menstrual cramps following the onset of menses are not any cause for worry. If, however, the pain is debilitating so that it comes in the way of day-to-day activities, you need to see a physician.
What causes cramps?
During menses, the uterus undergoes contractions in a bid to get rid of the lining. Substances known as prostaglandins are released to mediate these contractions. These substances are known as prostaglandins and are responsible for the pain that women feel. It is believed that the higher the concentration of prostaglandins the greater the menstrual pain. Studies that have been conducted indicate that these contractions are akin to constriction of blood vessels that nourish the uterus. Below are the conditions that also cause cramps.
- Pelvic Inflammatory disease, abbreviated PID is an infection that affects the female reproductive organs and is as a result of bacteria.
- Fibroids are growths that develop in the uterine wall and grow in the walls of the uterus. This growth formation contributes significantly to heavy menses and painful cramps.
- Cervical stenosis is yet another condition that causes menstrual cramps. This condition occurs when the cervical opening is so tiny that it hampers the proper flow of menstrual blood resulting in accumulated pressure in the uterine cavity.
Menstrual cramps are diagnosed in different ways, especially when your doctor suspects that there is an underlying cause of the pain. Some of these techniques include ultrasound, MRI- magnetic resonance imaging-, hysterectopy as well as laparoscopy. Treatment for cramps will vary from one individual to another depending on the severity of the condition. Some options that your physician may recommend include: analgesics which are non-steroidal, select birth control methods as well as surgical intervention. It is important to ensure that one gets checked on time.