Most women feel pain during menstruation.
This pain is similar to a muscle spasm that spreads from the abdomen to the back, thighs and legs and to other parts of the body. Like sometimes a sudden pain arises in some part of our body, but this pain is more severe than that.
Women may also complain of nausea, diarrhea and headache during this time.
The truth is that the intensity and location of menstrual pain can vary from woman to woman.
Why do you feel pain during menstruation?
Dr Katie Vincent, who researches pain at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Women’s Reproductive Health, told the BBC that ’30 to 50 per cent of women complain of menstrual cramps. When women menstruate, the uterus contracts to allow blood to flow out.
“Dizziness during this time, which is usually associated with the passage of a blood clot, is actually caused by the opening of the cervix to allow the clot to pass through and further contraction.”
Inflammation is also complained of during menstruation. The tissues of the uterus release a chemical that increases pain, and at the same time, the body releases prostaglandins, a chemical that increases during the menstrual cycle.
Prostaglandins are actually fatty compounds that are made in cells and have a variety of functions in the body.
During menstruation, for example, it causes uterine fibroids to contract, and it also causes reactive inflammation that causes pain.
Prostaglandins are not hormones, but they are very similar to hormones.
“We think prostaglandins may actually be the cause of increased inflammation and pain during menstruation,” says Dr. Vincent.
What is the purpose of inflammation and pain?
“Inflammation also has a number of benefits,” explains Vincent. When you’re injured, inflammation occurs, which helps the tissues heal and makes you feel that there’s pain so you can protect the area and the wound heals quickly. ‘
This is a very important step through which the body gives itself a chance to heal itself.
That’s why the pain and muscle cramps during menstruation are actually caused by prostaglandins to give the uterus a chance to fully heal and get rid of all the fluid it contains.
However, the problem arises when this flow becomes severe.
When should you worry about menstrual cramps?
Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers are prescribed for women who experience pain during menstruation.
However, many times menstrual pain is caused by a pre-existing medical problem. One of these disorders is known as uterine fibroids, also called fibroids, which are non-cancerous growths that grow in and around the uterus and cause menstrual pain.
Menstrual pain can also be caused by Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
PID is often caused by bacteria that are transmitted during sex, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Having sex with someone who has both of these infections can lead to PID.
Menstrual cramps can also often be caused by an intrauterine device, which is commonly used for contraception and is inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
However, the most important cause of this pain is endometriosis.
According to the US National Institutes of Health, possible causes of painful periods may include:
- An intrauterine device (IUD) made of copper
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- A sexually transmitted infection
What is endometriosis?
Andrew Horne, professor of gynecology and reproductive science at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, explained to the BBC: ‘We describe endometriosis as the presence of tissue from the lining of the uterus to the endometrium outside the uterus. . Such as the presence of tissue in the lower abdomen, ovaries, urinary tract or intestines.
In addition to pain, six to 10 percent of women experience difficulties during pregnancy due to this disorder.
Nothing is clear about what causes endometriosis, but it has a profound impact on the lives of affected women.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the impact of endometriosis,” says Andrew Horne. It is a very painful disease. However, our knowledge about why this disease causes pain is limited.
According to experts, the most important problem related to this disease is that it is difficult to diagnose.
“The symptoms of endometriosis are usually dismissed because they are assumed to be normal during the menstrual cycle,” he says.
Another problem is that endometriosis has the same symptoms as other disorders like IBS, PBS. Therefore, it is not easy to diagnose this disease.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
The most common symptom in this regard is the complaint of pain in the ‘pelvis’ during menstruation, however, this pain can arise outside of menstruation, such as during defecation, urination or sex.
Endometriosis cannot be diagnosed with a scan or blood test. Only laparoscopy can be done to confirm this disease.
This is a surgery in which the doctor makes a small cut in your abdomen and inserts an instrument called a laparoscope to look for endometriosis inside the pelvic cavity.
Endometriosis is an incurable disease and there are only a few methods that can be used to alleviate the symptoms.
Endometrial growths can be removed with surgery or a hysterectomy to remove the uterus. Apart from this, hormonal treatment is also done.
However, the goal of endometriosis research is to find a cure for the disorder, a drug or treatment that can stop the disease or at least relieve the pain.