Abdominal pain during periods is a very common issue affecting 40-70% of women in the reproductive age group. In medical terms we call this as dysmenorrhoea.
This is associated with significant psychological, physical, behavioral and social distress. Usually it starts at the onset of periods and gets relieved once flow starts. The exact cause is not known. Sometimes it may be a result of fibroids (lumps), endometriosis, infections etc. In these cases, we have to first treat the cause along with pain killers to relieve pain.
Our women traditionally have been programmed to bear with pain instead of seeking ways to relieve pain. This attitude is prevalent even among the educated and more aware, progressive women of our society. As a result of this, there is a compromise in daily functioning, creativity and productivity which manifests as social withdrawal, school and college absenteeism, frequent sick leave at workplace etc. (Know how to delay or postpone menstrual periods for a week?)
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle i.e., balanced diet, physical activity, mental relaxation etc will improves the ability to cope with pain. Painkillers can be taken as advised by your gynecologist after consultation. Non hormonal preparations are tried first. As a second line hormonal preparations are available.
Treating the cause is as important as treating the pain. In intractable situations surgery may be the last resort.
PMS - Premenstrual Syndrome:
Premenstrual Syndrome- PMS is a collection of physical and emotional symptoms that can occur in the two weeks before you have your period. These symptoms usually get better once your period starts and often disappear by the end of your period.
Nearly all women have some premenstrual symptoms. Each woman’s symptoms are different but the most common symptoms include:
Most women do not have all these symptoms, only certain ones. Sometimes the symptoms are the same each month and sometimes they are different. The symptoms form a pattern over time. To assess the severity of your symptoms and to make a diagnosis, your doctor will ask you to fill a symptom diary.
In the first instance you can take some positive steps to try and improve your symptoms by taking more exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet – (Decrease sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol and increase fruit and vegetables). Finding ways to reduce stress & talking with your friend or partner someone else you trust also will helps.
5–10% women get PMS which is severe enough to prevent them from getting on with their daily lives.
A very small number of women get a more intense form of PMS, known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which can be treated with medicines.Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018