Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period.。
- Primary dysmenorrhoea – cramps usually begin one to two years after a woman starts getting her period and no gynaecological disorder can be found
- Secondary dysmenorrhoea – is pain caused by a disorder in the woman’s reproductive organs. Conditions that can cause secondary dysmenorrhea include:
- Endometriosis – a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus (endometrium) is found outside of the uterus
- Adenomyosis – a condition where the lining of the uterus grows into the muscle of the uterus.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease – an infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs
- Stenosis (narrowing) of the cervix, often caused by scarring
- Fibroids or growths on the inner wall of the uterus
If you have severe or unusual menstrual cramps or cramps that last for more than two or three days, please consult your doctor. Both primary and secondary menstrual cramps can be treated, so it’s important to get checked. A detailed history with physical examination and pelvic ultrasound scan will be performed.
Symptomatic treatment starts with simple analgesics. If pain persists, stronger analgesics will be prescribed. If these are not effective, hormonal therapy for example oral contraceptive may decrease dysmenorrheal symptoms. For intractable pain laparoscopy (key hole surgery) may be needed to look for the cause and treat accordingly.
Your doctor will discuss with you about the treatment options.