Is It Normal To Have Painful Periods?

Is It Normal To Have Painful Periods?

Yes, it is normal to have painful periods; most women experience it at some point in their life. Painful periods are also known as dysmenorrhea. Most of the time painful periods is nothing to be worried about and it’s a normal thing in most women.

Dysmenorrhea can be divided in to two types: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.

Primary Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea initiate with the onset of menarche or few years after menarche when the menstrual cycles become ovulatory and continues with each menstrual period.

Usually affect the teenage adolescents and it’s common than the secondary dysmenorrhea. The characteristic complaint is cramping pain starts one or two days prior to the menstruation and persists for 1-2 days after initiation of menstruation. The pain is spasmodic and colicky in nature.

The exact cause is unknown, but its probably due to the release of prostaglandins. When fertilization hasn’t occurred the inner lining of the uterus breaks down and pass out along with blood as menstruation. This breakdown starts few days before menstruation and uterine muscles contract to expel menstrual blood. Prostaglandins are secreted by the lining of the uterus and it contract the uterine muscles more vigorously which causes pain. Prostaglandins are also responsible for other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and headache. However, the exact reason why some women experience severe pain with other symptoms and why some women only experience mild or no pain is not known. The reason may be more prostaglandin is released in women who experience severe pain.

Primary dysmenorrhea is a normal phenomenon and you don’t have to be scared about it. It’s a normal mechanism that occur in every women’s body, it’s just some women experience it more and some don’t. When the uterine muscle contract and relax there is mild pain which is usually not felt much or you might feel mild cramps in the lower abdomen. But if the uterine muscles contract and relax vigorously the pain can be felt more. If pain is unbearable and affect your day to day activities you need to consult a doctor and get proper treatment for it.

Secondary Dysmenorrhea

This is less common and secondary dysmenorrhea affect older women. This starts years after normal painless menstruation. Pain usually starts before the menstrual bleeding and subside with bleeding or pain starts couple of days after bleeding starts. This occur due to a pelvic pathology like adenomyosis, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, intrauterine device and pelvic inflammatory disease.

The cause for secondary dysmenorrhea needs to be identified and the cause should be treated. After successful treatment you will not experience menstrual pain.

Risk Factors For Painful Periods

If you are in the following circumstances you are at increased risk of having painful periods.

  • Menarche at a younger age (before 11 years)
  • Heave menstrual bleeding
  • Overweight or obese
  • Smoking
  • Never been pregnant

Summary

Yes, it is normal to have painful periods, most women experience it at some point in their lives. Painful periods are also known as dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea can be divided in to two types: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is a normal phenomenon, usually affect the younger women and you don’t have to be scared about it. Some women experience more pain and some do not. When the uterine muscle contract and relax there is mild pain which is usually not felt much or you might feel mild cramps in the lower abdomen. But if the uterine muscles contract and relax vigorously due to the effects of prostaglandin the pain is severe. It is believed that the severity of pain is directly proportional to the number of prostaglandins released. Secondary dysmenorrhea is less common and affect older women This occur due to a pelvic pathology like adenomyosis, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, intrauterine device and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Also Read:

Was this article helpful?

Yes No
×

Suggestions to Improve the Article

This article contains incorrect information.

This article does not have the information I am looking for.


I Have a Medical Question.

Ask A Doctor Now

If you are facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest ER or urgent care facility
×

Suggestions to Improve the Article

×

How Did This Article Help?

This Article Did Change My Life!


I Have a Medical Question.

Ask A Doctor Now

If you are facing a medical emergency, call your local emergency services immediately, or visit the nearest ER or urgent care facility
×

Thank you for your feedback.