Difference between Normal and Abnormal Period Pain in Women

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Abnormal Period Pain

A surprising fact to note here is that almost 50% of women in India have irregular periods with acute menstrual cramps due to various medical conditions. 

The pain that you have during your regular period is known as dysmenorrhea. Although it looks dangerous, it is completely natural and normal. When you feel menstrual cramps other than your regular menstruation, then you need to be alarmed as this can be due to some other reason. Want to know more about the underlying conditions that can cause severe abnormal pain? Continue reading as we talk about each one of them one by one. 

Conditions That Can Cause Abnormal Period Pain

Before talking about the different conditions, you should know the factors that can put you at risk of abnormal pain in your pelvic region-

  • Having a family history of painful periods
  • Having an irregular period
  • Being under the age of 20
  • Reaching puberty before the age of 11

The pain that you are suffering from other than the time of periods, can be due to the following conditions. 

  • Endometriosis— Research reveals that an astonishing 10.8 million women around the globe suffer from endometriosis with one-third of women struggling to conceive. Some symptoms include mid-cycle pain during ovulation, constipation and bloating, shoulder pain or difficulty in breathing. If you have any of these symptoms and medications have not helped, it is recommended to undergo a laparoscopic treatment.
  • Fibroids—Fibroids are benign or malignant tumors that develop on the inner lining of the uterus. Generally, fibroids are not cancerous and very few of them are malignant. These can cause pain or heavy bleeding. Laparoscopy is recommended by gynecologists to remove them.
  • Ovarian cyst—Some women have cysts which are sac-like structures that are filled with a liquid or semi-solid substance that develop on the ovaries. The cysts tend to go away without treatment. But if they do not, ob-gyn suggests getting the cysts removed with laparoscopy. The laparoscopic treatment has proven to be more successful than traditional open surgeries. 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease- This is a type of infection in the pelvic region which includes the fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix and the uterus. The infection can be caused due to the entry of bacteria that causes gonorrhea and chlamydia. This can turn out to be fatal if left untreated for long hence, see your doctor immediately.
  • Adenomyosis- It is a condition in which there is encroachment or movement of the endometrial tissue into the uterine muscles. Along with pain during your menstrual cycle, it can also cause heavier or longer menstrual bleeding. 

Getting Treatment For Abnormal Period Pain

A hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus. It can also involve the removal of the cervix, fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs. Depending on the diagnosis of the disease combined with the physiology, doctors can recommend you any one of the following- 

  • Abdominal hysterectomy- An abdominal hysterectomy is open surgery. In this surgery, a surgeon makes a 5- to 7-inch incision, around the belly. The surgeon then takes out the uterus through this incision. After an abdominal hysterectomy, a woman generally spends 2-3 days in the hospital. These are not opted by women because there is a visible scar at the location of the incision.
  • Vaginal hysterectomy- In this procedure, the doctor will make a cut in the vagina and the uterus is removed through this incision. 

Laparoscopy is generally used to look for the cause of chronic pelvic pain, infertility, or a pelvic mass in females. Laparoscopy or key-hole surgery is also used by surgeons to diagnose and treat the following medical conditions.

To Minimize Complications Before/After Surgery

Generally, doctors suggest two different sets of instructions that need to be followed by women who are undergoing laparoscopic treatment- 

  • Pre-surgery instructions
  • Post-surgery instructions 

Tips to be followed before the surgery-

Here are some of the instructions advised by a doctor that people must follow before going under-the-knife.  

  • Prior to the surgery, doctors recommend not to eat or drink any food or fluids as an empty stomach lowers the risks of general anesthesia. 
  • Before the surgery begins, avoid consumption of vitamins, natural supplements, analgesics that may contain aspirin as these tend to thin the blood which increases the risk of hemorrhage
  • It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing for physical ease and relaxation. Doctors recommend especially silk clothes so that it is less irritable and allows to slip out of bed easily
  • If a patient who is about to undergo a laparoscopic surgery have hemorrhoids, it is suggested to keep over-the-counter medicines such as gels, lotions, or medicated creams handy.

Also Read: What does Spotting instead of Period Indicate?

Tips to be followed after the surgery-

After the procedure, it is natural to feel tired and has some discomfort after laparoscopic treatment. Sometimes you may find sore around the incisions made in the abdominal area and navel. Feeling pain in the shoulder or back is very common. This pain is due to the remaining small amount of carbon dioxide that is being inserted during the procedure in the abdomen. It goes away on its own within a few hours or days. For a steady and faster recovery, doctors provide their patients with a set of instructions so that they can resume their daily activities as soon as possible. Some of them are mentioned below-

  • After treatment, wounds need to be taken care of. Hence, keep a pillow or sweater between car seat-belt and the abdomen helps to reduce pressure on wounds
  • Sometimes after laparoscopic surgery, you may feel nauseated. It is recommended to carry a bag or bowl whenever you are traveling. 
  • To relieve gas pain that is caused due to the trapped carbon-dioxide which was inserted through a cannula, drinking peppermint tea helps. 
  • Consume broths or soups for a day or two.  Gradually shift towards the consumption of high-fiber foods such as pears, bananas, carrots, red or white kidney beans, whole-wheat pasta or bread is advised. Green, leafy vegetables that are filled with antioxidants should be incorporated in the diet plan. This allows smoother bowel movements and lowers the chances of constipation. 
  • Drink 1.5 – 2 liters of water daily so that it aids in eliminating traces of anemia as well as prevent constipation
  • Avoid trans and saturated fats like fats found in butter, margarine, salad dressing, fried foods, snack foods or sweets. Instead of regular oil, prepare food in vegetable oils such as olive oil or peanut oil which are good fats. 
  • Within 24 hours of surgery, start taking small walks to the bathroom or around the bed. This helps in speeding up the recovery process. It might seem exhausting at the beginning but eventually, it gets easier. 

Conclusion

Now you know that abnormal periods pain can be caused due to a number of medical factors. The doctor can help you detect the exact cause so that you are able to go back to your regular cycle. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and avoid stress in any way possible. If you feel that the cramps you are having are out of the way, then seek professional help as soon as possible!