Dysmenorrhea: Causes and Treatment

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There are many different menstrual disorders that can result in pain, irritability, and even more serious problems, including dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps. If you are suffering from any type of menstrual pain, it is in your best interest to seek the help of a physician. He or she will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem and offer you a series of treatments or solutions to improve your quality of life. A normal menstrual cycle is different for every woman, but it shouldn’t be debilitating or causing issues in your daily life.

Dysmenorrhea Causes 

Since menstrual disorders encompass a wide variety of different problems, diseases, or conditions, there are different causes you have to take into consideration. Many of these issues are caused by hormones or other simple problems. Cramping can also be caused by more serious health problems. Some of the common causes include:

Dysmenorrhea Symptoms

There are many different symptoms you may experience when you suffer from a menstrual disorder. You may have unusually heavy or long periods or miss your period altogether. You could also experience mild to severe pain in your lower abdomen while menstruating. It’s important to tell your doctor about all your symptoms, so he or she can provide you with the most accurate diagnosis possible. In most cases, dysmenorrhea is a symptom itself. Some other common symptoms experienced with dysmenorrhea include:

Dysmenorrhea Diagnosis

You need to visit your doctor to get a diagnosis for your dysmenorrhea. Your physician will ask you a series of questions to help them pinpoint the issue. From that point, you will probably have a pelvic exam, where the doctor will inspect your reproductive organs to ensure that they are not inflamed or have other issues. If your doctor thinks the issues you are experiencing may be hormonal, he or she might order bloodwork to take a look at your hormone levels. You may also undergo an endometrial biopsy, an ultrasound, or a hysteroscopy. Doctors may use a variety of tests to help diagnose the cause of the dysmenorrhea. Some of these tests include:

  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • X-ray
  • Laparoscopy

Dysmenorrhea Treatment

The recommended treatment for your dysmenorrhea will largely depend on the cause of the issue. Your doctor may prescribe birth control or take you off it if you are currently taking it. Antibiotics may be used if you are suffering from pelvic inflammatory disease. Ask your physician about the best treatment options for your specific condition. Some other common treatments include pain medication and, in some cases, surgery.

Dysmenorrhea Prognosis

Most dysmenorrhea can be treated, and some may go away on its own. Other, more serious issues may result in infertility, so it’s important to get a clear understanding of what you are facing with your menstrual cramping. While some may continue to suffer from pain every month, most people with menstrual disorders can live full and fulfilling lives.