Periods are hands down the most difficult time of the month. From cramps and mood swings to fatigue and bloating, we have too much on our plate during shark week. While a bearable intensity of these symptoms are a part and parcel of menstruation, in some cases, they can disrupt our lifestyle and throw our schedules off track. Tormenting menstrual pain, for instance, can make it difficult for you to even get out of bed. But before you accept it as a normal period affliction, here’s what you need to know—you could be suffering from secondary dysmenorrhea. Folks, it isn’t to be taken lightly. So here’s all the info on this gynaecological disorder:
What Is Dysmenorrhea?
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful menstruation, typically causing abdominal cramps. It can also be used to describe pain or cramping in your legs and lower back during your period that usually radiate from the pelvic pain. It can be classified as primary and secondary dysmenorrhea and here’s what they mean:
Primary dysmenorrhea refers to the lower abdominal pain that happens during the menstrual cycle which is not associated with other diseases or pathology. This type of menstrual pain is bearable and can be managed with doc-prescribed painkillers and home remedies. Primary dysmenorrhea is a common period affliction and is usually nothing to be worried about.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is a medical term that is used to describe unbearable menstrual pain that disrupts your daily life. This type of pain can make it difficult for you to carry out your day-to-day activities and lead to absenteeism. According to a 2019 study, dysmenorrhea is a common condition affecting more than 80% of women of childbearing age. However, it leads to absenteeism in more than 20% of these women. It isn’t normal as there is usually an underlying health condition to be blamed for it.
Signs & Symptoms Of Secondary Dysmenorrhea
In case of secondary dysmenorrhea, the pain tends to worsen as the period continues and doesn’t not even go away even when your period ends. It may be accompanied by symptoms such as heavy or prolonged bleeding, irregular periods, excessive facial and body hair, acne, hair loss, and hair thinning.
Causes Of Secondary Dysmenorrhea
Folks, menstrual pain in the pelvic area happens due to the contractions in the uterus in order to expel the uterine lining from your body. During your period, hormone-like substances called prostaglandins trigger these contractions. They are also known to cause pain and inflammation in the body. Now, if the level of prostaglandins is higher, it will make you experience more pain. But even though severe menstrual pain is associated with higher levels of prostaglandins, the health conditions mentioned can also be responsible for it:
Endometriosis is the leading cause of secondary dysmenorrhea. It is a condition in which non-cancerous cells that resemble the uterus lining (endometrial cells) grow outside the uterus and can cause severe menstrual cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding, longer or irregular periods, infertility, and gastrointestinal pain. The intense period pain due to it can throw your life off track during your monthlies.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
According to a 2020 report, one in 10 women suffer from PCOS. It is a very common gynaecological disorder that happens due to excess production of androgen (male sex hormone). PCOS can be triggered or aggravated by poor lifestyle and obesity. It can make your periods irregular, heavier or scanty. It can also cause severe menstrual pain, excessive facial and body hair, hair thinning or loss, dark patches on the neck, groin and cheeks, acne, and difficulty in losing weight.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID results from bacterial infection in the female reproductive organs that can be caused due to sexually transmitted infections or otherwise. It leads to extreme pelvic pain, painful intercourse, bleeding during or after sex, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, burning sensation when urinating, fever, and spotting between periods.
Cervical stenosis is a condition in which the opening of the cervix is narrow or completely closed. It prevents menstrual blood from exiting your body and causes intense period pain, irregular periods and fertility issues.
Adenomyosis is characterised by thickening of the uterus when the endometrial tissue (that lines your uterus) grows into the muscles of the uterus. It increases the size of the uterus and makes your periods terribly painful.
How To Manage Severe Period Pain
A healthy period indicates good overall health. However, menstrual disorders like secondary dysmenorrhea is your body’s way of indicating that something is not right. You must not take it lightly and get yourself diagnosed ASAP. In the meantime, you can count on these self-care remedies for some much-needed relief from intense pain:
Applying heat on your lower abdomen and back with the help of a heat patch or a hot water bottle can help you a great deal. It lowers inflammation and alleviates pain.
Massaging your abdomen with a calming essential oil like lavender or fennel seed oil can help relax the muscles in the area. It also boosts blood circulation and lowers inflammation, thereby relieving pain naturally.
Herbed Teas To The Rescue
Sipping on ginger, chamomile, and cinnamon teas can help you battle secondary dysmenorrhea. These herbs have a calming, anti-inflammatory effect and provide relief from menstrual pain.
Secondary dysmenorrhea can make it difficult for you to get out of bed. But if you can manage to do a few stretches on your bed itself, it can promote blood circulation and relieve pain. If possible, try to squeeze in a 20-30-minute slow walk. It’ll make you feel much better.
Have Some Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which helps relax muscles and ease aches. It can satisfy your period-dessert cravings while lowering abdominal pain.
Sirona Recommends Best Products To Manage Secondary Dysmenorrhea
Sirona Feminine Pain Relief Patch
You can count on Sirona’s Feminine Pain Relief Patch to reduce unbearable period pain. Sticking this sleek patch can provide instant relief minus any side-effects. That’s because it is made with natural pain-relieving ingredients like menthol and eucalyptus oil. It is easy to carry and stays effective for eight-ten hours.
Sirona Pain-Relief Heat Patch
Made with 100% natural ingredients, the Pain Relief Heat Patch By Sirona is a safe and hassle-free alternative to alleviate unbearable period pain. Sticking this patch on your abdomen can work like a soothing balm. These portable wonders can provide heat relief for up to eight hours straight and can be disposed of easily after each use. No hot-water-bottle hassles involved!
Sirona Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On
The Sirona Cramp Relief Roll On can be used on your lower back, abdomen, and legs. Packed with all-natural ingredients like lavender oil, clove oil, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, it helps relieve pain even while you’re on the go. It’s calming aroma helps relax your muscles and the smooth roll-on application makes it convenient to use.
Electric Hot Water Bag
Sirona’s Electric Hot Water Bag is a blessing in disguise for those dealing with severe period pain. It comes with an automatic temperature control and a quick-charging feature. It eliminates the need for heating water and filling it up into the hot water bottle every few hours. All you’ve got to do is to charge it once for 7-12 minutes and tada! It helps relax your muscles, lowers inflammation, and relieves pain.
Even though these period aids and home remedies can help you battle the intense pain, secondary dysmenorrhea requires medical intervention. So do visit your gynae if you experience tormenting pain during your periods. Take care!
Featured Image: Pexels
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