Women of any age can experience painful periods, though you're more likely to get them when you are younger.
Some women report their periods are no longer painful after they've had children, while some women don't get period pain at all.
What are the symptoms of period pain?
The most common period pain symptoms are abdominal cramps. They can start the day before your period starts and last for one to three days, though timings may vary from period to period.
The pain will generally be in your lower belly area, and can spread to your back and thighs. Some people feel a constant, dull ache while others get sharp twinges. We are all different.
Here are some other things you may experience during your period:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dizziness and fainting
- Diarrhoea or constipation
- Tender breasts and a swollen abdomen
Given this cocktail of unpleasant feelings, it's surprising how many young women do not seek medical advice for painful periods, or receive inadequate treatment. Many high school girls appear to be unaware of the treatment options available.
What are the causes of period pain?
You may have come across the term primary dysmenorrhoea, which is the technical name for period pain. The condition is caused by the contractions of your uterus (womb) as it dislodges its lining every month, as well as the reduced blood flow to the area.
The natural chemicals in your body that trigger periods are called prostaglandins. Some scientists believe that if you experience pain, you may have higher levels of these hormone-like substances.
It is also thought that women who get period pain may be more sensitive to pain in general.
How can I relieve period pain?
Naturally, every woman would love to know how to get rid of period pain. If only it were that simple.
Here are some tips to help make your life a little easier:
- Try taking strong period pain medication such as Voltaren Rapid 25 Tablets
- Do some low impact activities, such as swimming or cycling
- Hold something warm, such as a hot water bottle, against your belly
- Do stretching exercises, such as yoga (which has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of period pain or Pilates)
- Experiment with relaxation techniques such as meditation
- Massage your belly gently
As with most body matters, it's also a good idea to pay attention to your general health and fitness.
When should I see a doctor?
It's a good idea to talk to your doctor or gynaecologist about any pain you're experiencing, and how best to manage it.
If your period is more painful than usual or lasts longer, or you experience bleeding and/or pain between periods, irregular periods, or pain during sex, you should definitely see your doctor.
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