Period pains can be debilitating and affect your ability to carry out day-to-day life. Many people are under the impression that severe period pains are something that just has to be dealt with and ignored as best you can. However, severe period pain can be a sign of something more and deserve to be investigated to help you with treatments to relieve pain and other symptoms. This post will investigate some of the reasons period pain can occur and when to have them investigated. Keep reading to find out more.
When To Investigate Severe Period Pain
Although period pain is a common experience for those who menstruate, there is a certain level at which it can become severe and excessive, and this is not normal. Severe period pain doesn’t just have to be put up with and can be investigated by your doctor to help you find out if you are potentially suffering from a condition that causes excessive pain when you menstruate. So, what are the signs that your period pain could be abnormal?
Firstly, normal period pain should not cause you to be unable to carry out your daily activities. If it’s getting to the point where it’s affecting your day-to-day life, then it can become concerning. Severe period pain may also cause vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhoea. You may also struggle to stand up straight or find that pain killers do not do enough to regulate your pain level. Other signs include very heavy bleeding, such as soaking through pads and tampons within 2 hours or less.
Conditions That Can Cause Severe Period Pain
Although it’s not always the case, severe period pain can sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition. There is a range of different conditions which can cause abnormal period pain and excessive bleeding, and you may require tests to be carried out to find out the root cause of them. Below, we have listed some of the most common conditions associated with severe period pain and the treatments that are usually available to help cope with them.
Endometriosis is perhaps the most common condition associated with abnormal period pains. Recently, there has been more awareness about endometriosis, its signs, and how it affects those having to live with it. Signs of endometriosis include unusually severe period pain, pain during or after intercourse, painful bowel movements, nausea or vomiting and diarrhoea during menstruation, and unusually long and heavy periods. It can also cause issues with conceiving, and sufferers may find they struggle to get pregnant. Endometriosis occurs when tissue that would typically only grow in the lining of the womb begins to build up in other areas such as the fallopian tubes and the ovaries. It is usually treated through contraceptive options such as the progesterone-only pill, the contraceptive injection, and the implant. There are also options for surgery that can be carried out to make endometriosis symptoms far more manageable. This will depend on the specific case of the endometriosis you are experiencing and will require testing.
Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovaries syndrome is a painful condition in which the ovaries develop follicles for eggs to grow in without developing any eggs capable of being fertilised. For this reason, people with PCOS may experience infertility. It is believed that this condition is mostly inherited, so you are more likely to suffer from it if previous members of your family have done so. Apart from painful periods, other signs of PCOS include abnormal hair growth and mood swings due to imbalanced hormones. It is also common to develop type 2 diabetes and obesity with PCOS. There is no cure for PCOS, but there are
treatments available to help relieve symptoms and improve your chances of being able to conceive if you wish to do so, although the treatment you receive will vary depending on your personal situation. Again, contraceptives are a common method to help reduce symptoms as well as medicines such as metformin to help with being able to conceive.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Another potential condition associated with painful periods is pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition occurs when there is an infection of the reproductive system. Symptoms can be similar to a urinary tract infection, such as pain and burning when urinating, pain during intercourse, and developing a fever. However, there can be other symptoms such as bleeding between periods and pain felt deep in the pelvis. It’s important to make sure PID is caught quickly in order to prevent the infection from spreading throughout your body. Treatments for PID include antibiotics to kill off the infection and pain killers to ease the symptoms until the infection has cleared up. As an STI can sometimes cause PID, you may also require treatment to clear up this infection as well.