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Menstrual  Cramps

About Menstrual Cramps

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for menstrual cramps or pain during a woman’s period. Dysmenorrhea is classified into two types: primary and secondary.Primary dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual cramps that occur repeatedly and are not caused by other diseases.On the other hand, secondary dysmenorrhea occurs when you have painful periods as a result of a disorder or infection in your female reproductive organs.

What Causes Menstrual Cramps?

Menstrual cramps occur when a chemical known as prostaglandin causes the uterus to contract (tighten up). During your menstrual cycle, the uterus, the muscular organ where a fetus grows, contracts. The uterus contracts more strongly during menstruation. If the uterus contracts too tightly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the oxygensupply to muscle tissue. When a portion of the muscle temporarily loses its supply of oxygen, you experience pain.

Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps

Aching abdominal pain which may be severe (like cramps) at times.
Other Symptoms
Other symptoms may include pressure in the abdomen, pain in the hips, lower back and inner thighs and diarrhoea.

A Message About Menstrual Cramp

Menstrual cramps may be perceived as part of being a woman. It need not be so. Menstrual pain can be well controlled with NSAIDs medication. Simple paracetamol can be also effective for this inflammatory type of pain.

Regular exercise can alleviate the symptoms of menstrual pain. Cardio conditioning exercises will improve blood supply to the uterus and reduce the smooth muscle contraction during menstruation.

Before brushing off as primary dysmenorrhea, persistent monthly menstrual pain should be evaluated for secondary causes such as fibroids, cysts and endometriosis. Chronic pelvic congestion syndrome may be a cause of persistent menstrual pain too.

Diagnosing Menstrual Cramps

Here at Singapore Paincare, our team of experienced primary care doctors, pain care specialists, andanobstetrician-gynaecologist will evaluate your condition. This includes reviewing your symptoms and menstrual cycles and a pelvic exam. The doctors may recommend further testing, such as an ultrasound or laparoscopy if they suspect secondary dysmenorrhea.

What Treatments Are Available for Menstrual Cramps?

In many instances, non-surgical treatment methods can provide excellent outcomes. At Singapore Paincare, we strive to treat your pain with the least invasive option possible after accurately identifying the cause. Our pain resolution approach focuses on removing pain generators via specialised injection and minimally invasive procedures. Combined with pharmacological treatments, cognitive and physical rehabilitative therapies. We help patients to improve their functionality and prevent pain from recurring.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Menstrual Cramp

Analgesic or Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Analgesic drugs or NSAIDs are effective in eliminating the pain caused by endometriosis, this includes paracetamol and ibuprofen. Newer COX inhibitors are potent anti-inflammatories with fewer gastric side effects.
Hormone Therapy
Secondary dysmenorrhea like endometriosis will require the use of hormone drugs to re-adjust the body to its original functionality. This includes specific drugs such as progestins or combined hormonal contraceptives. This is a line of treatment that directly addresses the condition by inhibiting ovulation.

Apart from NSAIDS, our physicians and specialists offer medications to improve menstrual cramps such as antidepressants and anti-convulsant. These medications act to reduce the nerve sensitivity of the pain nerve fibers, thereby reducing the pain intensity and improving muscle relaxation.

Menstrual cramps may also be treated with oral contraceptive pills as it prevents ovulation or progestin-only pills which are used for secondary dysmenorrhea.

Surgical Treatment for menstrual Cramp

Surgical treatments are not used for menstrual cramps.

How Can I Prevent Menstrual Cramps?

While you can’t totally avoid having menstrual cramps, having a balanced healthy diet and exercising regularly may help you from having intense menstrual cramps.

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