Period pain is the phrase given for the rather uncomfortable abdominal pain felt by many women at the closing stages of their menstrual cycle and often throughout the duration of the period itself.
Primary dysmenorrhoea is the medical term for the most common kind of painful periods. This occurs due to no specific condition/no underlying problem with the womb (uterus) or pelvis. It is particularly prevalent in teens and women in their 20s.
Primary dysmenorrhoea causes a cramping pain in your lower abdomen (tummy), and the pain may also spread to the lower back and thigh areas.
As well as pain, you might have some other symptoms before or during your period, such as feeling tired, nausea, bloating, headache and diarrhoea. You may also feel more emotional than normal.
Period pain happens when the muscular wall of the womb tightens (contracts). Mild contractions happen continuously and often cannot be felt.
The wall of the womb starts to contract more vigorously during a period to help the womb lining shed as part of your period. When this happens, blood vessels lining the womb are compressed, temporarily cutting off blood and oxygen supply to your womb.
With no oxygen, tissues in the womb emit chemicals that cause pain. As pain-triggering chemicals are released, other chemicals are also released, known as prostaglandins. These chemicals cause the muscles of the womb to contract even more, heightening the pain.
It is unclear why the level of pain varies from one woman to the next. It could simply be some woman have a build-up of prostaglandins, resulting in stronger contractions and more pain.
Most women will experience mild period paid that can be treated at home. Ibuprofen or aspirin may suffice to ease the symptoms of period paid but if those haven’t worked, a stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkiller such as Naproxen or Mefenamic Acid may be required. These specifically target inflammation and can help to ease the pain.
There are numerous self-help measures that you could also try to treat period pain. Exercising may understandably be the last thing on your mind when getting period pain. However, some gentle walking or swimming could help, as could quitting smoking (if you do smoke), taking a warm bath or shower, and putting a heat pad or hot water bottle (wrapped in a tea towel) on your tummy may also reduce period paid.
You should see your own doctor for medical assistance if you experience severe period pain or your normal pattern of periods' changes. For example, if your periods become heavier than usual or irregular, then you should speak to your own doctor.
Tranexamic Acid 500mg tablets is an effective option for women who suffer with heavy periods. The medication helps your blood to clot, which will reduce the bleeding. It comes as a tablet that you take during your period. The medication is an antifibrinolytic medicine and does not comprise of any hormones, making it ideal for those who cannot or do not want to take such medicines. Tranexamic Acid can be ordered online with Medical Specialists® after a short medical questionnaire with our Prescribers.