What if I have painful periods?

Menstruation is a natural process in a woman's body. But what if it happens to be always painful or brings a lot of discomfort? Is it normal and what to do in this case? We asked these questions and more obstetrician gynecologist of highest category Ilona Turabayeva.

You can also read this article in Russian (на русском языке).

Is having painful periods normal or not?
It is not normal.
There could be many reasons but the most widespread is – hormonal dysfunction.
— Ilona Turabayeva, obstetrician gynecologist of highest category, "CAM Delicat" clinic
Hormonal dysfunction is mainly observed in young girls, who just started menstruating. In this case, mothers have to not only explain how everything works but also make sure that the process is going right to see if their daughters are not experiencing extreme pain.

Unfortunately, not a lot of girls consult regarding painful periods. Especially girls going through puberty. Most of the time they are being told by their mothers that "It is okay that it hurts", "It will stop being painful once you grow up". But thanks to social media these issues are being discussed right now and more people get valuable information.
— Ilona Turabayeva, obstetrician gynecologist of highest category, "CAM Delicat" clinic
During the first year of menstruation it is considered to be not established yet, and girls may experience:

– Changes of time between periods

– Irregularity

– Losing more blood than usual

If all of these symptoms last for longer than a year it is crucial to visit doctor.

Do not attempt to find "your own cure" or do something that your neighbor, friend or even mother suggests because everyone has different health issues with different cures that only professionals can prescribe.
Is using heating pad a reasonable cure?
It absolutely is not. Heating lower pelvis is bad for everyone because it speeds up blood circulation. When the reasons for experiencing pain is unknown intensive blood circulation might make things worse and lead to further complications.

For example, if a girl has appendicitis and she uses the heating pad to "get rid of the pain" it will lead to the development of peritonitis (complication of appendicitis). 

Can physical activity during period affect the pain levels?
Yes, it can. It is recommended to stop any kind of power/weightlifting exercises because it may lead to amplification of the period pain. However, you don't have to stop working out completely, just reducing your usual exercise routine will do.

Should I endure the pain or is it better to take a painkiller?
Taking painkillers is better but you have to remember that taking painkillers for a long time will harm your health. Especially if you have health problems with gastrointestinal tract. It is more of an emergency and one-time reserve. Some of the recommended painkillers are:

•Drotaverine ("No-Spa")


•Non-steroidal painkillers like Ketoprofen


How to know the difference between actual pain and discomfort (because everyone has different pain tolerance levels)?
It is true that periods are never comfortable. There is always some kind of discomfort that is normal, for instance:

– Mild pain in the lower stomach

– Bloating

– Rise of the body temperature until 37 C

Everyone has a different pain tolerance. But periods are not supposed to make you unable to function as usual. If a woman is unable to get up from her bed without taking a painkiller or she can't get herself ready for the day without the meds, or if the pain is accompanied by diarrhea, headache or constipation – it is in fact painful period and a problem that has to be resolved. 

PMS – reality or a myth?
Of course PMS took a shape of some kind of a joke, especially because it is used as an insult. But PMS does exist and it may affect the way woman acts. PMS is connected to the hormonal changes that happen throughout the whole menstrual cycle, especially that happen before menstrual cycle with high hormone release followed by abrupt drop.

PMS may develop in different forms:

– Mood swings

– Increased appetite

– Changes in stool

If PMS affects a woman a lot she has to go to the doctors because PMS is a change in hormones but whether or not the changes are «right» can only be assessed by the professional. 

How does birth control pills affect pain experience during periods?
If a woman is on birth control it results comfortable, not painful, and not abundant periods. But only doctor can determine the type of birth control pills and the need to use them (especially for those who don't have sex life).

We would like to thank Ilona Turabayeva, obstetrician gynecologist of highest category, "CAM Delicat" clinic

Illustrations by Roman Zakharov


Читать также: