Period pain is pain that occurs during menstruation. The medical term is dysmenorrhea. Periodic pain is one of the cycle disorders. The pain during menstruation sometimes varies considerably. From easy pulling to strong abdominal cramps, anything is possible. 15 to 25% of all gynecological patients seek out the practice because of menstrual pain.
Primary and secondary menstrual pain
Physicians distinguish primary and secondary menstrual pain. In the primary form, the menstrual pain is caused solely by menstruation. Of these, especially young girls are affected by the first rule and very slim women. In secondary menstrual pain diseases are the cause of the complaints.
Risk of tampon disease
Pain during menstruation may in rare cases also be a symptom of tampon disease (so-called toxic shock syndrome). Cause of tampon disease are often contaminated with pathogens tampons (or diaphragms). To prevent this life-threatening condition, you should always insert tampons with clean hands, change tampons regularly and dodge at night on bandages. A diaphragm for contraception should not be worn longer than necessary.
Symptoms of menstrual pain can vary greatly. Some women feel only a slight tug in the abdomen, the flank or in the back. Others complain of spasmodic abdominal pain and back pain. Frequent menstrual pain is accompanied by bloating, diarrhea or constipation, as well as nausea and vomiting. Even chest and headaches are common. Many women feel sick, limp and unable to perform. Up to about 10% of women are unable to work because of regular pain.
Physicians distinguish primary from secondary menstrual pain. For primary menstrual pain, monthly bleeding alone is the cause of the condition. In the secondary form, diseases cause the discomfort during the rule.
Primary menstrual pain
Primary menstrual pain is triggered by so-called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are painkillers that are increasingly produced during menstruation. They cause the uterine muscles to convulsively contract when the uterine lining is repelled. This reduces the blood flow to the uterine muscles and the pain is triggered. The more prostaglandins are formed, the stronger the menstrual pain.
There is an increased risk of developing primary menstrual pain in women
- with an early-onset first rule
- whose mothers or sisters suffer from menstrual pain
- who are emotionally burdened
- that are particularly sensitive
- with unhealthy lifestyle.
Factors that reduce the risk of primary menstrual pain are increasing age and lack of ovulation. The latter may, for example, be the result of multiple pregnancies or taking the "pill".
Secondary menstrual pain
Secondary menstrual pain is not triggered by the menstruation itself. Rather, they are the result of illness or circumstance. These include in particular:
- Endometriosis when uterine lining grows outside the uterus (in more than half the cases)
- Use of mechanical contraceptives such as the spiral
- fibroid tumors
- Cysts of the uterus.
Stress and emotional stress such as unfulfilled desire for children or problems in the partnership often additionally increase the regular pain.
The diagnosis of regular pain is easy to find based on obvious symptoms. To rule out conditions that may cause menstrual pain, help with gynecological examination and imaging such as ultrasound.
If conditions such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids are the cause of menstrual pain, they are treated first. Otherwise, analgesics are the treatment of choice for menstrual pain.
Medicines for menstrual pain
Frequently used analgesics for menstrual pain are drugs from the group of non-opioid analgesics such as acetylsalicylic acid, metamizole and paracetamol. At the same time anti-inflammatory agents are the non-steroidal agents such as dexibuprofen, diclofenac, flupirtine, ibuprofen, indomethacin, ketoprofen and naproxen. For example, the muscle relaxant is butylscopolamine.
Hormones against menstrual pain
Occasionally hormones are prescribed for menstrual pain. Examples include progestagens such as lynestrenol, norethisterone and progesterone. If this is not enough, the hormone chlormadinone acetate (CMA) can be added. The progestagens regulate the menstrual cycle and CMA inhibits the formation of the pain-causing prostaglandins (inflammatory messengers).
Self-help: home remedies for regular pain
heat applications Like warm baths or hot water bottles, fango or moor compresses, as well as warm cherry core and hay pillow pillows on the abdomen or in the back, many women consider them soothing and soothing. They are one of the most common home remedies for menstrual pain.
exercises help the pelvic floor to relax the pelvic muscles and to relax the pelvic region. Your gynecologist and physiotherapists will be pleased to inform you about appropriate exercises.
relaxation techniques learn: Regular pains respond well to relaxation techniques. Recommended are autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson, yoga and Qigong. Health insurance companies, health centers and adult education centers often offer these courses free of charge or at a small cost.
Healthy eating: A healthy, fresh and varied diet with plenty of fiber, low sugar and alcohol helps to positively influence menstrual pain.
Little salt: When water accumulates in the tissue (especially in the second half of the cycle), it is advisable to reduce the salt intake. In principle, it is healthier to use fresh herbs and spices instead of salt.
A lot of magnesium: Prefer magnesium rich foods. Magnesium can work against convulsive menstrual pain and even prevent it. Very much magnesium contains nuts, wheat germ, legumes and whole grain rice.
acupressure: In case of menstrual pain, you can experiment with acupressure strong bleeding and convulsive pain. The corresponding reflex point for menstrual pain is located about a hand's breadth below the knee on the inside of the lower leg. Press this reflex point several times a day for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Sexual intercourse and masturbation: If you feel like it and do not restrict the pain too much, intercourse and masturbation are a good remedy for menstrual pain. During orgasm pain relieving endorphins are released. Furthermore, the muscles in the abdomen loosen during muscle contraction. Both are good for menstrual pain.
A lot of iron: With heavy bleeding and physical weakness, iron can help. For this you can - after medical examination - increase the iron intake shortly before and at the beginning of menstruation to about 10 to 15 milligrams of iron. Iron counteracts fatigue and weakness in menstrual pain and provides better performance during menstruation.
In addition to over-the-counter painkiller and anti-inflammatory drugs (see treatment) for menstrual pain, there is a whole range of herbal remedies that can reduce the symptoms. Particularly suitable medicines contain the active ingredients of black cohosh (Cimicifuga) and chaste (chasteberry).
Tablets with galangal root and teas with lady's mantle, goose fingering, chamomile flowers and melissa have an antispasmodic effect.
Essential oils of marjoram and juniper harmonize your well-being to stabilize the mood.
Although the effect is not proven, many women are convinced of homeopathic globules for menstrual pain. Common medicines include Belladonna, Chamomilla, Cimicifuga, Coffea, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla and Sepia.
Regular pain can only be prevented to a limited extent. Mainly helps a healthy lifestyle such as:
- regular exercise (increases circulation in the pelvic region)
- Aim for normal weight
- healthy, varied and fresh diet
- low intake of coffee and alcohol
- do not smoke
- If necessary, take the contraceptive pill (discuss with the gynecologist).