Painful Periods: This can’t be normal can it?

25 Jan Painful Periods: This can’t be normal can it?


Cramps, discomfort and pain are things we’ve all experienced during our monthly periods. Just as all women are different, so are all periods, some are long, some are short, some are heavy, some are light, some are regular, some are not, and some are very painful. If your period comes with things like chronic fatigue, very heavy bleeding, and crippling cramps that leave you unable to continue your normal daily activities, then THIS IS NOT NORMAL. Don’t let your friends, your sister, your Mum or even your GP brush it off as “some women get more pain then others.” You do not have a low pain threshold if you can’t get off the bed for 3 days at that time of the month. This is considered excessively painful, and you should seek the help of a Gynaecologist.

There are a few conditions known to cause excessively painful periods, some of these include; endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, some birth control methods, premenstrual syndrome, and PID or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissues of your uterus grow outside the uterine cavity. This uterine lining can grow on the ovaries, bowel, and pelvis. During your menstrual cycle this tissue will grow, thicken, then break down, just as the uterine lining does within the uterus. Over time this broken down tissue builds up within the pelvis and can cause; irritation, adhesions, fertility problems, severe pain during your periods, and scar formations. There are different stages of endometriosis ranging from mild too severe, the condition will often worsen over time. However accurate diagnosis from your doctor can provide help with hormone and pain relief medications.

Adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis however the uterine lining doesn’t form outside the uterus, it forms within the uterine muscle. This can cause pain much like a bruise with central cramping and often painful sex. Adenomyosis mostly occurs in women with children.

Uterine fibroids are growths that develop within the uterus. It is a common condition with about 70 to 80 percent of women developing fibroids by the age of 50. When these growths become large, they can cause severe pain and heavy periods. The growths are normally benign and sometimes show no symptoms at all.

Different women react differently to birth control methods, sometimes they can cause hormone changes which result in heavy or prolonged periods, sometimes with increased pain and bloating.

PMS or premenstrual syndrome can affect your emotional and physical health often just before your period. PMS is very common, however some women experience severe symptoms including; pain, bloating, acne, headaches, depression, diarrhoea, and fatigue. It is believed that PMS is caused by the changing hormone levels at the beginning of your cycle.

Pelvic inflammatory disease occurs when the reproductive organs become infected. There are several types of bacteria which can cause PID, and they commonly originate from the vaginal entry causing infection which moves to the pelvic organs. PID is dangerous if the infection moves into the blood, if you have other symptoms liked fever, painful urination, and or pain in the lower abdomen you should see your doctor.

These and other conditions cause pain and cramps in the abdomen region, but the best way to figure out what is causing your pain is to visit your doctor or other health care provider to work through your symptoms.

It might surprise you to know that Women’s Health Physiotherapy can play a role in helping you to reduce the pain experienced at that time of the month. Our Physiotherapist’s are specialised in this area. To find out more, contact us.

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