Friday, January 23, 2009

What is Dysmenorrhea?


In the simplest description of the word, it the pain the woman feels when they have their period! and mind you it is very painful!!!! But what really causes this one?

Dysmenorrhea is termed under the menstrual disorders related to the menstrual cycle. This primarily affects 50% of all women who have a menstrual period as statistics may say.

What causes it?
To understand dysmenorrhea, it's important to understand how the menstrual cycle works. Each month, the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, thickens to prepare for the egg that is released by the fallopian tubes. If the woman does not become pregnant during that cycle, then most of the endometrium is shed and bleeding occurs. The blood flows from the uterus, through the cervical canal, and out through the vagina. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs when the uterus contracts because the blood supply to the endometrium is reduced. This pain occurs only during a menstrual cycle where an egg is released. If the cervical canal is narrow, the pain may be worse as the endometrial tissue passes through the cervix. Pain can also be caused by a uterus that tilts backward instead of forward, low levels of physical activity, and emotional stress. Secondary dysmenorrhea can be caused by the growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus, called endometriosis; non-cancerous growths of muscle and fibrous tissue in the uterus, called fibroid tumors; the non-cancerous growth of the uterine lining in the muscular wall of the uterus, called adenomyosis; inflammation of the fallopian tubes; and the growth of scar tissue, or adhesions, between organs.

What are the symptoms?
Shortly before or in the beginning of the menstrual period, a woman with dysmenorrhea experiences cramps in the lower abdomen. The pain can be continuous, or may come and go, and may extend to the lower back and legs. The pain can be accompanied by headache, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, and the need to urinate frequently. In severe cases, dysmennorhea also causes vomiting and makes it difficult for the woman to participate in her normal activities. Symptoms are usually at their worst 24 hours after beginning, and stop after 2 days. Women with dysmenorrhea are more likely to pass blood clots from the lining of the uterus, which causes more pain.

Self-care tips
See your doctor if you have a pattern of severe pain at the beginning of and during your menstrual period. A thorough exam will help determine if your pain is caused by some underlying condition that may need immediate treatment. Remember, rest, diet, and exercise play an important role in your overall health, and may help relieve premenstrual and menstrual symptoms.


http://www.hmc.psu.edu/healthinfo/d/dysmenorrhea.htm

1 comment:

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