Menstrual Cramp Treatment
Menstrual cramps are something most women experience at some point in their life. There may or may not be an underlying medical condition that leads to the cramping. The medical term for menstrual cramps is dysmenorrhea and there are two types, primary and secondary. Symptoms can range from moderate to severe and treatment would depend on the reason for the cramping.
There are two types of dysmenorrhea. When there are no underlying gynecological problems causing the cramping it is considered primary dysmenorrhea. If there is an underlying gynecological or medical problem then it is considered secondary dysmenorrhea. Endometriosis, uterine fibroids and pelvic inflammatory disease are some of the problems that can cause secondary dysmenorrhea.
Symptoms can range from mild lower abdominal pain and pelvic pain to severe. Along with the pain it is possible to experience nausea, headache, constipation or diarrhea. The pain brought on by menstrual cramps usually starts before menstruation and reaches its peak in 24 hours. Within a day or two the pain and other symptoms start to subside.
Other factors can affect the severity and probability of menstrual cramps. According to MedicineNet, a narrow cervical canal, backwards tilting uterus and lack of exercise can contribute to menstrual cramping. It is also very common for stress to increase the pain and symptoms of menstrual cramps.
Primary Dysmenorrhea Treatment
For common menstrual cramps, treatments can include non-prescription pain relievers, rest, sleep, exercise and using a heating pad. If the pain is too severe a low dose oral contraceptive may be prescribed to reduce menstrual flow and lessen the severity of the cramping.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea Treatment
For secondary causes of cramping, treatment would depend on the cause of the cramping and would need to be discussed with your doctor. These treatments can range from medication to control estrogen levels to surgery such as a hysterectomy. Following your doctor’s recommendations and treatments should help alleviate your menstrual cramping.