Most women experience some sort of discomfort during their menstrual period but in dysmenorrhoea, the discomfort is marked with excessive pain which is enough to affect the woman's daily activities.
Women of any age can suffer dysmenorrhoea although some women are relieved of the pain after pregnancy and child birth. Dysmenorrhoea does not usually start until 2 to 3 years after the onset of menstruation. It usually only occurs if the menstrual period follows a cycle in which ovulation occurred. Sometimes though, it occurs in a period in which ovulation did not occur particularly if the menstrual blood clots in the uterus and the small clots are then expelled.
SYMPTOMS OF DYSMENORRHOEA
1. The pain is cramp-like in nature.
2. It is felt in the lower abdomen.
3. It usually starts 24 hours before the menstrual period.
4. Disappears 24-48 hours after the onset of menstruation.
5. The pain comes in different forms. It could be shooting pain, burning pain, throbbing pain, dull pain or sharp pain..
6. It may be accompanied with a heavy flow known as menorrhagia.
7. Nausea and vomitting.
8. Diarrhea or constipation.
9. Headache and dizziness.
10. The pains may be felt in the hips, lower back or thighs.
11. General body aches.
Dysmenorrhoea is of two types. They are;
PRIMARY DYSMENORRHOEA; This is when the menstrual pain is not as a result of any underlying gynecologic disorder but the normal process of menstruation. Of the two types of dysmenorrhoea, this is the most common affecting a high percentage of women. It is equally common among adolescent girls but fortunately it is relieved through maturity and pregnancy.
This is diagonised when the pain is attributed to an underlying disease or disorder within or outside the uterus. This underlinning disease could be an infection, uterine fibroid, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or adenomyosis.
The cause of dysmenorrhoea is believed to be due to an extra sensitivity of the body to or an accumulation of a substance in the body called prostaglandins.
TREATMENT FOR DYSMENORRHOEA
1.Spinal and pelvic exercices.
3. Sympathetic attitude from people around.
4. Use of pain killers.
5.Drugs which prevent prostagladins from being synthesized in the body.
6. Oral contraceptive pills which prevent ovulation.
7. Bedrest during the first and second day of menstruation.
8. Application of hot water bottle to the abdomen.
9. Relaxation technigues
10. Avoid foods that contain caffeine.
11. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
12. Massage of the lower back and abdomen.
13. Avoid stress during the period.
14. Use antibiotics for the infection.
15. Surgery to remove the fibroid.
A woman suffering from dysmenorrhoea should see the doctor for diagnosis and treatment.