Did you know that your period doesn’t have to be painful? If you are dealing with periods that have you taking time off work, reaching for the painkillers for days on end, or lying on the couch curled up in pain, there could be something more serious going on. If painful periods (also known as dysmenorrhea) are the norm for you, our Fort Worth, TX, gynecologist Dr. Noushin Firouzbakht can help.
What could Cause a Painful Period?
Sometimes a painful menstrual cycle could mean that there is an underlying health issue that needs to be addressed. Health problems that could also cause painful periods include:
- Endometriosis: a condition that causes the lining in the uterus to grow in other areas of the reproductive system including the ovaries and fallopian tube, which can lead to intense pain
- Uterine fibroids: noncancerous growths that can cause breakthrough bleeding and pain inside the uterus
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): an infection that causes inflammation of the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes
- Adenomyosis: when the lining of the uterus grows into the muscular wall, causing inflammation and pain, as well as heavier periods
- Cervical stenosis: when the cervix is so narrow that it slows blood flow, which in turn increases pressure and pain within the uterus
Who is at Risk for Painful Periods?
While there isn’t always a clear-cut answer as to why someone may be dealing with painful periods, there are certain factors that can increase a woman’s chances including:
- Heavy bleeding
- A family history of dysmenorrhea
- Irregular periods
- Experiencing puberty before 11 years old
How are Painful Periods Treated?
While there are several at-home methods to ease painful periods, it’s important to recognize when there may be something more going on here. If you are experiencing regular or severely painful periods, talk with our OBGYN. How we treat painful periods will depend on the cause. For example, if there is an infection present we can treat that with the proper round of antibiotics. Chronic conditions such as endometriosis can benefit from lifestyle changes, hormonal contraception, and even surgery. Once we figure out what’s causing your painful periods then we can provide you with effective treatment options to help you better control your pain.