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Dr. Burcu KaramürselObstetrician, Gynecologist, Genital Esthetic Surgeon in Turkey
M.D. Burcu Karamürsel

What should be avoided during menstruation to decrease pain?

What should be avoided during menstruation to decrease pain?

More than half of women experience pain during menstruation. Menstrual pain can be classified into primary and secondary dysmenorhea.

What is menstrual pain?

Menstrual pain is cramping or stabbing pain  which is felt in the lower abdominal region starting before or during menstruation. Sometimes the pain may radiate onto the hips, legs and waist. The severity may change from one woman to the other.

In some women the pain may be light, in others it may be severe enough to affect daily life.Some patients may be admitted to emergency units with severe menstrual pain.

What is the cause of menstrual pain?

Menstraul pain seen in young healthy women starting a few years after first menstruation is called primary dysmenorhea.

The cause of primary dysmenorhea is a protein called prostaglandin which is secreted from the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus). During menstrual bleeding this protein leads to contractions in uterine muscles so that the endometrium can be shed. When these contractions are strong, uterine vessels are constricted so that the blood flow and oxygenation of the uterine muscles decrease. This lack of oxygen also contributes to menstrual pain.

When does menstrual pain start?

Usually menstrual pain starts a few years after the first menstruations in adolescents. The severity of menstrual cramps decreases as the woman ages.

Who experiences menstrual pain most commonly?

  • Women younger than 30 years of age
  • Women with a history of menstrual pain in their family
  • Women who had their first menstruation before age 11
  • Women with heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Women with irregular menstruations
  • Women who smoke

What are the reasons of menstrual pain?

Some women may have menstrual pain due to gynecological pathologies.This is called secondary dysmenorhea. These gynecological pathologies can be summarised as:

  • Fibroids
  • Adenomyosis
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Cervical stenosis

Especially for women over 40 that experience menstrual pain, these pathologies should be ruled out.

What is the treatment of menstrual pain?

Treatment of menstrual pain involves lifestyle changes, medical treatment and surgery for underlying gynecological pathologies.

What are the lifestyle changes that may decrease menstrual pain?

Lifestyle changes that may decrease menstrual pain may be summarised as:

  • Regular exercise
  • Warm shower or hot packs placed on belly
  • Nutrient supplements such as Vitamin E,Omega 3, vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, magnesium
  • Decreasing stress
  • Yoga, meditation and breathing exercises

Is there a natural treatment for menstrual pain?

There may be some recommendations to releive menstrual pain without using medications such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Vaginal orgasm which increases endorphins and oxytocin which are natural pain killers.
  • Dietary changes
  • Some herbal teas
  • Massage applied on the pelvic region with natural oils.
  • Drinking a lot of water

What is the medical treatment for menstrual pain?

Medical treatment for menstrual pain can be as follows:

  • NSAID pain killers
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hormonal Intrauterine device

Usually the first choice for menstrual pian is pain killers. They are more effective if taken when the menstrual pain is light, even one day before menstraul bleeding.

For patients who need to use a contraceptive method,oral contraceptives or hormonal IUD may be recommended as first choice.

What should be avoided during menstruation to decrease pain?

The following should be avoided during menstruation to decrease pain:

  • Animal fat
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Cafeine
  • Increased salt consumption
Update Date: 11.12.2023
Burcu Karamürsel, MD
Dr. Burcu Karamürsel
Burcu Karamürsel, MD
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Burcu Karamürsel, MDDr. Burcu KaramürselObstetrician, Gynecologist, Genital Esthetic Surgeon in Turkey
+90312 219 2233+90545 219 2234
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