What are Severe Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), more than 50 percent of women who menstruate experience menstrual cramping (dysmenorrhea) during the onset of their periods. In most cases, period pain can be managed, but for some women, the pain is more severe.
In cases where period pain is chronic and debilitating, women may need medical treatment from a dysmenorrhea specialist NYC, particularly if severe menstrual pain affects their daily life and prevents them from participating in daily activities, such as work, school, or exercise.
Two Categories of Dysmenorrhea
The symptom of severe menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) can be divided into two categories, primary and secondary:
- Primary dysmenorrhea refers to the severe abdominal cramps that occur during menstruation and your dysmenorrhea specialist NYC cannot find any underlying disease that might be causing it. The diagnosis of primary dysmenorrhea is often made in adolescents and young women.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea has the same pain symptoms but occurs in women with a disorder that could explain the symptoms, such as fibroids, adenomyosis, or endometriosis. Women with these diseases frequently have other symptoms that women with primary dysmenorrhea do not have.
Symptoms of secondary dysmenorrhea include:
- Enlarged uterus, pain with intercourse, and resistance to effective treatments
- Pain that gets worse over time and lasts longer than typical menstrual cramps
- Pain that begins earlier in the menstrual cycle, such as a few days before a period starts
- Cramping in the lower abdomen
- Low back pain
- Pain radiating down the legs
- The pain from severe menstrual cramps can even cause additional symptoms, such as as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, weakness, and fainting
Pain that is accompanied by a heavy menstrual flow or irregular bleeding
Causes & Risks
Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more severe menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps can also be a symptom of an underlying gynecologic condition such as fibroids, adenomyosis, or endometriosis. Your dysmenorrhea specialist NYC can advise you further on the causes and risks associated with dysmenorrhea, which include the following.
Diagnosis & Care from a Dysmenorrhea Specialist NYC
If your period pain lasts more than two or three days and is severe enough to keep you from performing your daily activities, consult your dysmenorrhea specialist NYC for a diagnosis.
There are safe, both nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatments that significantly improve quality of life and ease symptoms. The Viva Eve team of fibroid and women’s health experts and dysmenorrhea specialists NYC will be able to properly diagnose your condition and suggest the best course of treatment.
With longer, in-depth appointments, one-on-one patient education, and an interdisciplinary team that include dysmenorrhea specialists NYC all in house, we provide you with comprehensive, empowering care.