What are Severe Menstrual Cramps?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), more than 50 percent of women who menstruate experience menstrual cramping during the onset of their periods. In most cases, period pain can be managed on one’s own, but for some women, the pain is more severe.
In cases where period pain is chronic and debilitating, an underlying menstrual condition, such as fibroids, adenomyosis, or endometriosis could be the cause. In order to relieve pain, women may need medical treatment, particularly if severe menstrual pain prevents participation in daily activities, such as work, school, or exercise.
Symptoms of secondary dysmenorrhea include:
- 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, and endometriosis.
Diagnosis & Care
If your period pain lasts more than two or three days, and is severe enough to keep you from leaving the house, consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
There are safe and nonsurgical treatments that significantly improve quality of life and ease symptoms. The Viva Eve team of fibroid and women’s health experts 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 of specialists all in house, we provide you with comprehensive, empowering care.