Home Science Dysmenorrhea: This is what a painful period really means for women

Dysmenorrhea: This is what a painful period really means for women

Dysmenorrhea: This is what a painful period really means for women

The medical term for painful periods is known as dysmenorrhea, and usually appears in adolescence and late reproductive life. It is not just a punctual and localized pain in the abdominal region, it can also cause heavy bleeding, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, headache and diarrhea, which in any other scenario would cause sick leave.

However, until now the only solution for women who suffer from these symptoms has been to go to the doctor and ask for a temporary disability. Or try to maintain a normal life with pain medication. The new abortion law includes an extensive chapter on the right to menstrual health which aims to put an end to this type of situation.

Until now, the only solution for women suffering from these symptoms was to go to the doctor and request temporary disability. Or try to maintain a normal life with painkillers. The new abortion law aims to end this type of situation

Of course the measure – what would a three days sick leave– is not without controversy and has opened a political and social debate. But what does a painful period mean? Maria Teulon Gonzalezhead of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Service at University Hospital of Fuenlabradaexplains: “It is the one that influences the quality of life of the woman and cannot be solved with a simple medical treatment”.

“THE dysmenorrhea It is the most common cause of pelvic pain in women. Josep Estadella Tarriolof the gynecology service Hospital Sant Pau and professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. “THE prevalence The exact number can vary depending on how it is evaluated, although it is estimated that it can affect at least 20% of women of childbearing age.

that yes, there are studies that even report much higher percentages, with values ​​that can reach 80% of menstruating women. “It is an underdiagnosed and undertreated health problem in a significant percentage of them,” adds Teulón, who is also a professor at the Rey Juan Carlos University.

Causes behind this disorder

To define what causes this painful menstruation, we can classify it into primary or secondary dysmenorrhea. “Although secondary is usually caused by recognizable pathologies, such as endometriosis, fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease primary dysmenorrhea we didn’t find any underlying disorders,” says Estadella.

“It is usually the result of a change in the production of inflammatory substances, called prostanoids. In fact, with each ovulation and menstruation there are increases in these products. And in cases where this production is higher, it will cause greater pelvic inflammation that will ultimately translate into menstrual pain.”

It is estimated that up to 15% of patients who experience menstrual pain may have symptoms so intense that they are forced to leave their educational or work center or go to both in conditions where they cannot perform as well.

Josep Estadella, UAB

About which restrictions can cause this problem, Teulón maintains that it is a disorder that appears frequently and cause of absenteeism from school and significant workalthough it points out that only a part maintains a significant limitation of their quality of life that prevents them from performing a normal activity.

“It is estimated that 15% of patients who have menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea may have such intense symptoms that they force them to leave their educational or work center or go to both in conditions where they cannot perform as well”, emphasizes Estadella.

Analgesic treatment and application of local heat are often common for menstrual pain. /AdobeStock

What can I do to ease this pain?

To relieve discomfort, there are different options, from an analgesic treatment to reduce the level of pain, therapies that aim to reduce the production of these excess secreted prostanoids, to hormonal methods to block ovulation (and therefore stop the increase in these substances that are produced as a result of menstruation).

The usual treatment of dysmenorrhea is based on the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and oral contraceptives. Local heat and light physical exercise can also contribute to early pain relief.

“The usual treatment of dysmenorrhea is based on the use of anti-inflammatories non-steroidal (such as ibuprofen), paracetamol s oral contraceptives”, indicates Teulon.

“The local heat and physical exercise light could also contribute to early pain relief. However, so far the role of alternative therapies (acupuncture) or the introduction of dietary changes has failed to show improvement.

According to Estadella, “the important thing in all cases would be to propose the possible treatment options for each patient and reach consensual decisions about which is the best option and the one that best adapts to their personal situation”.

When to look for an expert

The approach to habitual dysmenorrhea can be carried out in the field of family doctor, which can prescribe any of the usual treatments. “You should go to the specialist when the usual procedure does not solve the problem or the impact on the patients’ quality of life is important”, explains Teulón.

I welcome the introduction of this new consideration to an important health issue for some women. But it should only be implemented in patients properly studied and treated so as not to lose competitiveness in the job market.

Maria Teulon, Hosp. from Fuenlabrada

The same is considered by the professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona: “We must not normalize pain. Especially when it affects women’s daily activities and forces them to change or stop performing them”.

Sick leave with medical reports

Experts believe that the issue of sick leave is the same as any other illness. “The possibility of a rest time in cases of intense discomfort that does not allow daily activities. And most importantly, don’t minimize it just because it’s a menstrual condition. We must provide the best care, with good diagnosis and treatment, as in any other pathology”, explains Estadella.

Experts insist on not normalizing this pain. Above all, when it affects women’s daily activities and forces them to change or stop performing them

For her part, Teulón welcomes the introduction of this new consideration to an important health problem for some women. “But it should only be implemented in properly studied and treated patients. If not handled well, it can be a weapon that increases gender difference because we are going to lose competitiveness in the job market”, he concludes.

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Exit mobile version