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Painful Menstruation


Dysmenorrhea, or painful menstruation, is experienced by approximately 50% of woman; it is severe or disabling in 10%, causing a loss of workdays and poor performance at school. Dysmenorrhea is caused by the production of prostaglandins during menstruation. Prostaglandins enhance uterine contractions, causing pelvic pain. Primary dysmenorrhea is caused by normal uterine muscle contractions and affects more than half of menstruating women. Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual-related pain that is caused by abnormal medical conditions, such as endometriosis. The pain begins with the onset of menstrual flow and lasts 2-3 days. It is characterized by crampy, lower abdominal pain that radiates to the back region or inner thigh region. Nausea, headache, or fatigue may accompany the pain.


# Prostaglandins. These are chemicals that occur naturally in the body. Certain prostaglandins cause uterine muscles to spasm.


# Lower abdominal, crampy pain that occurs before the beginning of the menstrual period and lasts 1 or 2 days into the period.
# Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation


# Common pain relievers: aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen
# Birth control pills

Self-Care Procedures

# Drink a hot cup of regular tea, chamomile or mint tea.
# Place heating pad or hot-water bottle on the abdomen.
# Take a warm bath.
# Gently massage your abdomen.
# Mild exercises
# Drink a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage. Alcohol slows down uterine contractions.
# Rest
# Birth control pills



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