How do you treat dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) treatment can be considered effective when it provides sufficient relief from pain, cramping, nausea, bloating and other problems to allow  women to perform all their regular activities.

The poster above explains treatment of dysmenorrhea (painful periods).

The right approach to treatment dysmenorrhea includes:

  • Patient education: Knowing causes, signs and symptoms of dysmenorrhea will help the patient in seeking help and taking charge of their help
  • Reassurance: Proper counselling helps reassure the girl/ woman that she will be cured of the recurring abdominal cramping, pain, nausea, etc.
  • Treatment without medicine(s): This step aims at reducing symptoms by remedies such as application of heat pack to lower abdomen, exercises and relaxation techniques.
  • Treatment with medicine(s): Depending on the severity of symptoms and degree of limitation of activity that each girl/ woman suffers, medical treatment includes use of:
    1. NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as MEFTAL-SPAS®, which decreases the levels of prostaglandins.
    2. Use of hormonal treatment pills which regulate the menstrual flow.

Consult a doctor to know about treatment and medications.

  • Laboratory tests, imaging studies & other tests: When period pain doesn’t get treated with medicines, it indicates an existing gynaecological disease such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts. After laboratory tests and imaging tests confirm the disease the further course of treatment is prescribed.

We recommend you learn about dysmenorrhea (painful periods) symptoms, causes and treatment with these 3 posters from #WhySufferSilently

Do you have any of the following questions?

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog have been simplified to enable an elementary understanding of dysmenorrhea (painful periods). This blog does not constitute medical advice.

Is dysmenorrhea dangerous?

Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) is not dangerous because it is not life-threatening. But period pain negatively affects the quality of life.

  • Period pain is responsible for school absenteeism.
  • Painful periods affect participation  and performance in sports.
  • Extreme period pain makes many women unable to do household activities.
  • Period cramps also bring down office productivity due to women reporting absent.

Dysmenorrhea could also be an indication of the following diseases of the reproductive system:

  • Endometriosis
  • Adenomyosis
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Ovarian Cysts

It is important to treat these gynaecological problems related to period pain, as they affect a women’s ability to reproduce.

Though not dangerous, dysmenorrhea (painful periods) needs to be considered critical and be treated. We recommend you to know dysmenorrhea (painful periods) causes, symptoms and  treatment with these 3 posters from #WhySufferSilenltly

Do you have any of the following questions?

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog have been simplified to enable an elementary understanding of dysmenorrhea (painful periods). This blog does not constitute medical advice.

What is the cause of dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) is caused by excessive levels of prostaglandins.

  • Prostaglandins are made at the site of tissue damage where they cause inflammation and pain, as part of the healing process.

When the uterus contracts to shed off the thick lining of tissue, blood and nutrients via the vagina, prostaglandins are produced in the uterus. When excess prostaglandins are produced, they cause redness, swelling, pain and fever in the surrounding areas, thus resulting in period pain or period cramps.

While you are here, we recommend you to know dysmenorrhea (painful periods) symptoms, causes and treatment with these 3 posters from #WhySufferSilently

Do you have any of the following questions?

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog have been simplified to enable an elementary understanding of dysmenorrhea (painful periods). This blog does not constitute medical advice.

The periods conversation with my best friend

Priya had been my best friend since childhood. She and I studied at the same school, took the same hobby classes and had frequent sleepovers at each other’s. I don’t remember a time in my life when Priya wasn’t a part of it. It was during one of our combined study sessions when I was on my periods that we had this conversation:

Me: “Oh God! This pain is too much to bear. I am barely able to sit. I don’t know how I will manage my exam tomorrow! I think I need to consult a doctor”

Priya: “Anjali’s mom had taken her to a doctor. But the doctor says there’s nothing to cure period pain.”

Me: “What do I do Priya? Isn’t there any way to eliminate period pain?

Priya: “You will have to learn to deal with it. I have learnt to bear the pain. You can’t get rid of it. Other girls in the class also have the same opinion.”

It was a short, but conclusive conversation. By the end of it, I had taken Priya’s advice to deal the pain. And we never revisited the debate. A few years later when we had finished school and been in different colleges, Priya shared with me 3 Facebook posts from #WhySufferSilently. Along with the posts was a note which read, “I wish someone had told us periods are normal, period pain is not. Would have saved us, especially you, much agony”

 

How teachers can help bust period pain myths?

“Good morning children. Today I am going to share with you a story about myself.” said my teacher one morning.

“As a woman, God has gifted me special qualities.” we all listened intently as she continued. “The gift to become a mother, the gift to love my children unconditionally. Like me, your mothers too have the gift of these special qualities !”

Then she made a startling revelation. “I bleed once every month.” she said, and then took a pause which added to the drama.

“Don’t be afraid my children. It’s a normal body function for all mothers to bleed once every month.”

She then took out a chart and had a very intimate and frank conversation on menstruation and sex-education with the entire class.

“It’s not gross. It’s not dirty. And it definitely doesn’t make you impure,” she said.

Then she drew a temple, a kitchen and a pickle jar on the board. “Many parents, grand parents & families don’t understand menstruation correctly.” she told, as she turned around.

“Don’t go to the temple my child!”

“Stay away from the kitchen my child.”

“You shouldn’t be touching the pickle!”

“You might hear this from people within your family. Don’t believe them. Periods are your power.”

When a girl, who had already had her first period, asked why periods were painful, our teacher said, “It’s God’s way of preparing you for motherhood.”

This was how I learnt about periods. My teacher was my inspiration. The deep respect I had for her never made me question her subject knowledge. Like many other girls, I too grew up not knowing that periods are normal, period pain is not.

Today, many years later, when my 12 year old daughter showed me the 3 #WhySufferSilently leaflets and spoke about periods, I was very content. Her teacher is her inspiration, and I realised why.

Why fathers don’t discuss period pain with daughters?


Why is my daughter’s first period so heavy?

Fathers tend to dote on their daughters making the father-daughter bond very enviable. I too was my dad’s little princess and practically inseparable from him. From studies, sports, extracurricular classes to hobby classes, my dad encouraged me for anything and everything. While his strength gave me the confidence to be independent, his extremely soft and caring nature would come to the fore everytime I fell ill. Being by my bedside, he would tend me to love and care that even my mother couldn’t.

But his care, which gave me a sense of security that nothing else could, crashed the day I got my first period. I was very scared at the sight of blood. The intense churning and pain left me crippled and I thought I am going to die. I asked my dad to be around, but he wouldn’t be. From then on, I would see my dad shying away from me and my mood swings during this pesky hormonal time of the month. Except for when i would get my period, he always made me feel like the most important person, the most beautiful girl and the most capable person on earth.

This dichotomy made me wonder if my dad too believed in the countless period myths and taboos. So I decided to use #WhySufferSilently posters as a conversation starter. He listened to me very carefully and by the end of our conversation he had tears in his eyes as he said, “I am sorry beta to have not been by your side all these years. Most men in our society have been made to believe periods are painful. Thank you for teaching me that periods are normal, period pain is not.I was touched to say the least.

Later that night, I saw him go through the #WhySufferSilently Facebook page and share the link with his friends and colleagues. 🙂

Why do mothers tell their daughters to bear period pain?

There’s nothing quite like the bond between mother and daughter. No one understands better the physical changes a girl goes through – getting breasts and periods, for a mother has been through these.

I was 13 when I got my first periods, and my mother shared her experiences of what getting periods meant for her when she was growing up. My mother’s stories greatly shaped my understanding of periods. So when my extremely active life; which otherwise consisted of studies, dance & sports; came to a grinding halt during every period, I thought it to be “Normal.” While my mother’s tenderness helped me navigate the extreme cramping, pain and nausea that would accompany my periods, she would always say, “I have borne this pain beta and you must too to be a mother someday.” I took her worldly advice to be the absolute truth. I was naturally surprised when I learnt that period pain can be treated.

As a 20 year old, I experienced how wrong education continues being imparted down generations. My most loving and caring mother did fail. She failed telling me periods are normal, period pain is not. She failed imparting the correct period pain education. As I took my mother through #WhySufferSilently posters, both of us realised – there’s no relationship in the world like mother and daughter.