Friday, May 9, 2008

What Are Painful Periods or Dysmenorrhea?

This condition refers to the pain or discomfort associated with menstruation. Although not a serious medical problem, it is usually meant to describe a woman with menstrual symptoms severe enough to keep her from functioning for a day or two each month. Many teens don't suffer from dysmenorrhea, as their uterus is still growing, and yet they may get it several years after their first period begins. Symptoms may begin one to two days before menses, peak on the first day of flow, and subside during that day or over several days.

The pain is typically described as dull, aching, cramping and often radiates to the lower back. The pain from your period that is severe enough to be given this name by your health care provider is thought to be the result of uterine contractions, caused by prostaglandins (a hormone-like substance, normally found in your body). Prostaglandins are known to stimulate uterine contractions. In addition to pain other symptoms may include, headache, diarrhea, constipation, and urinary frequency and fainting.

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