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Menstrual Pain - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Menstrual pain in the clinical world is referred to as dysmenorrhea. This condition is characterized by throbbing pain or cramps in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation. This discomfort is really disturbing, so it's only natural that some women can only lie down and can't do their daily activities.


The most visible symptoms of dysmenorrhea is pain or cramps in the stomach and sometimes it can also be felt in the lower back and thighs. The cramps felt by each person can be different.

In some cases, cramps will be very painful and can appear before or during menstruation, usually for 1-3 days. With secondary dysmenorrhea, cramps will continue to occur even though menstruation has ended. Besides cramps, dysmenorrhea can invite symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and pain during sexual intercourse.

Causes of Menstrual Pain

During menstruation, the uterus contracts to help shed its lining. Substances similar to prostaglandin hormones are involved in pain and infection, causing uterine muscle contractions. High levels of prostaglandins are associated with more severe menstrual cramps.

As for menstrual pain, it can be caused by the following conditions.

  • Endometriosis 
    A condition in which tissue similar to the endometrium grows and develops outside the uterus.

  • Uterine Fibroids 
    Conditions when there are indications of non-cancerous growths inside or outside the uterus.

  • Adenomyosis
    Condition when the tissue that lines the uterus grows inside the muscular wall of the uterus.

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
    Conditions when an infection occurs in the female reproductive organs caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.

  • Stenosis of the Cervix
    A condition in which the cervix opens too narrowly to allow menstrual blood to flow, so that the pressure increases and pain is felt in the uterus.

How to Treat Menstrual Pain

Although not all women feel it, pain during menstruation is common, especially on the first and second days of menstruation. If you feel this, you can try the following ways to get rid of menstrual pain so you can feel more comfortable:

  • Compress the Stomach with Warm Water
    If menstruation is painful, you can compress it with warm water. Fill a glass bottle with warm water and place it on the stomach and use a cloth to cover the skin. The heat from the compress will help loosen the stiff uterine muscles so that the pain can be reduced. You can repeat this until you feel better than before.

    Instead of using a bottle, you can also place a warm pad on the lower abdomen. This method is preferred as a trick to get rid of menstrual pain on the first day because the effect can be felt immediately.

  • Acupuncture
    Acupuncture is a traditional treatment using thin needles stuck in certain points on the body. The goal is to stimulate the nerves in certain parts. Acupuncture is known to relieve menstrual cramps. In addition, acupuncture is also useful to relieve infection and help you become more relaxed.

  • Meet the Needs of Body Fluids
    Cramps during menstruation can be because you are dehydrated or lack body fluids. Therefore, it is recommended that you meet your body's fluid needs by drinking approximately 2 liters of water every day.

  • Regulating Diet
    The next way to deal with menstrual pain is to maintain a diet. Such as consuming foods rich in fatty acids and other nutritional content. And stay away from consuming foods that contain bad fats, sugar, and excess salt. Also, you need to cut down on caffeine, soda, and chocolate so you don't exacerbate stomach cramps.

  • Do Light Exercise
    When experiencing menstrual pain, most women prefer to lie down or sleep. In fact, pain due to menstruation can be minimized by doing light exercise. Because this can encourage the release of endorphins which act as painkilling hormones, so they can make you feel better.

  • Quit Smoking
    Smoking habits are not only bad for heart and lung health. But it can also cause oxygen supply to the pelvis to be limited, so it has the potential to cause pain during menstruation. In addition, smoking also greatly affects the female reproductive system.

  • Controlling Stress
    Menstrual pain can be exacerbated by a chaotic mood, one of which is due to stress. Thus, controlling stress can be an effective way to relieve menstrual pain.

  • Taking Supplements
    There are several studies that state that vitamins D, E, B1 and B6 can reduce menstrual pain. Although we can get these vitamins from the daily food we consume. However, you should also be able to optimize it by regularly taking additional supplements.

If your menstrual pain that you feel doesn't get better in a few days, then you should consult a doctor or the nearest hospital. That way, you will get accurate treatment and your doctor can prescribe medication according to your situation.


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