Dysmenorrhea - Causes and Symptoms

What Is Dysmenorrhea: Causes And Symptoms

Dysmenorrhea is uterine pain that occurs a few days before the start of menstruation . It represents one of the most common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome , therefore it can be associated with headaches , nausea, constipation or diarrhea and low back pain . Typically, dysmenorrhea reaches its maximum intensity 24 hours after the onset of the menstrual flow and can last for 2-3 days. It manifests itself as intense pain in the lower abdomen ; it is usually sharp, but it can also be crampy, dull, and constant.

Primary dysmenorrhea is not related to any gynecological disease; symptoms begin shortly after menarche (the first menstrual period) or during adolescence, lessen over the years, and may disappear after the first pregnancy . It is a symptom attributable to hormonal changes due to ovulatory cycles and excessive prostaglandin production , which cause spastic and painful contractions of the uterus during the first two days of the menstrual flow. Within certain limits, therefore, pain in a young woman should be considered normal and physiological. Risk factors for more intense symptoms include: early age of menarche, prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding , smoking and a family history of dysmenorrhea. Anxiety related to menstruation and lack of exercise can also negatively affect dysmenorrhea.

Secondary dysmenorrhea , on the other hand, generally occurs at a later age than the primary one, occurs throughout the period of menstrual flow and is due to other pelvic diseases or abnormalities. The most common causes are endometriosis , inflammation of the fallopian tubes or ovaries , uterine adenomyosis , use of an intrauterine device as a method of contraception , and the presence of fibroids and polyps of the uterus or cervix. Less common disorders that cause this symptom include birth defects (eg, narrowing of the cervix, malpositioned uterus, etc.), pelvic inflammatory disease , ovarian cysts and tumors .

Possible Causes Of Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is a common or probable symptom of these diseases

Common Causes

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Uterine polyps
  • Premenstrual syndrome

Rare Causes

  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Menopause
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia syndrome
  • Ovarian cancer

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