The female body constantly prepares for motherhood...there's a lot going on in there.
The cycle of life
Period, menses, the dreaded curse...call it what you will it's here to stay for a very long time. For some this can be a delight as they plan for motherhood; for others, it can lead to debilitating despair on a regular basis.
A normal menstrual cycle ranges between 21 and 35 days. Beginning anytime from 12 years old they come to a close from your mid 40's onwards. Ovulation occurs between days 12 and 18, depending on the length of the individual's cycle.
When is pain normal?
Day 1 of the cycle is the first day of your period when the lining of the uterus begins to shed. This is the time you're most likely to experience period pain. Mid-cycle, Days 12-18, is ovulation when your fertile egg is released.
This is another prime period of pain zone. Pain other than, say, from Day 1-3 and between Days 12-18 should be checked; a number of things could be responsible for this.
How much pain is too much?
Women experience different levels of period pain. How much is too much really depends on your pain threshold. The most common types of period pain are:
Lower abdomen pain (cramps/throbbing) – accompanies bleeding
A dull, constant tummy ache – starting before bleeding and during ovulation
Stabbing pain in the left or right lower abdomen around mid-cycle – generally ovulation only
Radiating pain (lower back and down the legs) – accompanies bleeding
What can I do to stop it?
For those with regular cycles accompanied by regular period pains a gentle pain killer, a cup of tea and a warm bath can relieve most of the symptoms.
Some women use alternative therapies like essential oils and herbal teas to help alleviate their troubles. We don't advocate taking any medications without consulting a professional.
My pain seems over the top
While it's natural to experience some pain and discomfort on a regular basis if you're in any doubt, or suffering more than you think is normal, you should always consult an expert gynaecologist.
Left untreated certain issues can affect fertility and your overall health and wellbeing.
Your Next Step
If you are experiencing repeated symptoms above, don't suffer needlessly, as there may be another underlying condition requiring further investigation.
Dr Alexander can offer advice on a possible diagnosis, further investigations and suitable treatment. Arrange an appointment now for peace of mind and body.
For patients suffering from painful periods, we would advise that you see your general practitioner and possibly obtain a referral to see Dr Alexander at www.alexalexander.com.au