The results of a study published by scientists from the Netherlands in 2019 indicate that pain is the most common symptom of menstruation. About 85% of women faced it, and every third, due to discomfort during menstruation, was forced to miss work or give up some usual activities. At the same time, only every second admitted the real reasons for her act, mentioning menstruation, while others came up with some other, “more valid” reason.
Pain during menstruation. What to do?
Pain is one of the common symptoms that accompany menstruation. It is so common that many consider its appearance inevitable and dutifully endure discomfort without seeking medical help, even if it prevents them from working normally, spending time with friends, or doing what they love.
Why can menstruation be painful?
When should you go to the doctor?
This behavior of women is associated with the stigmatization of menstruation – talking about the process itself and the discomfort associated with it is indecent, uncomfortable, and even ashamed for some.
Pain during menstruation can be very strong: to assess the intensity of pain, doctors came up with a special scale, according to which 0 means no pain at all, and 4 means very severe pain.
Describing the pain experienced by women is quite difficult. In one of the publications that became the subject of active discussion, a male doctor mentioned that “this pain is almost the same as that experienced by patients with a heart attack.” Such a comparison caused a lot of comments and discussions in social networks and on the pages of various media: for example, gynecologist Jen Gunter wrote that in most cases, menstruation is much more painful than the sensations of a heart attack, and besides, she recalled that up to 40% of women and completely suffer a heart attack asymptomatically.
Pain during menstruation – dysmenorrhea – may be associated with the peculiarities of physiology, the specific structure and location of the pelvic organs. However, they can often be caused by inflammatory diseases affecting the reproductive or urinary system, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Women’s educational program: the most important thing about menopause
Understand and forgive
Previously, the word “menopause” was among those that did not want to be said out loud – this combination of letters caused incredible anxiety (“thank you” to public opinion). Women were very afraid of this period, since it was believed that with its arrival one could write oneself off from all accounts. But now there are means by which menopause can pass almost imperceptibly and easily. But in order to start doing something towards improvement, you need to recognize its onset – without fear, move on, without losing optimism, energy and female attractiveness.
The menopause in the life of any woman is completely natural. At this time, due to the weakening of the hormonal function of the ovaries, menstruation stops. It is customary to talk about the beginning of menopause if about a year has passed since the last meeting with the cycle.
Who is the elder?
Our hormones are responsible for menopause. Estrogen plays a key role in menopause. The monthly menstrual cycle directly depends on its quantity: from birth, the body contains about two million eggs, but over time their number decreases. Already with the onset of 30 years, the ovaries begin to produce a little less estrogen.
By the age of 40, the menstrual cycle already becomes longer or shorter, its intensity changes, and by about 50 years, the supply of eggs is exhausted, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and menopause begins. That is, on average, the onset of menopause occurs at the age of 50-52 years, but the figures fluctuate. There are premature menopause (up to 40 years), early (40-45 years), timely (46-54 years) and late (over 55 years). What is most unusual is that premature menopause occurs in 3-10% of cases, so it is important to be observed by a gynecologist at absolutely any age.
Many factors influence when menopause occurs: from heredity and lifestyle to past diseases, the amount of stress and bad habits. The most important thing is to treat changes in the body with understanding and respect for your body.
Know in person
Contrary to popular belief, menopause does not come all of a sudden: often, symptoms can appear several years before the last period. You need to keep track of all the changes in order to take care of your health in time! If you notice any of the following, share your observations with your gynecologist. Together, you can find a smooth menopausal transition to maintain your well-being, natural beauty, sex drive, and mood.
- Weight suddenly went up, fat deposits appeared on the waist, hips, forearms, and hunger is difficult to appease;
- at night you began to feel hot flashes or sweat, almost like during a workout;
- it became difficult to fall asleep quickly, and awakenings appeared in the middle of the night;
- irritability, frequent fatigue appeared;
- menstruation became more scanty and irregular;
- libido decreased, and there was discomfort and dryness of the vagina;
- the condition of the skin, hair and nails deteriorated.
The doctor may prescribe a blood test for sex hormones, an ultrasound of the pelvic organs, and an examination of the endocrine glands. These studies help to find out whether the symptoms are caused by early menopause or malfunctions in the endocrine system.