Dysmenorrhea, which refers to painful cramping often associated with your period, is common and affects 50% of women who menstruate. But for some women, the pain can be debilitating or occur at times other than menstruation. If menstrual pain is affecting your quality of life, the board-certified OB/GYN team at Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates, with offices in Ocean and Howell, New Jersey, can provide the care and treatment you need to reduce your pain. To learn more about dysmenorrhea, call the office today or book an appointment online.
Dysmenorrhea is a term used to describe pain during menstruation. It’s one of the most commonly reported menstrual disorders in the United States. More than half of all women who menstruate experience this pain 1-2 days a month.
There are two types of dysmenorrhea:
Primary dysmenorrhea refers to the pain you experience during menstruation and usually begins during adolescence at the start of your menses.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is pain that’s caused by a condition that affects your reproductive organs. This type of pain most often develops as you get older.
When you come in for care at Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates, your specialist wants to know as many details as possible about your pelvic pain so you can get the most accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.
The cause of your dysmenorrhea depends on the type. With primary dysmenorrhea, the increase in prostaglandin, which is a chemical that causes the muscles in your uterus to tighten, leads to the cramping you feel before you start menstruation.
With secondary dysmenorrhea, an underlying reproductive condition may be causing the pain, such as:
The pelvic pain you experience from either type of dysmenorrhea may be a dull ache that’s severe at times and may radiate to your hips, buttocks, or legs.
Your specialist at Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates conducts a thorough examination when you come to the office with concerns regarding dysmenorrhea. During your examination, your specialist reviews your symptoms and medical history, and then completes a physical and pelvic exam.
Your specialist may also recommend an ultrasound to evaluate your reproductive organs to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. In some cases, a laparoscopy, which is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laparoscope to evaluate your reproductive organs, may be needed.
Treatment for your dysmenorrhea may depend on your type, as well as the severity of your symptoms, medical history, and age. Your treatment plan may include:
If you fail to get relief from your dysmenorrhea, then surgery may be recommended. The type of surgery that would benefit you depends on the underlying cause of your condition.
For expert care of your dysmenorrhea, call Ocean Obstetric & Gynecologic Associates or request an appointment online.