Dysmenorrhoea: Painful Periods
Maharani Devi Medical Centre
, Bengaluru Feb 17, 2017
Dysmenorrhoea is the term used to describe painful periods.
In a normal menstrual cycle specialised areas in the ovary called follicles are stimulated to produce eggs. This stimulation is induced by the release of increasing levels of gonadotropin releasing hormone by a specialised tissue in the brain called the hypothalamus. This in turn stimulates the pituitary gland close by to produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). As the follicle matures it induces the production of oestrogen which further stimulates the FSH and LH production until a spike in the production of these hormones causes the follicle to rupture and release the egg.
Signs and symptoms:
-Primary dysmenorrhoea tends to occur soon after menarche (first period). The pain commences shortly before or during menses and is described as a dull abdominal pain radiating to the back or thighs, with episodes of cramping stabbing pain similar to contractions. The pain may also be accompanied by general symptoms such as fatigue, malaise, nausea and vomiting, headache and lower back pain. Symptoms last for 1 to 3 days.
-Patients with secondary dysmenorrhoea usually present with pain that starts earlier in the menstrual cycle and peaks at menses. Patients are usually more than twenty years old and may have abdominal bloating or pelvic discomfort and back pain. Pain is usually constant rather than cramping.