Menstrual Cramps

| May 12, 2011 | 1 Comment

Menstrual cramps are one of the most common problems with almost every woman, although many of them don’t aware of medical term ‘dysmenorrhea’ used specifically for menstrual cramps.

Menstrual cramps are often depressing, throbbing and constricting pains that a woman feel in her lower abdomen. Menstrual cramps usually occur before or during the menstrual cycles. Menstrual cramps are mild for some women while there are many who suffer from severe menstrual cramps which are severe enough to disrupt their normal life.

Menstrual cramps can be caused for number of reasons of which some are merely because of contractions of uterus muscle and others are caused because of some medical condition such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. However, the menstrual cramps which are caused other than any medical condition decrease with age.

How common are menstrual cramps?

It has been seen that menstrual cramps occur in almost half of the women. From half of these women, 15 percent of women suffer from severe menstrual cramps. If we talk about adolescent girls, the figures show that about 90% of the girls suffer from menstrual cramps.

What is dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea is a medical term used for menstrual cramps. Generally, two types of dysmenorrhea have been specified by experts, i.e. primary and secondary.

Primary dysmenorrhea is a kind of dysmenorrhea which is not caused by any gynecologic or medical conditions. This sort of menstrual cramps usually occur from six months to one year after the first menstrual period. It is worth mentioning here that menstrual cramps usually don’t occur till the occurrence of ovulatory menstrual cycles. The menstrual bleeding normally starts right before the beginning of ovulation. This is the reason that the adolescent girls don’t experience dysmenorrhea up to months or years after the beginning of ovulation.

Secondary dysmenorrhea on the other hand is caused because of some medical or gynecologic problem. This sort of cramping normally occurs at the beginning of menstruation.

What causes menstrual cramps?

Medically, every women experience a development of the inner lining of the uterus called the endometrium in a preparation for probable pregnancy. Following the ovulation, if no fertilization of egg takes place by sperm, the lining of uterus becomes needless. As a result, the estrogen and progesterone hormone levels in the woman decrease, eventually the lining becomes swollen and discarded in the form of menstrual flow. This cycle keeps going as the new lining develops for the next menstrual period.

The breaking down of the lining of uterus causes the production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. This substance is responsible for the contraction of the uterus muscles. The contraction of the uterus muscles affects the blood supply to the endometrium. As a result, the endometrium tissue doesn’t get enough amount of oxygen and the tissue gradually shed and died out. Once the tissue is dead, the contraction of uterine muscles forces the old tissue via cervix and eventually out of the body. Apart from this, some other chemicals substances such as leukotrienes also produced at this very stage and results in inflammatory feel by the women.

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Category: Cramps & Pains

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  1. […] life faces many painful stages such as pains of being getting pregnant and also the pains of having menstrual cramps. Menstrual problems always act as a warning for many women as they are signaling towards various […]

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