Decoding Your Own Medical Care

3 Common Causes of Extremely Painful Periods

As any woman can tell you, the discomfort and cramping that is associated with monthly menstruation can be quite unpleasant. While the majority of women experience some type of discomfort during and leading up to their period, a much smaller amount of women can have extremely heavy bleeding and severe pain that is not indicative of normal menstruation. Several different conditions can cause this type of period, and most of them can be treated by your gynecologist. Here are some of the most common:

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are small growths within the uterus that are non cancerous. Fibroids are extremely common in women, and for the majority of women who develop them, they are very small and do not cause any symptoms. However, fibroids that grow large in size, or a large cluster of fibroids, can cause extremely heavy periods with blood clots, as well as extremely painful cramps. Gynecologists typically treat women with problematic fibroids through hormonal therapy or surgery to either cut off the blood supply to the fibroids or remove them all together. It is possible for fibroids to cause fertility problems, so if you regularly experience horrible periods, get checked out by your gynecologist.

Endometriosis 

Endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of a woman’s uterus begins growing in other regions of the pelvis, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and pelvic floor. This condition can cause blood-filled cysts to form, as well as adhesions, internal bleeding, and chronic inflammation. Periods are particularly painful for women afflicted with endrometriosis, and some unlucky women may experience pain from the condition all month long. Endometriosis can be treated with hormonal birth control, or your gynecologist may opt to surgically remove as much uterine lining growing outside the uterus as possible if you are trying to get pregnant. In the most severe cases of endometriosis, a full hysterectomy may be recommended.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection that is usually the result of untreated sexually transmitted diseases. If PID is not treated promptly with antibiotics, it can lead to scarring and inflammation that can cause infertility, so it is a good idea to always practice safe sex and have an STD panel done on a regular basis. Antibiotics can clear up the infection, but they cannot reverse any scarring that occurs, so if you are experiencing very painful periods and pelvic pain it is in your best interest to seek treatment as soon as possible. Look up gynecologists in your area to find one that you trust and don’t hesitate to contact him or her whenever you have questions.

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