Dysmenorrhoea treatment and management; What ladies need to know.



Dysmenorrhoea means "painful menstruation" which is undergone by a significant number of women menstruating. This kind of pain can be so severe to the extent of disrupting activities of daily living and sexual activity e..g working, cooking or learning among other things.
 Interestingly, this article will give you adequate knowledge on how to manage dysmenorrhoea without affecting your daily activities.

Types of Dysmenorrhoea
Dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation) is divided into two, which are:
1. Primary dysmenorrhoea: This occurs without a particular cause due to uterine contractions. The pain begins one or two days before and stops a few days during menses.
2. Secondary dysmenorrhoea: This kind of pain is related to some specified pelvic diseases e.g endometriosis, fibroids, etc. The pain begins in the earlier menstrual cycle and lasts longer than the common menstrual pain.

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Signs and symptoms of dysmeorrhoea
The following can be felt during painful menstruation:
1. Abdominal pain which begins with the onset of menses and lasts 12 to 48 hours.
2. Pain radiating to the more back and thighs.
3. Headache.
4. Fatigue.
5. Breast tenderness.
6. Nausea.
7. Vomiting.
8. Diarrhoea.

Diagnosis of dysmenorrhoea:
The following tests are carried out in order to rule out underlying causes such as fibroids and endometriosis:
1. Pelvic examination.
2. Cervical and vaginal culture.
3. Pelvic and vagina ultrasound.
4. Computed tomography scan (CT scan).
5. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
6. Laboratory tests such as follicle-stimulating hormone levels (FSH), leutinizing hormones (LH),  progesterone and oestradiol levels.
7. Laparoscopy to diagnose structural defects and obstructions caused by scarring, tumors, endometriosis or cysts.

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Management and prevention of dysmenorrhoea:
The management goals are to relieve pain and help continue with activities of daily living.
1.  Analgesics such as ibuprofen to relieve pain.
2.  Warm baths daily to relieve discomfort.
3.  Regular physical exercise
4. Adequate fluid intake.
5. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
6. Avoid caffeinated drinks during menstruation.
7. Avoid smoking
8. Massgae the lower back and abdomen.
9. Use of heating pads or hot water bottles to the lower back to relieve pain.
10. Avoid alcohol intake.
11. Change used sanitary pads frequently.
12. Maintain good personal hygiene.
13. Dilation and curettage (D&C) of the uterus may be carried out to obtain tissue for evaluation or to relieve dysmenorrhoea.
14. Prostaglandin inhibitors which inhibit ovulation and below reduce cramping and bleeding e.g Nor ethisterone and ethinlestradiol (Brevenor).
15. In cases of prolonged and severe discomfort, consult your physician.

Dysmenorrhoea can be well managed when the above measures are adopted but if symptoms persist and so severe, contact your health care provider.

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