Should I Use A Pad Tampon Or Menstrual Cup
You have many choices about how to deal with period blood. You may need to experiment a bit to find which works best for you. Some girls use only one method and others switch between different methods.
- Most girls use pads when they first get their period. Pads are made of cotton and come in lots of different sizes and shapes. They have sticky strips that attach to the underwear.
- Many girls find tampons more convenient than pads, especially when playing sports or swimming. A tampon is a cotton plug that a girl puts into her vagina. Most tampons come with an applicator that guides the tampon into place. The tampon absorbs the blood. Don’t leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours because this can increase your risk of a serious infection called toxic shock syndrome.
- Some girls prefer a menstrual cup. Most menstrual cups are made of silicone. To use a menstrual cup, a girl inserts it into her vagina. It holds the blood until she empties it.
What Causes Period Cramps
We all have different experiences of period cramps. While some women are as regular as clockwork and can predict their cramps right down to the day, others might be lucky enough to rarely or never experience the pain of period cramps. They are something many of us expect and plan for, like the menstrual bleeding itself, but we rarely have time to stop and think: what actually causes period cramps and why are they a necessary, if painful, part of our cycle?
Why Do Some Girls Have Menstrual Cramps And Others Dont
Menstrual cramps are caused by uterine contractions , gas,The most common treatments for menstrual cramps include: Pain relievers, So instead of running for the hills and leaving her to do her own thing or naproxen , many women actively avoid becoming pregnant, Hormonal birth control, and is caused by contractions of the uterus brought on by prostaglandin, More women than men suffer from the condition, Symptoms include severe abdominal cramps, Causes
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Watch Out For These Five Symptoms
Johns Hopkins gynecologist Mindy Christianson, M.D., says there are five common signs of endometriosis. Heres what you should watch out for:
Referral To A Specialist
If your period pain has not been controlled after 3 months of treatment with painkillers or a suitable hormonal contraceptive, your GP may refer you to a specialist, which will usually be a gynaecologist.
The specialist will carry out further tests to help confirm or rule out an underlying medical condition. Tests you may have include:
- a urine or blood test
- pelvic ultrasound where high-frequency sound waves are used to produce an image of the inside of your body it’s painless and will show any abnormalities in your reproductive organs
- laparoscopy under general anaesthetic, a small cut is made in your abdomen through which a fibro-optic telescope is inserted it can be used to look at your internal organs as well as take samples of tissue
- hysteroscopy allows the inside of the womb to be examined using a fibro-optic telescope it’s passed through your vagina and into the womb to check for abnormalities
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How Does Secondary Dysmenorrhea Cause Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual pain from secondary dysmenorrhea is a result of problems with the reproductive organs. Conditions that can cause cramping include:
- Endometriosis: A condition in which the tissue lining the uterus is found outside of the uterus. Because these pieces of tissue bleed during your period, they can cause swelling, scarring and pain.
- Adenomyosis: A condition where the lining of the uterus grows into the muscle of the uterus. This condition can cause the uterus to get much bigger than it should be, along with abnormal bleeding and pain.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease : An infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs. PID can cause pain in the stomach or pain during sex.
- Cervical stenosis: Narrowing of the cervix, or the opening to the uterus.
- Fibroids : Growths on the inside, outside or in the walls of the uterus
What I Can Do To Relieve Pms
Many of the things that help ease cramps can also help with PMS. Here are some different ways to relieve PMS symptoms:
Take over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetaminophen . Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Talk with your doctor before taking pain medication if you have an allergy to aspirin or severe asthma.
Do aerobic exercise, like walking, running, riding a bike, swimming, or any activity that gets your heart rate up. Regular exercise is ideal.
Do breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.
Get plenty of rest. Sleeping regularly every night can help with stress, mood changes, and feeling tired or fatigued.
Eat healthy foods like fruits, veggies , whole grains, and yogurt.
Limit fat, salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Make sure you get enough vitamins in your diet, or take vitamin supplements. If you dont get enough calcium, take a supplement of 1200 mg of calcium daily. Magnesium and Vitamin E might also help.
Use hormonal birth control . Your doctor can help you find a birth control method that can help with PMS.
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Tracking And Treating Period Cramps
If you have mild period pain, aspirin or ibuprofen can provide pain relief. Heat treatment like taking a warm bath or placing a hot water bottle on the back or stomach can also help soothe symptoms. Preventative measures such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine and tobacco in the days leading up to your period may also reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramps, while regular exercise is proven to reduce period pain.
We hope you now understand what causes period cramps and why they are a healthy part of your menstrual cycle. Here at Natural Cycles, were on hand to help you learn more about your cycle so you can predict and prepare for symptoms such as PMS, menstrual cramps and more. With our birth control app, its easy to document symptoms and keep track of your unique cycle.
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider About Menstrual Cramps
Bad cramps keep some women from working and going to school. You dont have to suffer and you dont have to put your life on hold. Contact your healthcare provider if you have painful periods.
It may be helpful to keep track of your periods and the days on which pain is the worst so you can make a complete report. If you notice other symptoms, like headaches or heavy flows, you should keep track of those, too.
Your provider will probably ask you when you started getting your period, how long they last, if you are sexually active, if other women in your family have problems with their periods and what kinds of treatments you might have tried already.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Menstruation is normal. You might get cramps, but you dont have to suffer silently with them. There are ways to make painful periods less painful. Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about painful periods.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/20/2020.
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How Long Period Pain Lasts
Period pain usually starts when your bleeding begins, although some women have pain several days before the start of their period.
The pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours, although it can last longer. It’s usually at its worst when your bleeding is heaviest.
Young girls often have period pain when they begin getting periods. Read more about starting periods.
Period pain that does not have an underlying cause tends to improve as a woman gets older. Many women also notice an improvement after they’ve had children.
Uterine Fibroids: A Monthly Period Nightmare For Some
As many as three out of four women will develop uterine fibroids, but most will not experience any symptoms. Fibroids range in size from microscopic to large enough to distort the shape of the uterus.
Uterine fibroids can turn monthly menses into a monthly nightmare by increasing not only the amount of bleeding, but the severity of period pain, says Lauren Streicher, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and the author of Love Sex Again. The reason behind the pain is that the uterus during the period must contract to expel the large blood clots that often result from heavy bleeding,” says Dr. Streicher. Fortunately, fibroids do not put women at increased risk of uterine cancer and very rarely become cancerous.
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Period Pain And Fertility
Period pain that’s part of your normal menstrual cycle will not affect your fertility. However, if the cause is a medical condition, this may affect your fertility.
For example, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause scarring and a build-up of tissue in your fallopian tubes, making it harder for sperm to reach and fertilise an egg.
How Period Pain Affects Education
Many young women experience menstrual symptoms. Almost three quarters report regular period pain, around half report fatigue, and more than one third report emotional changes such as mood swings. Studies show these menstrual symptoms can cause women to miss work or school and some previous studies in teenagers show it may potentially impact academic performance.
We wanted to understand how menstrual symptoms might be affecting young women in Australia with regard to their education, and how they manage these.
We asked young women about how often they got period pain and other menstrual symptoms, how it impacted their attendance or classroom performance, and explored how useful they found the sexual and reproductive education they had previously received.
In our survey, nine out of ten young women reported having had period pain in the past three months, and half reported pain every month. This is similar to previous findings in teenagers in Australia.
Their pain scores, which tended to be moderate to severe for most, didnt change as they got older.
More than one-third of young women said they missed at least one class in the past three months due to their menstrual symptoms. This was almost identical no matter if they were at school or at university.
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Some Doctors Dont Take Womens Pain As Seriously
For women who do speak up, their pain is often downplayed or ignored. Ive read story after story after story after story of women whose pain was not taken seriously by physicians when something was seriously wrong . A study, The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain, found that while women experience more frequent and greater pain than men, they are likely to be less well treated than men for their painful symptoms.
Dr Beth Darnall, a clinical associate professor in the division of pain medicine at Stanford University and a pain psychologist at the Stanford Pain Management Center has seen this phenomenon first-hand. She said that by the time patients reach her pain clinic, theyve seen multiple providers, theyve been through primary care for their pain, theyve probably seen another specialist, and then they come to us.
What Causes Painful Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps happen when a chemical called prostaglandin makes the uterus contract . The uterus, the muscular organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout your menstrual cycle. During menstruation, the uterus contracts more strongly. If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to muscle tissue. You feel pain when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.
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Copper Iud: Period Pain After Insertion Vs Cramps Later On
A copper IUD is a nonpermanent, nonhormonal form of birth control that can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years. The device, which is placed in the uterus by a licensed healthcare provider, works by continuously releasing copper, which immobilizes sperm and prevents egg implantation.
A copper IUD, as opposed to a progestin IUD, can make menses heavier and more painful, particularly in the first few cycles after insertion, says Streicher. But be aware if you have had your copper IUD for years and suddenly develop severe period pain, look for another reason. Your IUD is unlikely to be the culprit.
When Do Most Girls Get Their Period
Most girls get their first period when they’re around 12. But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK. Every girl’s body has its own schedule.
There isn’t one right age for a girl to get her period. But there are some clues that it will start soon:
- Most of the time, a girl gets her period about 2 years after her breasts start to develop.
- Another sign is vaginal discharge fluid that a girl might see or feel on her underwear. This discharge usually begins about 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period.
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Care Advice For Menstrual Cramps