We'll explain why and what you can do about it below.
Primary and secondary pain during menstruation
The symptoms that occur before your period are called premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS is very common and is estimated to affect about 80 per cent of all women.
However, many women also suffer from pain during their period, which can be divided into primary and secondary period pain.
Primary period pain is the pain that occurs when your uterus contracts to expel the mucous membrane built up during the cycle in case of pregnancy. Primary period pain, which affects younger women in particular, tends to be more severe the heavier the menstrual period.
Secondary period pains, on the other hand, are not symptoms that are directly triggered by your menstruation. Instead, they have another cause, such as endometriosis or contraception with an IUD. When you have your period, the pain is only triggered or at least intensified by it.
What are the most common menstrual symptoms?
There are a number of typical complaints that women have to deal with shortly before and during their period and that can sometimes considerably limit the quality of life, depending on their severity.
These include the following complaints in particular:
- Cramps and pain in the lower abdomen
- Digestive problems like diarrhoea
- Back pain
- Tension and pain in the breasts
The cramping pain is caused by the uterus contracting as mentioned above. In many women, the pain radiates from the lower abdomen to the lower back, which then also hurts during menstruation. In addition, it is not uncommon for digestion to suffer due to the contraction of the uterus and for women to get diarrhoea during their period, for example.
The feeling of tightness and sensitivity of the breasts, on the other hand, is caused by water retention, which occurs shortly before menstruation due to hormonal fluctuations. The water retention and the associated breast pain usually go away a few days after your period starts.
If you suffer from headaches and nausea during your period, the fluctuations in your hormone levels are also responsible. Often women are affected by both at the same time. However, it is just as likely that you only get headaches or nausea.
How can period pain be relieved?
To a certain extent, period pains are unfortunately part of life. Not every woman is lucky enough to be hardly affected by them. However, there are some things you can do to ease your discomfort.
For example, a hot water bottle and a hot bath can help relieve menstrual back and abdominal pain. Also, avoid foods that promote inflammation and try to eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh foods such as vegetables and fruit.
There are also a number of other home remedies, from herbal tea to magnesium to monk's pepper, that many women use to significantly relieve their pain during menstruation.
Also, try to be physically active, even if you don't feel like it because of your menstrual cramps. A moderate exercise programme will increase your well-being and also help to reduce the discomfort you feel during your period.
Why you should wear menstrual underwear
If you suffer from period pain, you probably want your menstrual products to be as comfortable and easy to use as possible. Period underwear does both of these things perfectly. Try our comfortable period pants and see for yourself how comfortable they are.
When is period pain a case for the doctor?
In most cases, period pain can be managed quite well with the tips and home remedies mentioned above. However, if you are suffering from very severe pain or if you have unusual changes, such as unusually heavy menstrual bleeding, you should contact your gynaecologist.
After all, she will not only be able to give you more tips on how to deal with your period pain, but she can also examine you to rule out possible diseases as the cause of your pain.