When Menstrual Pain Stems From Something More Serious

From an early age, many women are taught that menstrual pain is simply part of being a woman, but is that always the case? How do you know if your period cramps or pelvic pain are normal or if they’re an indication of a more serious underlying health issue?

Here at Gynecology and Obstetrics Medical Group in Long Beach, California, Dr. Essam Taymour specializes in determining the root cause of menstrual pain and providing the expert treatment you need to feel better each month. In this blog, we explore some of the reasons you might be experiencing abnormal menstrual pain and the treatment options that bring relief. 

Endometriosis: Painful periods and excessive bleeding

During your period and for several days afterward, do you experience debilitating pelvic pain, lower back pain, and bloating? These symptoms — along with heavy bleeding, diarrhea, and fatigue — may be signs of endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which your uterine tissue grows outside the uterus. The tissue can grow along the lining of your pelvis, your fallopian tubes, and your ovaries. 

During your menstrual cycle, this tissue thickens and breaks down, but unlike the lining inside your uterus, the endometrial tissue has nowhere to go. Instead, it becomes trapped in your pelvis and can irritate your internal organs, causing severe abdominal pain and even infertility. 

Once Dr. Taymour identifies endometriosis as the cause of your painful periods — also known as dysmenorrhea — he recommends effective treatment options, several of which are nonsurgical. In more severe cases, minimally invasive surgery or a hysterectomy may be necessary to relieve painful, life-disruptive symptoms.

Uterine fibroids: Heavy bleeding and lower abdominal pain

While heavy bleeding, lower abdominal pain, and even leg pain are possible signs of endometriosis, they may also be attributed to the presence of uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are benign growths that form inside your uterus. Called leiomyomas, these growths can be as tiny as a seed or as large as a softball.

The size, number, and location of your fibroids determines whether you experience pain and other uncomfortable symptoms, such as:

If other women in your family have a history of uterine fibroids, you’re at risk for developing them during childbearing age. 

Uterine fibroid treatments can include medication or minimally invasive surgery.

Other causes of menstrual pain

In addition to endometriosis and uterine fibroids, your painful periods may be the result of other female health conditions.

Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition in which the tissue from inside your uterus grows inside the walls of the uterus. This condition can cause painful menstrual cramps each month.

Cervical stenosis

With cervical stenosis, the opening of the cervix is too small to allow normal menstrual flow, so it causes pain and pressure inside the uterus. 

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the reproductive organs — your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. PID is usually related to sexually transmitted bacteria that causes inflammation and pain.

Finding the cause — and the right treatment

Identifying the source of your pain each month is crucial to getting the most effective treatments. If you suffer from abnormally painful periods, you owe it to yourself to discover the underlying causes of your pain and discomfort. 

Before painful menstrual symptoms further disrupt your life or lead to long-term health and fertility issues, make an appointment for a comprehensive medical exam with Dr. Taymour. Call our office at 562-247-3038, or request an appointment online to get the expert diagnosis and care you need.

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