Painful menstruation is not a rare problem at all. According to medical statistics, 30-60% of gynecological patients out of the total number of women of childbearing age note it. Moreover, 10% of pain is accompanied by a significant deterioration in well-being and even disability.
The syndrome of painful periods has its name - algodismenorea (or simply dysmenorrhea). Why the lower abdomen was sick before menstruation, we will tell further. And also consider effective ways to cope with dysmenorrhea.
What is it?
Algodismenorea and dysmenorrhea are interchangeable concepts. Moreover, the first is more accurate. From Latin, it translates as "abnormal pain during the monthly cycle." The second concept is narrower, but is used more often because of the ease of pronunciation and spelling.
Why did the lower abdomen hurt during menstruation? The answer lies in the characterization of the menstrual cycle. This is a process of preparing for the conception of a child, regularly repeated in the body of a girl, a woman of childbearing age. Its main components are two phases, estrogen and progesterone.
Initially, the maturation of follicles containing ovules occurs (respectively, in the ovary). One or two of them become dominant. Then in the uterine cavity there is already a preparation for their fertilization. If it did not happen, the cells die. And then endometrial rejection follows. So called cells of the mucous membrane lining the uterus. The process can be divided into several additional phases.
Why did the lower abdomen hurt before menstruation? The syndrome of painful menstruation is associated with processes occurring in the body of a woman during this period. They are divided into four phases:
- Rejection phase. This is the first day of menstruation. The mucous membrane exfoliates from the walls of the uterus and comes out with blood. In this case, the uterus itself contracts. The lower abdomen is very sore before menstruation in most cases precisely because of these contractions. Some experts call the process "rehearsal of childbirth." This opinion takes place, since the hormonal background at the birth of a child, and during menstruation is very similar. The rejection phase normally lasts 3-5 days.
- Recovery phase. Usually this is the 4-6th day of the menstrual cycle. At this time, the epithelial layer is restored - they line the wounded inner surface of the uterus.
- Follicular phase. This is the 6-14th day of the menstrual cycle. At this time, the mucous membrane of the uterine lining is updated. Then new follicles with eggs mature. The phase ends with ovulation. Follicles turn into the so-called corpus luteum, which prepares the uterine mucosa for receiving a fertilized egg.
- Luteal phase. The period lasts from the 14th to the 28th day of the cycle. The endometrium is greatly thickened due to the secretion of the uterine glands. The mucous membrane of the organ swells, thereby creating favorable conditions for the future fetus. The egg leaves the follicle and moves along the oviduct, awaiting fertilization. Accordingly, the luteal phase can end with either fertilization or rejection of the obsolete mucosa and resorption of the formed corpus luteum.
Estrogen and progesterone phases
What are these phases based on? As for the hormonal plan, on the 1-14th day of the menstrual cycle, the female body is under the influence of estrogen (for the most part estradiol). But on the 14-28th day, the greatest effect is already another hormone - progesterone.
It is on this basis that sometimes the menstrual cycle is divided into two stages - estrogenic and progesterone. The first will correspond to the follicular stage, and the second to the luteal stage.
However, the above phase distribution of the menstrual cycle is classic. It is suitable only for those girls who have this period equal to the standard 28 days. But in practice, the duration of the menstrual cycle for each woman is individual. Therefore, the length of each of the phases may vary.
Is pain the norm?
Why did the lower abdomen hurt before menstruation? This is normal? As for the norm, all phases of the menstrual cycle are natural, which is why they should pass without painful sensations. But in practice, many women and girls suffer from discomfort and pain in the first stage of the cycle.
If the lower abdomen hurts before menstruation, this is standardly associated with rejection of the uterine mucosa. The pain appears a few hours before the onset of menstruation. Together with her come the first spotting. Painful sensations are localized in the area of the pelvic organs. The pain may give back to the lower back or femoral region.
If the lower abdomen hurts before the onset of menstruation, this is only one of the symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Individually, a girl, a woman can note the following symptoms in herself:
- Digestive upset.
- General weakness, loss of performance.
- Nausea and vomiting.
These manifestations can torment a woman for several hours and for several days. In some cases, by the middle or the end of the menstruation processes, they even intensify. According to the severity of these symptoms, the patient is diagnosed with dysmenorrhea.
The lower abdomen hurts before menstruation. The causes of this condition, dysmenorrhea, are many:
- Psychogenic factors.
- Individual low pain threshold.
- Organic pathology of the reproductive system. For example, uterine hyperreflexia, endometriosis.
The main causes of the syndrome
If your stomach hurts before your period during the week, what does that mean? Only your gynecologist will give a specific answer. After all, dysmenorrhea can cause not only natural, non-dangerous, but also pathological causes.
If a woman is healthy, but each menstruation turns into a pain syndrome for her, there are two main expert explanations:
- Why did the lower abdomen hurt before menstruation? The first position takes into account the importance of the psychological factor, as well as the physiological type of woman. Mostly young girls of asthenic type suffer from pain. They have a neurasthenic or labile-hysteroid personality characteristic. Accordingly, the expectation of an upcoming menstruation can cause anxiety-neurotic disorder, which leads to a psychogenic decrease in the pain threshold. So, even minor pains are perceived by the body more than they actually are.
- A few days before menstruation, the lower abdomen hurts. What does that mean? Another explanation is based on the fact that menstrual blood contains an increased concentration of prostaglandins. Those biologically active substances that regulate both the contraction of the uterus, and the work of the vessels of this organ, the intensity of pain perception, etc. And excessive production of these substances can lead to negative consequences for the body: deficiency of uterine circulation, sharp spasms of the muscles of the organ, an objectively strong pain in the lower abdomen.
The lower abdomen is very sore before menstruation. This is not a temporary disorder. Dysmenorrhea is in the ICD-10, the International Classifier of Diseases. In the reference book, it is divided into several categories:
- Primary (or functional). If the lower abdomen hurts before the first menstruation (as with subsequent menstruation) - in this category is a completely non-pathological syndrome. This is only an individual menstrual cycle that does not require intervention or treatment.
- Secondary (or organic). If the lower abdomen hurts a week before menstruation, this may indicate a pathological cause of the syndrome. In particular, it can be caused by diseases, structural changes in the reproductive system. For example, endometriosis, various inflammatory processes affecting the genitals, genital abnormalities, uterine myoma, inflammation of the fallopian tubes.
- Unspecified (menstrual pain of unknown origin).
Also, in terms of severity, four varieties of dysmenorrhea are distinguished:
- Weakly expressed.
- Moderately pronounced.
- Strongly expressed.
- The maximum degree of disease.
When does the pain appear?
How much does the lower abdomen hurt before menstruation? It is difficult to give an unambiguous answer to this question, since this is an individual indicator. Some women begin to notice pain in the abdomen, in the mammary glands 1-2 days before the onset of menstruation. Others - in 1-2 weeks. In this case, pain in the abdomen and chest may not appear simultaneously.
If we look at the average numbers, then pain occurs 1-14 days before the onset of menstruation. Symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) come to a woman:
- Drawing pains in the lower abdomen.
- Breast engorgement.
- Increased irritability, which can reach tearfulness (due to changes in hormonal levels).
All this is not pathological. However, be sure to consult a doctor in the following cases:
- Pain in the mammary glands, abdomen appeared long before menstruation (2 weeks or earlier).
- The pain is severe, it is impossible to endure, arose suddenly.
- A painful tightness is felt in the chest.
- Pain in the mammary glands, abdomen remained after the end of menstruation.
- PMS is accompanied by severe headache.
If the lower abdomen hurts right or left before menstruation, you should definitely consult a gynecologist to exclude the pathological causes of dysmenorrhea. If this is the natural behavior of your body, and not a consequence of illnesses, you will be shown symptomatic therapy aimed specifically at eliminating, reducing pain.
For this, the following drugs are prescribed to patients:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Myotropic antispasmodics.
- Combined pain medication. Such drugs contain equal amounts of NSAIDs, analgesics, weak psychostimulants, antispasmodic components. These drugs, according to statistics, help relieve pain in 71% of patients.
But you should not prescribe NSAIDs yourself. After all, these funds thin the blood, which increases menstrual bleeding. The doctor should prescribe such a medicine to the patient judging by the state of her body.
A week before menstruation, the lower abdomen hurts. How to handle this? Herbal medicine has been successfully used as an adjunct treatment. In particular, complex homeopathic medicines, dietary supplements. To alleviate the manifestations of dysmenorrhea, apply:
- Lumbago meadow.
- Hypericum perforatum.
- Vitex is sacred.
- Rosemary officinalis.
Treatment of primary and secondary forms of dysmenorrhea
Since in the secondary form of the disease the cause of pain during menstruation is precisely the underlying disease, dysmenorrhea is eliminated by its complete cure. The doctor prescribes the patient the necessary treatment for this.
As for primary dysmenorrhea, getting rid of an unpleasant symptom helps to adjust your diet and lifestyle. According to the results of studies and surveys, it most clearly manifests itself in girls, women, whose work is associated with psychological stress, stress. And also in patients who, during work, are forced to stay in the same static position for a long time.
It was also found that in women with a vivid manifestation of the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, signs of hypovitaminosis, the lack of essential minerals and vitamins, are most often observed. Therefore, the prevention of pain is often the intake of vitamin complexes as prescribed by a doctor. In particular, this method is recommended for girls who do not live sexually, with mild symptoms of dysmenorrhea.
For women, as a prophylaxis, gynecologists often prescribe KOK - combined oral contraceptives. These drugs can reduce bleeding during menstruation due to suppression of ovulation and proliferation of the endometrium. In some cases, taking COCs is combined with analgesics.
Also, with primary dysmenorrhea, the following may be prescribed:
- Sedative drugs of varying intensity - from herbal supplements to tranquilizers.
- Antioxidants that can normalize the production of prostaglandins. In particular, vitamin E.
- Magnesium citrate, magnesium absorbate and other magnesium preparations, which at the same time weaken the symptoms of dehydration, and alleviate the feeling of anxiety.
- In some cases, patients are offered phytoestrogens as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. However, the opinions of medical specialists about these funds are contradictory.
In addition, observations of girls and women who have turned to an active lifestyle, jogging, visiting the gym, showed that periodic exercise can weaken pain during menstruation.
Does lower abdomen hurt before menstruation? In the reviews of girls and women about this condition, there are many ways to relieve the symptom. Note that these tips are individual:
- Try to move more, walk, play sports - so you will feel less pain in the stomach.
- Wear comfortable underwear, spacious clothing that does not squeeze the mammary glands.
- To relieve the condition a bit, take a warm shower.
- Be sure to get enough sleep - lack of sleep, overwork will aggravate your condition.
- Turn to yoga practice, meditation.
- Review your menu: give up spicy and spicy dishes, sweets. Prefer vegetable dishes and boiled meat.
Pain in the lower abdomen before menstruation is a problem that many women and girls face. If dysmenorrhea manifests itself very clearly, then this is an occasion to consult a doctor who will prescribe the necessary treatment.