6 Kinds of period pain every woman should know about
We ALL dread that time of the month, but it's especially bad for those women who suffer from pains and aches before or during. The problem is, how are we supposed to tell the difference between regular ol' annoying cramps and more serious problems? Below, check out six different kinds of period pain every woman should know about:
Read more ¿Qué más?: 5 Surprising health benefits of beer
1. Regular cramps: Most women have experienced these at some point or another, even if they don't necessarily get them every month. They tend to start right before or right at the beginning of a woman's cycle and last anywhere from one to three days. Heating pads, over-the-counter ibuprofen and getting plenty of rest can help soothe cramps.
2. Fibroids: Abnormal uterine bleeding is the most common symptom of fibroids, which are benign tumors on the walls of the uterus, typically found in women ages 30 to 45. Treatments range from birth control pills to surgeries, depending on the size and location.
3. Ovarian Cysts: Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can actually appear anywhere on the body, but often are found on the ovaries. They can cause pain at anytime, not just during your period, as well as cause other symptoms, like vomiting, weight gain, nausea, and breast tenderness. Testing is usually required to determine the type of treatment, but many of them go away on their own.
4. Endometriosis: More than 5 million women in the US suffer from this condition, which is a huge instigator of painful periods. Basically, it occurs when the tissue that lines the womb starts to grow outside the uterus. The most common is intense pain—much more intense than normal cramps. Those who have it may also experience vomiting and fainting. Doctors usually start treating it with drugstore painkillers, like Aleve, but they may also suggest a hormone treatment, like starting birth control pills.
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: PID is usually caused by untreated STD's but can also be caused by non-sexually-transmitted infections. Symptoms can be mild, which makes the diagnosis tricky. But if the infection is left for too long, it could turn serious and potentially cause difficulty in getting pregnant. Treatment usually includes antibiotics or in advances cases, surgery.
6. Copper IUD: The copper IUD is a long-term form of birth control that helps prevent pregnancy. But some women have also found that it can make their periods and more painful. Usually, these cramps can be treated with any standard painkiller or ibuprofen. If the pain persists however, you should probably have the IUD removed.
Image via Thinkstock