Most women experience some form of cramping pain during the menstrual period. For some women, it is something that does not bother them, and does not require any pain killers or other treatment. However, many women suffer from significant period pains, and this may interfere with work or school, and can impact on family life and relationships.
Painful periods are referred to as “dysmenorrhoea” in medical terminology. It has been reported that up to 60-90% of adolescent girls report having painful periods. The prevalence of painful periods reduces with increasing age.
The pain often starts just before or with the onset of the menstrual bleeding. Period pains are usually described as “cramping”, but some women will experience a “sharp” pain or “stabbing” pain. The pain is often confined to the lower abdomen, but many women also describe their period pain radiating to the back, and sometimes into the vagina or the legs. The period pain may be associated with nausea, headache, or sometimes diarrhoea.
Primary dysmenorrhoea refers to women who have painful periods in the absence of any identifiable pelvic conditions. This is common in young girls, especially those who have anovulatory menstrual cycles.
Treatment for painful periods depends on the underlying cause, as well as the severity of the period pain and how this is affecting the quality of life of the woman. Options for investigation and treatment may include:
Laparoscopy (Keyhole surgery)
Dr Ken Law is a gynaecologist who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of women in Brisbane with painful periods. He offers comprehensive care for these women, identifying the cause of the problem, giving a detailed explanation and options for treatment. To discuss your specific concerns about your painful periods with this Brisbane gynaecologist, please contact Dr Ken Law to arrange an appointment at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology.