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Getting severe stomach pain at the time of Menstrual cycle

Resolved Question:

Each Menstrual cycle I am having severe stomach pain as well as backbone pain,the pain decreases slowly after 3/4 days.But this happens every month same way..Please let me know the reason and guide me for the treatment.


Category: Sexologist

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Thank you for consulting with Doctor spring. I understand that you are suffering from stomach cramps and back ache before your period every month. Painfull cramping pain accompanying menstruation is called Dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is divided into two types for ease of understanding the cause for this common condition:

1. Primary dysmenorrhea

In this the cause for the pain is believed to be due to a biochemical imbalance occurring at the time of the period. There is no associated pathology in the reproductive organs. Nearly 50% of women in the age grout between 18 and 25 suffer form primary dysmenorrhea. Only 5-15% of these women suffer form the more incapacitating form which interferes with daily activities. It is said that primary dysmenorrhea occurs only in ovulatory cycles i.e. cycles in which the ovum has been released. It usually starts a few years after puberty and continues into late teens and early 20s.

It is most intense on the first day of the period and lessens with menstrual flow. It lessens with passage of time and resolves after childbirth.

2. Secondary dysmenorrhea.

In this the pain is due to the presence of some pelvic pathology i.e. adenomyosis, fibroids, PID etc

Dysmenorrhea can also be described as

1. Spasmodic dysmenorrhea

Presents as cramping pains on the first and second day of the menstrual cycle. This is also by far the most type.

2. Congestive dysmenorrhea:

It includes onset of lower abdominal and pelvic pain a few days before the start of the period. The pain resolves slowly with the onset of bleeding. This points to a possible diagnosis of PID or endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

From your question it is most likely that you suffer form the more common form of dysmenorrhea i.e. primary dysmenorrhea. I would suggest that you visit your Doctor and just rule out anything serious.

Medical measures for primary dysmenorrhea include:

1. Analgesics like Ibuprofen or Paracetamol

2. Mefenamic acid also provides quick relief in 80 to 90% of cases

3. Progesterone containing IUCD can be tried if contraception is also desired.
4. Oral Combined Contraceptive Pills suppress ovulation and hence anovulatory cycles become painless.

5. There are claims that Vitamin E two days before and 3 days during the period reduces dysmenorrhea.

I hope this information was of use to you.


Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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