Menstrual Pain and the Relationship with Endometriosis

Menstrual period pain is a normal part of the menstrual cycle. Most women can experience this type of pain during their menstrual period. It is usually felt as painful muscle cramps in the abdomen. While it can be intense at times, it may not always cause severe pain on a cyclical basis. Sometimes, you may experience pelvic pain even when you're not menstruating.

Menstrual Pain Causes

Menstrual cramps occur due to the contraction of the muscles in the uterine wall. During menstruation, the uterus contracts regularly to expel the menstrual blood. As a result of uterine contractions, there is a decrease in blood and oxygen flow to the uterus, which can cause pain.

During these uterine contractions, the uterus releases chemicals called prostaglandins, which can lead to an increase in pain intensity. The severity of pain experienced by some women during menstruation may be due to the accumulation of prostaglandins, leading to more intense contractions and therefore more severe pain.

Is Severe Menstrual Pain Normal?

Severe menstrual pain can have different underlying causes. Medical conditions can also be behind periodically occurring pain. This condition is referred to as secondary dysmenorrhea in medical terms. Menstrual pain with different underlying causes mostly affects women aged between 30 and 45. Conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause these pains.

Fibroids: Non-cancerous tumors that can grow in the uterus and make women’s menstrual periods heavy and painful.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): A broad term used for infections of the upper reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Relationship Between Menstrual Pain and Endometriosis

Endometriosis: Constant pain experienced during menstruation may indicate endometriosis. The tissue that lines the inside of the uterus and is shed and renewed every month during menstruation is called the “endometrium.”

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Endometriosis occurs when this tissue grows in the wrong areas of the body outside the uterus. These misplaced areas can include on or inside the ovaries, in the abdomen, and rarely on the intestines or urinary bladder. In rare cases, it can occur outside the abdominal cavity, including the vagina, lungs, brain, and respiratory tract.

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