What Are the Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea or Extreme Period Pain?

Extreme Period Pain

Have you ever experienced throbbing or cramping pains in your lower abdomen during your periods? Well, for some women these menstrual cups are just annoying, but for others, menstrual cramps can be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities. This condition is known as dysmenorrhea. If you have recently figured out how to use a menstrual cup for beginners to make your periods comfortable, it’s high time you understand dysmenorrhea.

What Is Dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea literally translates to “difficult monthly flow.” Although it’s completely normal for most women to have abdominal cramps on the first two days of their period, more than 10% of menstruating women experience severe pain. Most women start having dysmenorrhea during adolescence usually, within four to five years after their first periods. Typically, there are two types of dysmenorrhea:

  • Primary Dysmenorrhea: The root cause of primary dysmenorrhea is thought to be excessive levels of prostaglandins. These are hormones that make your uterus contract during childbirth or menstruation. When the endometrium is sloughing off during your periods, the release of prostaglandins can lead to uterus contraction and decreased blood flow to the uterus.

Other factors that worsen the primary dysmenorrhea pain include a retroverted uterus, heavier or irregular menstrual periods, social pr psychological stress, obesity, starting menstruation before the age of 12, and more. In primary dysmenorrhea the pain is not a symptom of any underlying gynaecologic disorder and more than 50% of women experience primary dysmenorrhea during one stage of their life or the other.

  • Secondary Dysmenorrhea: Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by a number of conditions, including adenomyosis, fibroids, STIs, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, ovarian cysts, tumours, the use of IUDs, etc. The pain in secondary dysmenorrhea is generally related to some kind of gynaecologic disorder and the secondary type is more likely to affect women during their adulthood. Secondary dysmenorrhea can be treated with surgery and medications only.

Symptoms of Dysmenorrhea

The main symptom of dysmenorrhea is pain that occurs in the lower abdomen during menstruation. Other symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, fatigue, headache, and light-headedness. Most women experience pain at the beginning of their period or shortly after the first day. The pain peaks around 24 hours after the start of the bleeding and it subsides after 2 to 3 days.

Often clots or pieces of bloody tissue from the lining of the uterus are also expelled which causes pain. Dysmenorrhea pain might be spasmodic or congestive. Mostly the symptoms of secondary dysmenorrhea start sooner in the menstrual cycle and last longer than primary dysmenorrhea.


Need more information on how to use a menstrual cup for beginners or how to use a soft menstrual cup for beginners? Consult a doctor now. If you have period pain spiking day after day in your lower abdomen, ensure to reach out to a doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes the pain can also be indicative of Toxic Shock syndrome that is caused by pads or tampons. Switch to a soft menstrual cup for beginners now and bid adieu to period-related discomfort or pain effortlessly.

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