Do you or someone you know suffer from painful menstrual period cramps and discomfort every month?
Mild to moderate cramping, bloating and discomfort are often a normal part of a woman’s monthly menstrual bleeding cycle. Often, the symptoms can be managed by staying well hydrated, drinking plenty of water and using a heating pad. Over the counter (OTC) remedies such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, Midol and acetaminophen often help relieve symptoms. You may take any one of these medications continuously at the recommended intervals during the week of your menstrual period bleeding. Do NOT exceed the recommended daily dosage which can usually be found on the package. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, you should not take that particular medication. Some of these OTC medications are not recommended if you have certain medical conditions. If you have any questions, you should ask your healthcare provider (HCP).
If the above measures are not helping you, if the pain is present other than during your monthly bleeding cycle, during sex or if the pain is so severe you have to put your life on hold for one or more days every month to lay in bed, then you should see a healthcare provider now. More severe or prolonged pelvic pain beyond your monthly period may be a sign of more serious disease. This is especially true if your pain is accompanied by other symptoms like fever, chills, vaginal discharge, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or painful urination. These symptoms may be the sign of serious infection, endometriosis, adenomyosis, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors or other pelvic tumors to name a few. You may need further evaluation with a pelvic exam, lab tests and imaging such as a pelvic ultrasound, abdominal X-ray, CT scan or MRI.
In many cases, once the source of your pain has been identified, your HCP will be able to relieve most if not all of your pain with medication. Sometimes, however, you may require surgery both for diagnosis and/or optimal treatment. Typically, it may involve a laparoscopy exam where a laparoscope is placed through a small incision in your belly button and the inside of your pelvis can be examined more directly. Other instruments may be placed through additional small incisions on your abdomen if necessary. Usually this is an outpatient surgery and you go home the same day.
You no longer need to put your life on hold every month. Call your healthcare provider today and get your life back.
I am Scott A. Naegele, MD and I am a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologic surgeon who works at Thomas Hunter and Associates, PLLC in Charleston, WV. I work with two other physicians and a physician’s assistant. If you have further questions call us at (304) 343-4177 and set up an appointment. Any one of us will be happy to see you and answer any questions. You can also read about us on our webpage at www.charlestonwvobgyn.com or on our Facebook page at Thomas Hunter and Associates. Whether you chose to come see us or not, I urge you to see the HCP of your choice soon. You do not need to suffer every month.