Les douleurs menstruelles: comment gérer une crise ?

Menstrual pain: how to manage a crisis?

Oct 31, 2023

Have you ever experienced such severe pain during your period that you wondered how to ease the pain? It might seem insurmountable, but did you know that there are several scientifically proven ways to alleviate this pain? This article explores these solutions in depth to help you manage painful attacks during your period.

The different types of menstrual pain

What about those pains you feel every month? You may be wondering, “Are they all the same?” Or, “are there other forms of menstrual discomfort that I should expect?” Well, it's time to put all this in order.

Generally speaking, period pain is grouped under the term dysmenorrhea , which simply refers to a painful menstruation.

Far from being uniform, dysmenorrhea is divided into two main types: primary and secondary .

Primary dysmenorrhea often manifests itself from the first menstruation, during adolescence. Its cause is not a particular illness; it is attributed to the release of substances called prostaglandins , which cause uterine contractions.

Secondary dysmenorrhea appears later, usually in middle-aged women. It is the result of specific gynecological disorders, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. These conditions can damage the lining of the uterus or block the passage of menstrual blood and tissues, leading to more intense pain.

The main characteristic of both types of dysmenorrhea is localized pain in the lower abdomen, which can radiate to the thighs and back. Varying in intensity, they can be accompanied by symptoms such as bloating, headaches, fatigue, and in some cases, vomiting and fainting.

What are the symptoms associated with period pain?

When we talk about period pain , many women immediately think of intense, throbbing cramps in the lower abdomen. This is certainly the most common symptom, but it is certainly not the only one. So, what other ailments can alert you to the imminent arrival of your period?

Headaches are often a common symptom that accompanies an attack of period pain. These can be mild or particularly severe, resembling a migraine. They are caused by the oscillation of hormone levels during the menstrual cycle .

Likewise, many women experience nausea and vomiting due to increased production of prostaglandins, lipid compounds that cause uterine contractions. In response, the stomach tends to contract as well, causing these symptoms.

Likewise, it is quite common to feel tired or exhausted during your period. This is because of the subtle anemia caused by blood loss. And let's not forget mood swings that can range from mild irritability to deep depression.

Additionally, breast tenderness , or a feeling of heavy, sore breasts, is also a common symptom. Bloating and dyspepsia , caused by fluid retention and hormonal changes, can also be a source of discomfort.

Menstrual pain: how to manage a crisis

Warning symptoms: how to anticipate crises

Menstrual pain can be a real nightmare for some women. Although it is usually trivialized and considered a 'normal' part of the menstrual cycle, severe pain can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. So how can you spot the warning symptoms of a period pain attack? And above all, how can we anticipate these crises?

It is crucial to understand that symptoms can vary from woman to woman. For some, the pain may be sudden and intense, while for others it may be dull and throbbing. That said, some warning symptoms are generally common.

  • Abdominal cramps: This is one of the first signs. They can start a few days before your period and get worse over time.
  • Mood changes: While for some women this may result in irritability or increased sensitivity, for others it may result in depression or anxiety.
  • Fatigue: Feeling tired or unwell can warn you that your body is preparing for your period.

So, how can we anticipate these crises and minimize their impact? It’s all about learning to listen to your body and recognizing these warning symptoms. Having a good understanding of your menstrual cycle can also play a crucial role. Noting the days your period started, the duration and intensity of the pain, and any other associated symptoms can help you anticipate future attacks.

There are also strategies you can use to minimize pain. For example, regular physical activity is often recommended because it helps reduce muscle tension and improve blood circulation. A balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals can help your body function better and manage pain.

Practical tips for preventing and managing period pain attacks

Period pain , a phenomenon many women are familiar with, can be intense and debilitating. So, how do you manage an attack of pain during your period ? What should be done?

First, do you want prevention ? Yes, adopting a healthy lifestyle is a good start to reducing the frequency and intensity of menstrual pain.

This includes :

  • Regular exercise : Ask yourself, are you getting enough exercise? Did you know that regular physical activity has been shown to reduce menstrual pain? It is a natural and effective way to combat this reality.
  • A balanced diet : Diet plays a key role in maintaining general health. What about foods rich in omega-3 and vitamin D? Did you know they can help relieve period pain?
  • Drink enough water : Hydration and menstrual pain, what's the link? Proper hydration can help relieve bloating that often worsens period pain symptoms.
  • Stress Reduction : Have you noticed that stress can exacerbate menstrual pain? Relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation, can help reduce stress and, therefore, pain.

But, what if pain occurs despite these prevention efforts? Don't worry, there are methods to manage pain during an attack:

  • Applying heat : Have you ever tried placing a hot water bottle on your lower abdomen during your period? This simple gesture can do wonders for pain relief.
  • Taking painkillers : Paracetamol, ibuprofen and naproxen are some of the most commonly used medications to ease menstrual pain. However, remember to consult a doctor or pharmacist to make sure they are appropriate for you.
  • Use alternative medicine : Methods such as acupuncture, massage and aromatherapy are becoming increasingly popular for managing menstrual pain. Have you ever tried ?

It is important to note that if your period pain is severe or gets worse over time, you should consult a healthcare professional immediately. Only a doctor can correctly diagnose and treat severe dysmenorrhea or an underlying condition such as endometriosis.

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