- “Doc, I want to ask you one thing. Since I celebrated by 28th birthday, I have been experiencing severe pains in my abdomen during my period and this has been affecting me for a long time.
Now, this message dropped on my email last week and since then, I have been longing for this time to arrive so that, through this column, I tell Ann*, 32, the sender from Mwanza who asked:
“Doc, I want to ask you one thing. Since I celebrated by 28th birthday, I have been experiencing severe pains in my abdomen during my period and this has been affecting me for a long time. What does this pain mean and how can I deal with it?
Under normal circumstances, periods should become less painful as you age—not worse.
In case you have been experiencing painful menses and this seems to be getting worse, you need to pay attention and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Usually, the pain occurs a few days before or during menstruation and may continue for two to three days.
This pain can be sharp or dull aching and sometimes tends to come and go. It may also associate with back pain. Have you been experiencing this kind of pain, Ann?
If it’s severe and that it affects your quality of life, such as it interferes with your daily routine, then you need to arrange an appointment with a gynaecologist in Mwanza. You could begin by visiting a general physician at your nearest hospital.
Studies show that 1 in 3 women experience painful periods and which sometimes the make it hard for them to do normal household, job, or school-related activities during each menstrual cycle.
Women who are likely to experience this pain are those who started their first period at an early age (younger than 11 years) or have family members with the condition.
If you are overweight or obese, smoke cigarettes or you don’t do regular exercises you are at risk.
How to deal with the situation?
These are suggested tips if you want to ease the pain.
• Apply a heating pad below your belly button.
• Do light circular massage with your fingertips around your lower belly area.
• Drink warm beverages.
• Keep your legs raised while lying down, or lie on your side with your knees bent.
• Take warm showers or baths.
• Exercise regularly.
• You can take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen. Start taking it the day before your period is expected to start, and continue taking it regularly for the first few days of your period.
However, make sure you communicate with your doctor for evaluation.