Dear Doc:I have Painful Periods

Posted on 2013-03-26 22:00:55

Dear Doctor, I am 19 years old and I have been suffering from very painful periods since my first period 4 years ago. I have been taking pain killers which have helped relieve the pain. The only problem is that the pain seems to have been getting worse this last year, so I have been taking more and more pain killers. Is this normal? Mary. Dear Mary, Thank you for your question. Painful periods, also known as dysmenorrhea, is one of the most common reproductive conditions affecting young women not only in Nairobi but worldwide. As in your case, the pain usually begins when the periods first start and may persist in varying severity. However, in many cases, the pain reduces rather than increases with age. In this case where pain is worsening with time, then it is advisable to visit a doctor to ensure that there is no other cause of the dysmenorrhea. The doctor will take a full history, conduct an examination and order some tests to check for conditions such as fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, adenomysosis, endometriosis among others, which can worsen dysmenorrhea. Treatment of any such condition will result in a reduction in the severity of pain you experience during your periods. If the doctor does not find any condition that worsens dysmenorrhea, then he/she will be able to prescribe more effective treatment for the pain. This may include changing the pain killers you have been taking, or combining this with other drugs used to treat dysmenorrhea. In addition, you will get advice on some of the non-medicinal approaches that are helpful in controlling the pain during your periods. Therefore, please arrange to visit your doctor as soon as possible for the appropriate attention.