The experts from the “Health and Prevention” Blog analyze, in a new post, the pain caused by the period and the convenience of going to the specialist.
Period pain. Photo Chironsalut
One of the ailments that many women suffer in silence is period pain. There is a belief that what comes with these days of menstruation is normal, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Are painful periods a health problem? Is it normal to feel a lot of pain with menstruation? What can it be due to? At what point should we consult it?
The doctor Ignacio Brunel is a specialist in the Gynecology and Obstetrics Service at the Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital and it indicates firstly that, fortunately, teenage women are becoming more aware of this matter and are consulting more frequently.
“Access to social networks and information on the Internet means that many times they come directly with the label of endometriosis in their heads, although not all period pains are caused by this disease. However, many women in their 30s who have had painful periods for many years have normalized this fact, either they do not consult or they have not been correctly diagnosed”, says this expert.
Is it easy to measure the intensity of period pain?
So what can be understood by painful rule? Brunel explains that the term ‘dysmenorrhea’, which refers to painful menstruation, is “very difficult” to measure objectively. That’s why there are questionnaires and pain scales that can be “very useful”, especially when trying to evaluate the response to a certain treatment.
“One of the instruments we use the most is the EVA scale, in which the patient scores the pain she feels on a scale from 0 (no pain at all) to 10 (the worst imaginable pain),” he postulates.
Having said that, this gynecologist states that there is no consensus on what is the limit on a scale to know whether or not there should be concern about the intensity of this pain.
In fact, more than the intensity or duration of menstrual pain, what most leads specialists to suspect that the patient really suffers from a real health problem is to know how menstruation affects the patients’ day-to-day life, and if this pain allows them to go to work or university, or to go out to dinner with their partner or to have something with friends.
“The woman who has to make a stop in her life every month because she is menstruating probably has some cause behind it and must be studied, and never normalize these symptoms,” insists Dr. Brunel.
The problem of endometriosis
Meanwhile, the doctor José Carlos Vilches, also a specialist in the Gynecology and Obstetrics Service of the Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital, clarifies that there is not a single patient profile that consults for this circumstance: “Unfortunately, endometriosis is a very common disease and affects 10-15% of women of childbearing age. We have patients who consult for dysmenorrhea or chronic pain, or patients who consult for infertility, for example.”
However, this expert celebrates that, thanks to the increase in information, an increase is being seen in young girls consulting the gynecologist. Of course, in his opinion, this is something “primordial”, because it allows them to make an early diagnosis and approach, reducing the complications of this disease.
“Despite this, we still have a significant percentage of patients who have had pain for 10-15 years and have not found a diagnosis or answer to their problem, or, even worse, have considered it normal”, says Dr. Vilches.
For this reason, he insists that in these cases of painful menstruation it is important to trace the cause of the pain, since it may be behind endometriosis, but also another type of disease (uterine, vascular, etc.) that can be treated and will allow to improve the patients’ quality of life.
A chronic pathology
Specifically, endometriosis is a chronic gynecological pathology, the cause of which is unknown, in which endometrial tissue implants outside the uterus.
The most common locations are the pelvic peritoneum and the ovaries, although sometimes this tissue can also be found in other parts of the body such as the bladder, stomach, lung or even the intestines, among others.
This tissue is hormonally dependent on the menstrual cycle, causing bleeding and shedding with menstruation. It is a pathology that can be really disabling for the patient.
The Endometriosis Unit of the Quirónsalud Málaga Hospital began to walk precisely with the aim that patients suffering from this disease can have comprehensive advice in all the aspects in which they may be affected, from symptom control to problems of fertility or the performance of complex surgeries that require joint intervention with digestive surgeons or urologists.
All this with the same purpose: that the patient has the same guiding thread from the first consultation, making a coherent approach to her illness, reasoned and agreed with the wishes of each woman.