Help…I Have Painful Periods!

Painful Periods Image

Are your painful periods normal or is there an underlying condition you should see your healthcare provider about?

Having a monthly period is normal for women and is a sign that your body is in healthy working order. A woman should have regular periods unless they are pregnant, breastfeeding, postmenopausal, has had a hysterectomy, or have another medical condition that causes their period to stop. Not having a normal period may be an indication that something in the body is not working correctly.

One of the many period abnormalities that a woman may experience is pain during her period. Pain is the most common issue women experience with their period. More than 50% of menstruating women experience pain during their period.1 The medical term for this period pain is dysmenorrhea. There are two types of dysmenorrhea. The first type is normal and the second type may mean that there is an underlying medical condition.

Primary Dysmenorrhea

Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common type of pain experienced during a period. This pain is usually caused by the contractions of the uterus that help the uterine lining be removed. This is normal and can usually be treated with supportive comfort measures such as a heating pad or an over-the-counter NSAID medication.

Secondary Dysmenorrhea

Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by an underlying health issue. The pain from secondary dysmenorrhea is usually more severe and lasts longer. Some common causes of secondary dysmenorrhea are endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or ovarian cysts. These problems and the pain could cause disruptions to a woman’s everyday life and affect their fertility.

When to See a Doctor

If pain from your period cannot be relieved with supportive measures and over-the-counter NSAID medication and / or your period pain is causing disruptions to your everyday life then you should see a doctor. Getting a diagnosis will likely take some time and testing. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis. If you are suffering from severe period pain, make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, contact us here today!


  1. Period problems. Period problems | Office on Women’s Health. (n.d.). Retrieved November 11, 2022

Posted in: Women's Health

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