Don’t ignore your painful menstrual cramps. By Dr Cynthia Kew
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Whenever Aunt Flo comes knocking on your door, some pain and cramping is to be expected. But when your period cramps regularly leave you squirming in bed and unable to function normally? That’s cause for alarm. Severe cramps could be a sign of an underlying medical condition, some of which can even impact your fertility. Don’t ignore your painful periods. Schedule a check with your gynaecologist to find out what’s wrong. (Also Read: Experiencing Painful Period Cramps? Here’s When to See Your Doctor)
3 causes of period pain that may impact fertility
Endometriosis: A condition where the lining of the womb, called the endometrium, is deposited outside the cavity of the womb where they shouldn’t be, eg. around the back of the uterus, tubes and ovaries and other parts of the pelvis. Over time, these menstrual lining tissues cause inflammation and scarring in a woman’s pelvis. It may not only cause intense period pains, but also infertility. They can cause large ovarian cysts called chocolate cysts. Women may go years undiagnosed as it might occur without symptoms.
Fibroids: Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that grow from the muscle wall of the uterus. Many women never know they have fibroids. However, some fibroids may cause pain and abnormal menstruation, impact fertility, and possibly increase the risk of miscarriage.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Another cause of painful periods may be an infection of the womb and fallopian tubes, and this is known as PID. It is the most common cause of blocked fallopian tubes.
Article reviewed by Dr Cynthia Kew, obstetrician and gynaecologist, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. A version of this article first appeared on www.mountelizabeth.com.sg/healthplus. Health Plus is an online health and wellness web resource developed by Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, Singapore. Health Plus aims to be a source of credible health information, with trustworthy and up-to-date healthcare and medical information that you can rely on.