Painful Periods Beyond Childbearing
While young women who have painful periods need to worry about endometriosis and fertility issues, older women need to worry as well. Just because you are beyond your childbearing years doesn't mean that painful periods aren't an issue - or that you shouldn't take them seriously.
Causes of Painful Periods
Painful periods could be the result of a number of conditions. They might be due to uterine fibroids, which are overgrowths that can interfere with normal contraction of the uterine area which controls how much bleeding you have each cycle. If your bleeding comes out clotting, it can cause more cramping and discomfort. Another condition, called Adenomyosis, occurs when glands like the lining of the womb go deep into the muscle layer. This can cause the uterus to be enlarged and a woman can experience pain in her lower back, vaginal sidewalls and inner thighs.
How Do You Treat Painful Periods?
Most painful periods are not the result of cancer. This, of course, is good news and it means that you can usually avoid having surgery for them. Often times, doctors will start by prescribing birth control pills. One major side effect of the pill is that it lessens the severity of painful periods. However, if it does turn out that your pain is from fibroids - you need to be careful because the pill can make fibroids get even bigger. Fibroids respond best to GnRH agonists; these drugs are effective on fibroids because they shrink the fibroids by creating a menopause-like state. So, be careful if this is not what you desire. If you have adenomyosis, the pill has mixed results. Progesterone therapy is often advised instead, but this isn't always a successful approach.
Surgery for Painful Periods
Certainly, as a last resort, you can have surgery for painful periods. A hysteroscopy, a simple out-patient procedure, can look at the womb through the vagina to see if there are polyps or missed fibroids. Removal can then be undertaken with a hysteroscope. Thermal Endometrial Ablation uses a ThermaChoice uterine balloon to make periods normal in at least 85% of cases. This is an 8 minute out-patient procedure and is for cases where the painful periods aren't a result of adenomyosis, fibroids, or other known abnormalities. Of course, a hysterectomy is always available as an end solution for painful periods.
Getting all of the facts about painful periods and the anecdotes for them can help you to make an educated decision for yourself. You certainly don't need to continue to live with this condition, especially if you aren't concerned any longer with having children. Get the facts and make the best decision for yourself and your body!