If your daughter experiences painful periods every month, she doesn’t have to suffer in silence. The pain could be primary dysmenorrhea and its common symptoms include:
- Lower abdominal crampy pain – beginning before the period and lasting 1 or 2 days into it
- Back pain
You might be surprised to know that many young women suffer in silence for years because they believe it’s just part of growing up.
Sure, a little monthly cramping with your period is completely normal. But, being doubled over in pain, throwing up and having diarrhea is not. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, menstrual cramps, a condition known as dysmenorrhea, affects 20 to 90 percent of adolescent girls. Primary dysmenorrhea refers to painful periods without any underlying cause, usually occurring in adolescent girls, 2 to 3 years after menstruating begins.
For the unlucky 14 to 42 percent of girls experiencing extreme dysmenorrhea that is affecting their quality of life on a monthly basis, they need to know that this doesn’t have to be normal for them.
Dysmenorrhea remains the leading cause of school absences among teenage girls, beating out even the common cold.
“Dysmenorrhea is a common problem in adolescent girls,” said Dr. Ronna Schneider of Suburban Pediatrics Associates. “We need to talk with them about what is normal and what isn’t when it comes to menstrual pain – especially extreme pain. They need to know that they don’t have to just live with it.”
How can Suburban Pediatrics help?
Our pediatricians and nurse practitioners are here to help you make sure that your daughter doesn’t suffer from severe menstrual pain. Call us at 513-336-6700 or schedule an appointment if your daughter:
- Experiences period pain that disrupts her life
- Has frequently occurring pain
- Has pain that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers
Managing the menstrual pain
We usually start by prescribing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), which block the effects of pain-producing prostaglandins,” said Dr. Schneider. “These tend to be more effective than other painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol).”
If NSAIDs don’t get the job done, most physicians recommend a low-dose oral contraceptive which can completely prevent the production of prostaglandins altogether.
For more information
At Suburban Pediatrics, we’re here for you and your family every step of the way. We can help your daughters with menstrual pain and other gynecological issues. Sign up for our Patient Portal, check out our website Resources, follow us on Facebook or call us at 513-336-6700.