Is your period pain getting worse with age? A gynaecologist explains why

Managing period pain is a part of growing up for every girl, but it could get worse with age. To know possible reasons, read on!
What’s causing period pain? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Aarthi Bharat Published on: 9 September 2022, 13:45 pm IST
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Menstrual cramps are a nightmare, but you can’t do much to avoid them. Many women will notice an ease in their pain as they age. However, that is not the case for others who experience even worse cramps with age. Is your period pain or dysmenorrhea turning problematic with age?

Unfortunately, it is possible for women to experience worse period pain as they grow older, especially in their 30s and 40s. The unbearable pain can come along with other symptoms such as irregular periods, pain during sex, foul-smelling vaginal discharge. Some conditions also require medical attention. If you are experiencing unbearable period pain or any of these symptoms, your next step should be to visit your doctor where you can discuss your condition and get appropriate treatment for it if necessary.

Those excruciating menstrual cramps can have multiple reasons. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Reasons why your period pain suddenly worsens with age:

1. Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition wherein the tissue that is present in the lining of the uterus, also grows in the muscular wall of the uterus. This tissue thickens as usual and sheds itself during a menstrual cycle. This can result in a swollen uterus and heavier bleeding. This condition could also make you experience severe pain during periods.

2. Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus in a woman’s childbearing years. They usually develop because of high estrogen levels in the body. Fibroids can cause pain in the abdomen or lower back with varying intensity. They can also result in your periods being heavier than usual. Fibroids usually shrink after menopause when estrogen levels decrease.

3. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition wherein the tissue that lines the womb is found outside it, including the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This condition mostly affects women during their childbearing age. Endometriosis can lead to period pain, back pain, heavy bleeding, complications with pregnancy, pain when going to the toilet and sickness.

This condition too needs medical attention, it is always advisable to visit your doctor when you experience such symptoms.

Endometriosis can also cause menstrual irregularities, apart from period pain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

This is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs usually caused by sexually transmitted infections. The organs affected can be the uterus, fallopian tubes and the ovaries. When you suffer from PID your dysmenorrhea will get worse and you will experience pain in your lower abdomen

5. Stress

Stress is experienced by us all and too much stress can also disrupt the duration of the menstrual cycle and can make symptoms like mood swings and period pain much worse. When your body is in stress, it sometimes loses the ability to manage inflammatory responses. Stress can increase the amount of inflammatory chemicals in the body which can cause intense period pain.

6. Weight gain

It is normal for our weight to fluctuate as we age. A healthy balanced diet along with regular exercise becomes more essential as we age. A significant increase in weight can affect your menstrual cycle as well. But with proper weight management, you can avoid the consequences that come with weight gain. Regular exercise, yoga and a healthy diet can do wonders in the long run.

Weight gain and period pain may have a link! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Polyps:

Uterine polyps are benign growths which develop in the inner walls of the uterus. This can also extend to the uterine cavity. It is usually caused by the excess growth of cells in the uterus lining. Polyps usually develop when a woman is nearing menopause. Often, polyps do not cause any symptoms but in some cases cause severe period pain.

Tips to avoid period pain

Menstrual cramps are tough to endure but you can always seek help when you need it. Exercising regularly and eating right alone can be effective in the long run to manage period pain. You could also follow some Ayurvedic remedies to ease period pain.

Along with that, it is equally important to take care of your mental health. It is important to manage stress with appropriate life changes. Conditions like endometriosis are severe and can be worse if left undiagnosed. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is always advisable to seek medical help.

 

About the Author
Dr Aarthi Bharat

Dr Aarthi Bharat Consultant - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari, Bengaluru  

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