Period pain – the medical term is dysmenorrhea – is one of the most common problems that menstruating women experience. It typically refers to menstrual cramps – the crampy, lower abdominal discomfort and pain that can come and go during your period. It can be sharp pain, or just an all-over achy sensation.
An estimated 9 out of 10 women will have period pain during their reproductive lifespan. For some, the pain is mild and bearable. For other women, they have severe period pain that can be very debilitating and interfere with school and work. Period pain is actually the leading cause of missed school days and work days for women in their teens and 20s.
Period pain is common during your teen years; it usually starts within 4 to 5 years of your first period. For many women, the pain decreases as they age, and by the time women hit their 30s, their period pain is usually mild and not so bothersome. Unfortunately, some women continue to have moderate to severe period pain until they hit menopause. [click to continue…]