Period pain


Period pain occurs when the walls of the uterus contracts to push the blood and lining down through the cervix.  When contracting the blood vessels in the lining are compressed and oxygenated blood supply to the womb is stopped.  Triggering the womb to produce chemicals that cause pain.  Some women may feel a slight discomfort whilst others feel moderate to severe cramping.

The medical term is dysmenorrhea and categorised into primary and secondary dysmenorrhea.

Primary dysmenorrhea

painful periods that have no underlying health condition.  Whereas, secondary is caused by an underlying health condition.

Primary symptoms can be pain just before a period or during a period.

Secondary dysmenorrhea

can be caused by conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease and adenomyosis.

  • Endometriosis is a condition where similar cells grow outside the uterus, these cells produce an inflammatory reaction causing pain and discomfort.
  • Uterine fibroids are benign growths made of smooth muscle cells that develop in the uterus and vary in size.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries.
  • Adenomyosis is a condition when the cells that line the uterus wall grow into the uterus muscle wall.  It can affect all the uterus or just part.

Type of pain

The type of pain experienced can be sharp, stabbing, dull, dragging, twisting, twinging and can be continuous or come in waves.  Lower back pain can also be experienced.

Acupuncture can be really effective in helping period pain, treatments are good to have leading up to a period and during. There is good evidence to show acupuncture can reduce pain and inflammation as well as regulating the flow of blood.