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Menstrual Pain


Surgery for Menstrual Pain

Surgery can be used to treat some causes of menstrual cramps such as fibroids, polyps, ovarian cysts, or endometriosis.

  • D&C: This procedure is used to remove uterine polyps.
  • Laparoscopy: This procedure is used to treat pelvic endometriosis or ovarian cysts.
  • Endometrial ablation: This procedure destroys the lining of the uterus.
  • Hysterectomy: This surgical procedure completely removes the uterus.


Other Therapy for Menstrual Pain

If taking hormonal birth control is not an option because of health problems or the woman is among the 10% of women who do not respond to this treatment, there are some other alternatives.

  • Acupuncture
  • Nitroglycerin patch
  • Wearing a TENS (transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation) unit, a small electrical device that interferes with pain signals as they travel to the brain


Preventing Menstrual Pain

Prevent painful menstrual cramps with these techniques:

  • Keep a normal body weight.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly.


Outlook for Menstrual Pain

Often, it is possible to eliminate menstrual cramps effectively. Anti-inflammatory drugs are 80% effective. Hormonal birth control decreases the pain 90% of the time. Cramps also tend to decrease in intensity as a woman ages. Cramps may disappear after a woman's first pregnancy.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on November 07, 2013
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