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Recurring Abdominal Pain

Abdominal or pelvic pain with menstruation is very common. There are two conditions that commonly explain menstrual pain.

Dysmenorrhea

Most women who have pain with menstruation are reacting to the substance "prostaglandin" which is a normal hormone that is produced during menstruation. Pain that comes from normal menstruation is called "dysmenorrhea." Dysmenorrhea is very responsive to treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve.) It may also be lessened by regular use of birth control pills.

Endometriosis

The type of tissue that makes up the uterus lining is "endometrial tissue." Some women have small collections of endometrial tissue that are located outside of the uterus. This condition is called "endometriosis." Endometrial tissue in any location can respond to hormone changes by releasing small amounts of blood. Blood that is outside of the uterus can be irritating, resulting in pain. Endometriosis can be treated with NSAID pain medicines, hormonal treatments, or destruction of the extra tissue during laparoscopic (camera guided) surgery.

Your doctor is likely to begin treatment with medicines that can relieve pain during your menses. If your pain is severe or if it continues at times that are apart from your menstruation, your doctor might recommend a camera guided inspection of your pelvic organs (laparoscopic surgery) to check for endometriosis.

Please call your doctor today to arrange an evaluation.


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