Dysmenorrhea - Painful Crampy Periods and NSAID Anaprox Information

The menses is a destructive event. The lining of the uterus anticipates the implantation of a newly conceived pregnancy. The hormone secreted by the ovary after the mid-cycle ovulation is progesterone and the blood supply of the lining of the uterus becomes addicted to this hormone. This hormone is produced for about 14 days and then drops drastically. If the pregnancy is created, the developing baby prevents this decline in progesterone.When the progesterone is withdrawn from the lining of the uterus, it loses its blood supply.

Any part of the body denied blood supply dies; and when it dies, there is tissue breakdown, inflammation, bleeding and frequently pain. The uterus does its best to pass this tissue: It does this by contracting its muscular walls and this creates cramps. The hormone most responsible for contraction of the muscle of the uterus is prostaglandin. This hormone can be by obstetricians to start labor.

There are medications that block the body's ability to make prostaglandin. They are called non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin, Anaprox and Ponstel. They nip the prostaglandin production in the bud.

If these do not help pain, the uterus can be evaluated with a hysterscope, which can look up inside the uterus with fiber optics. Using hysteroscopy and either electricity, a hot water balloon or a laser, the lining of the uterus can be burned away to decrease the menses, this is called endometrial ablation. (WATCH ABLATION VIDEO) Depending on the needs of the woman, her desires for fertility and the level of disruption of her life caused by this pain, a hysterectomy may even be a consideration.