Women's Health Series: Painful Periods
Do You Have Painful Periods?
Many women suffer from painful periods each and every month, often referred to as “dysmenorrhea” within the medical community. Because painful periods are so common, many women assume this is a normal and expected process but it is so important to recognize that “common” does not equal “normal”! While a small amount of discomfort can be reasonably expected since your uterus has to cycle between contracting and relaxing during each period, if you experience debilitating pain and are unable to work without pain medication and/or time off work, this is certainly not optimal.
The good news is there are many ways of approaching painful periods to alleviate the pain and make that time of the month more bearable. The key is to identify and address the root of the problem and oftentimes this means ordering a hormone panel. Each month our hormones work in a delicate symphony to accomplish many processes behind the scenes. When the hormone balance is off, it has downstream effects and can lead to a variety of symptoms, including painful periods.
In addition to the western perspective behind painful periods, its equally important to consider Chinese medicine which can be equally powerful in both treating the cause and alleviating the symptoms. Blood and qi (energy or vital force within each one of us) work hand-in-hand in Chinese medicine and it is imperative that each exists in adequate levels to support one another. Disharmony between blood and qi can result in painful cramping and addressing this with a comprehensive perspective is critical.
If you experience painful periods, let’s get to the bottom of it!
Please make an appointment with Dr. Chelsea Mikula-Chao.