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i m 20 years of age.though i get regular periods every month but not on the same date even after 6 or 7 days but before my periods start i feel a teribble pain,and on my first day the pain goes so unbearable tht i just feel better to die than this pain.wat should i do? plzzz help meee plzzz.rep.thanx minal.

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The pain that accompanies periods is caused by contractions of the uterus or womb, similar to those of another 'normal' pain women suffer - during labour.


Painful periods - causes and risk factors

The pain that accompanies periods is caused by contractions of the uterus or womb, similar to those of another 'normal' pain women suffer - during labour.

Mild contractions constantly pass through the muscular wall of the womb, although most women are unaware of them. These are stronger than normal during menstruation and stronger still during labour.

Each contraction causes the blood supply to the womb to be cut down temporarily as the blood vessels in the muscle wall are compressed. As the tissues are starved of oxygen, chemicals that trigger pain are released.

At the same time the body is releasing chemicals called prostaglandins, which induce stronger contractions and which may directly cause pain in the womb. As the contractions get stronger, so the pain increases.

The aim of these contractions is to help the womb shed its delicate lining (as a period or bleed), so a new lining can be grown ready for a fertilised egg to implant itself. This is an essential part of female fertility, but pain is a side effect.

As a rough guide, if you've had severe period pain (known as dysmenorrhoea) since around the time your periods first started, it's less likely a particular cause will be found. However, even if this is the case, other factors - especially stress - can make the pain more difficult to cope with. Treating these factors can therefore help reduce the pain.

There are exceptions to this. Conditions such as endometriosis can sometimes cause severe pain from an early age (although the pain typically gets worse as the disease does more damage with each monthly cycle). Other causes include fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease and sometimes a narrowing of the cervix.

Bear in mind, though, that period pains are rarely a sign of disease, especially in younger women.

If the pain begins to interfere with your life, preventing you from working or coping with daily tasks, you should seek help. Also if you have any sort of unpleasant vaginal discharge or pain with or after sex, speak to your doctor.

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