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PAINFUL periods

(64 Posts)
mumslife Tue 15-Mar-11 20:50:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChishAndFips Sun 20-Mar-11 19:09:22

DD1 has very painful periods too, it was horrible to see her in so much pain, mine were never that bad nor DD2. She was told by the GP to keep a symptom chart like Attila suggests, the GP gave her one specifically for the purpose. She recorded bleeding, spotting and pain on it. She takes mefenamic acid which takes the edge off but the Pill is what really helps her. I think you are right to wait a bit before considering it though, just something to bear in mind. DD takes the pill called Yasmin, which apparently works really well for teenagers (DD is 19, has been on Pill since 16, though painful periods right from day 1 at 12 years old). She takes paracetamol too. Even with the drugs though, she would still suffer really badly without the coping strategies she has - she has timed her Pill-free week so that AF starts on a Sunday so she can spend the day in bed, she takes the mefenamic acid a few days before period starts as GP says it works by accumulating in the body, so it is working at full strength by the time period actually comes, and 20 mins before she gets out of bed in the morning.

ChishAndFips Sun 20-Mar-11 19:10:06

Meant to add, good luck and I hope you can get it all under control soon.

amyamyamy Sun 20-Mar-11 20:55:38

Going on the pill around puberty can reduce final height by 2 cm or so (and is prescribed for some girls for this express purpose) so it might be worth holding off if your DD is still growing.

I second the poster above about the Mirena Coil. A joy!!! A life blissfully free from periods and period pain. Not suitable (I guess) for a teen though.

Yes, Vit K is given to newborns (to reduce risk of haemorrhage) and it is the same action (reducing bleeding) that makes it effective for period pain if that is caused by sheer flow of blood BUT it is irrelevant whether or not your DD has the injection as a baby for this (I am lost on endometriosis), just important that she eats it NOW.

I agree you should insist on a referral to gynae (who will check for endometriosis) but also TELL them to check for the bleeding disorder as, incredibly, many don't as this is not their area.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 21-Mar-11 08:51:35


Has your DD seen a gynae to date?.

All that you have written re your DD sounds horribly familiar. Pill in my case also keeps the endo in abeyance (I have been officially diagnosed with this) .

Again she should have a blood test to see if Von Willibrands disease is present but if it comes back negative I would hazard a guess that endometriosis is likely to be the root cause of her period pains. Infact severe pain is one of endo's main symptoms and I note its been going on since she started menstruation. It seems to be certainly now affecting her day to day life as well.

She needs to also note the appearance of her period blood as this will also give the gynae clues. If her menses are brown (this is old blood), stringey like clots or clots itself this can be indicators of endo as well.

Endo as well is the second most common gynae problem seen in women after fibroids yet remains very much underdiagnosed. Another problem with endometriosis is that it is usually only diagnosed through a keyhole type op called a laparoscopy. is a good website.

Any symptoms that are cyclical in nature and that get worse up to and including menses should be investigated further by a gynae to see if endometriosis is the underlying cause. Such problems too are outside a GPs remit so you need a referral. GP should refer as a matter of course if this has not already been done.

Treating the symptoms is all well and good but you need to determine the cause!. I would not want other women to suffer as I did with bad period pains from the age of 14 on starting menses and taking ages to get a diagnosis.

And yes, I was diagnosed with endo at the age of 31!!.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 21-Mar-11 08:58:07

My daughtr had hideously painful periods from the age of 12, also very heavy. The blood loss had an effect on her schooling, she fainted a lot at school and was ill for 1 week out of 4. It was vile. The mefenamic acid helped, however the best thing I did was put DD on the pill at 14, the periods went down to 2 days a month, a lot lighter and no pain. The first pill she tried (microgynon) gave her spots, so we were eventually put on Yasmin.

It is well worth a try.

ChishAndFips Mon 21-Mar-11 11:56:47

Oh no now I am worried GP has never suggested referring her to a gynae. I just thought it was painful periods but I see now that that could be an indication of endometriosis in itself. I asked her what the blood was like, she went 'MUUUU-UUUM! blush but she did say that is bright, sometimes dark, red, some clots in it, but I don't know if that is normal clots or not...I mean it's not exactly free flowing but is anyone's? My niece has endo and had surgery but DD has never suffered as bad as her, though I suppose like with any illness there will be varying levels of severity of it. I have suggested she goes to her GP (she's at uni now, far away ) but she is worried she (the GP) will just say painful periods are normal and fob her off.

Her periods used to be (pre Pill) very heavy and lasted 6-8 days, do you know if that makes it more likely to be endo? I would google but I am a bit scared to.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 21-Mar-11 14:11:05


Tell her that painful periods are not normal and she should not have to put up with it.

Your daughter must not allow herself to be fobbed off; some but not all GPs are ignorant (had one tell me that endo is not common, soon put him right however!) when it comes to endo and it is certainly in her interests to determine the underlying cause. Endometriosis can also cause heavy bleeding to arise in some cases.

She needs to see a gynae and preferably a gynae with a specialist interest in endometriosis as well.
Again do not take no for an answer!.

No googling!. However, the website is informative.

Deliainthemaking Mon 21-Mar-11 14:40:04

Poly cystic ovaries?

my sister has this, can be in a lot of pain that time of the month

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 21-Mar-11 18:52:53

PCO would not however, cause such painful periods.

ChishAndFips Mon 21-Mar-11 19:35:37

Thank you so much Attila I will talk to her tonight and tell her what you have said. Thanks for the link, will look at that and tell her to. I suspect she has already googled it, she is a medical student so hopefully won't be too shocked by terrifying stories and will be able to find the good sites. She told me she read an article in a magazine the other day about endo and wondered about it, I am glad this thread was started now!

amyamyamy Mon 21-Mar-11 19:46:04

Please look at this too (Women Bleed Too) and remember that Gynaes are not always alert to bleeding disorders:

Here is a quote:

Menstrual bleeding – how heavy is too heavy?

Because bleeding disorders like VWD are mainly inherited conditions, several members of the same family may be affected. Certain symptoms, such as heavy menstrual bleeding, can therefore seem normal within a family and may not have been investigated before.
Because every woman is different, there is no definitive model of a “normal” period. Statistically, the average blood loss from a single menstrual period is 30 - 40ml. Blood loss of 80ml or above is considered heavy.

Heavy periods can be very difficult to measure but there is a tool used by doctors called the Pictorial Bleeding Checklist. By completing this chart over the course of your period and adding up your score, you can assess whether or not your periods may be classed as heavy. Please note this tool is only a guide and if you are experiencing problems with your periods you should always consult your GP.

ChishAndFips Mon 21-Mar-11 20:04:42

Thank you amy have passed it on to DD.

Deliainthemaking Mon 21-Mar-11 23:48:20

It can cause sever pain in periods my sister has had to go to A&e sometimes to be put ion morphine, but shes very severe.

razors Mon 21-Mar-11 23:56:53

Another advocate for the PILL from me too. My PP were frightful - vomiting, fainting awful awful pains. I was missing lots of time from school and coming up to exam time had to do something. I went on the pill and never looked back! It gave me my life back. Every month I had pain, heavy periods left me tired out and miserable. Look in to it - it was the only thing that helped me and I had been on loads of different painkillers from my GP.

mumslife Tue 22-Mar-11 07:37:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OrangeBernard Tue 22-Mar-11 07:44:10

I suffered for years then when I went on the pill that sorted everything out and changed make sure she's on multi vitamins and iron.

purepurple Tue 22-Mar-11 07:45:55

Yes, I had headaches too before my periods, almost like migraines. I also got them when I was pregnant and suffered from hyperemesis too, both pregnancies.
It could all be hormone related.

mumslife Tue 22-Mar-11 21:54:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EpEm Fri 25-Mar-11 22:55:19

This sounds similar to my experience and I have some things you might want to consider:

- For me buscopan/paracetamol+codeine did help, but only to a certain extent. The thing that really made the difference was the contraceptive pill, which I was prescribed at 15 (Dianette in the end but had to go through a good few others first to get the progesterone/oestrogen balance right). My doctor also tried me on Metformin which personally didn't have any effect but has been known to help with these symtoms

- try and get a referral for an endocrinologist (hormone specialist) rather than a gynae. This could just be the result of personal experience but it was only when I began seeing an endocrinologist that I was diagnosed with PCOS - polycystic ovary syndrome, which can result in painful periods among other things. An endocrinologist will also be able to give advice in the long term when it comes to things like pregnancy hormones.

- have a test for PCOS. If your daughter is a virgin they can be done through the stomach in a similar way to pregnancy scans so are minimally invasive and can result in a diagnosis. When I spoke to my friends at school about periods none of them seemed to be having such a hard time of it, which can lead to a lot of insecurity issues and having a concrete, labelled diagnosis can relieve the pressure of conformity.

- I would recommend trying acupuncture. Depends how you feel about the whole alternative scene, but for me it has been a bit of a miracle cure.

bellaella16 Sat 26-Mar-11 23:59:51

I had the same experience all my life since starting. It was sometimes made worse as I was met with disbelief from some friends and various GP's who thought it was 'just period pains' and I was making a fuss. I fainted many times with the pain, could not walk, threw up and had to write off at least 3 days a month staying in bed for at least 2. It was also NOT related to heavy periods, the two don't always go together as assumed and this was another reason it wasn't taken seriously. Also the pains did not stop when I had a child, another myth in my case.

The pains were similar to initial labour pains, I was so used to this level of pain that my midwife told me I could not be in labour the morning I gave birth as 'I would be in more pain'. Please be aware that it can come and go, and when its this bad exercise doesn't help at all, would just make it worse if she could move.

bellaella16 Sun 27-Mar-11 00:01:04

oh and yes the pill was the only thing that helped

avsbavs Sat 14-May-11 14:45:25

i suffered from pains like this occasionally. when i started, the first two days were excruciatingly painful and occasionally time in bed and missing school. this continued for two years every three weeks for 7 days. in my third year the pain eased off almost instantly, i still get cramps worse than my friends but nothing in comparision. feminax is amazing and specifically for cramps so give it a go. otherwise i dont no what advise to give apart from do alot of exercise and grip and bear it for another year :/

hope this helps

foxinsocks Sat 14-May-11 14:53:32

You need to take the buscopan at the first sign of the first cramp. I definitely find them less effective the later I take them.

Yes I ended up on the pill at 14 too because of dreadfully painful periods. Was the only thing that worked. Problem now is that nearing 40, I still cannot manage without it (still have ludicrously painful and heavy periods - in fact they have got worse with age).

One thing I will say, though it will be no consolation to your dds at their age, was that 9 months of pregnancy was a god send (no periods) and although labour was painful, having suffered excruciating pain month after month with horrid periods, it put it all in perspective!

CatAndFiddle Sat 14-May-11 15:16:18

Hi mumslife. Your daughter sounds just like I did when I was her age. My extremely heavy and EXTREMELY painful periods started when I was 13. When I was 15, during a very very heavy period which had been going on for about 8 days, I collapsed and spent several days in intensive care. I was given a blood transfusion and some huge tablets which would stop the uterine contractions. All tests came back clear, and heavy/painful periods were the only identifiable cause. I was put on the pill and left to it. 11 years later, I came off the pill to TTC, and my 'true' periods returned with a vengance. (I also now have violent episodes of vomiting too, just to top it off). I also find mefenamic acid works well (PONSTAN is just a trade name for this, by the way), but is definitely best if you can start taking it a couple of days before the pains are due.

As I am having trouble TTC, I have had the full battery of tests again in the past couple of years....and again everything has been ruled out (including endometriosis). I am sorry your daughter is going through this, it can be so dreadful. I know others have raised concerns, but personally, if I wasn't trying TTC, I would be back on the pill ASAP.

myfriendflicka Sat 14-May-11 19:14:32

Just come to back up amyamyamy re von willebrand disorder. I was diagnosed with this in my late thirties in between my two children and my daughter also has it.

It can cause a lot of suffering if not diagnosed because of problems with periods and other bleeding issues, including surgery and giving birth. Once you are diagnosed it can be treated with drugs (tranexamic acid and DDAVP).

It is common, 1 percent of women suffer from it and GPs really should be much more aware than they are. I had never heard of it before I was diagnosed and in spite of many bleeding issues over the years it was never flagged up by doctors until I was nearly 40!

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