GYN Doctors serving patients in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk & Portsmouth

A Gynecology Specialists note: Following is an excellent article by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Since 2004, our GYN doctors have helped teenagers and women better understand painful periods and offer solutions in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and throughout Hampton Roads. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our GYN Clinic at (757) 312-8221.


Teen Health: Painful Periods

May 2022

By the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

How common is period pain?
Feeling pain before or during your menstrual period is very common. More than half of women and girls with periods have some pain for 1 to 2 days each month.

What does period pain feel like?
Symptoms related to painful periods can include:

Muscle cramps in your lower belly or back

If pain during your period is severe, you also may have trouble sleeping.

What causes period pain?
During your period, your uterus contracts. Your uterus also releases natural chemicals called prostaglandins. These chemicals can cause cramps.

Period pain also can be caused by medical conditions, including:
Cysts in the ovaries

Period pain that is caused by a medical condition may get worse over time.

When should I see a doctor about period pain?
No matter if your period pain is mild or severe, you can ask our GYN doctors in Chesapeake for help. Period pain can cause you to miss school or work, or it can disrupt your everyday activities. It is especially important to get help if your pain is severe, feels worse than usual, or is making your life hard every month.

How is period pain treated?
There are several ways to treat period pain. Most period pain in teens is treated with medication:

Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, may ease your cramps. It may work best if you start taking a pain reliever 1 to 2 days before your period and continue through the first 2 to 3 days of bleeding.

Hormone treatment, such as birth control pills or a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD), also may lessen period pain.

If medication does not relieve the pain, your Gyn doctor may suggest tests to find the cause. A different treatment may be needed if you have a medical condition such as endometriosis or fibroids.

What tests are done to find the cause of period pain?
Your Gyn doctor should review your medical history, including your symptoms and menstrual cycle. They may recommend a pelvic exam or an ultrasound exam.

If it seems that your period pain may be caused by a medical condition, your Gyn doctor also may discuss a laparoscopy. This is surgery to look inside the pelvic region.

What are some self-care tips for period pain?
You may find it helpful to try:

Exercising regularly throughout each month
Taking a warm bath or putting a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen or lower back
Getting more sleep, especially right before and during your period

What should I know about endometriosis?
Endometriosis is the most common medical condition that causes period pain. In this condition, tissue from the lining of the uterus is found outside the uterus. The tissue breaks down and bleeds in response to changes in hormones. This happens in the same way the lining of the uterus breaks down and bleeds each month during your period.

Gyn doctors may use laparoscopy to diagnose and treat endometriosis. Medications that suppress hormones also may be used to manage endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a long-lasting condition that may be challenging to treat. Ongoing education and support may be helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our GYN Clinic at (757) 312-8221. 

About our GYN doctors
and clinic
Our all-female gynecologist practice covers a wide spectrum of gyn and health issues such as painful periods in teens and women. Since 2004 our GYN doctors have been caring for women and teens in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth.