Menstrual pain can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose menstrual pain, we could:
|Endometrial Polyps||3%||Ruled out|
|Ovarian Cysts||1%||Ruled out|
|EFA 3 Need||1%||Ruled out|
|Pelvic Inflammatory Disease||1%||Ruled out|
Do you suffer from painful menstrual cramps (painful menstruation)?
Possible responses:→ Never had them / don't know
→ Probably had them/minor episode(s) now resolved
→ Major episode(s) now resolved
→ Current minor/occasional problem
→ Current major/regular problem
Ovarian cysts can cause symptoms resembling painful menstrual periods when the cyst grows to a larger size. A history of painful menstrual cramps can indicate hormonal problems or imbalances which can increase the risk of ovarian cysts.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study among a group of girls suffering from dysmenorrhea, it was found that the symptoms could be significantly reduced by dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids. This particular study used fish oil. [ American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, April 1996;174(4): pp.1335-1338]
Endometriosis is the most common cause of menstrual cramps.
Dysmenorrhea caused by ovarian dysfunction may disappear when low doses of cortisol are used to improve adrenal influence on ovarian function. [The Safe Uses of Cortisol, William Mck. Jefferies, MD 1996, p.157]