Many girls at school get pregnant to avoid period pain. Is it true that the pain is cured by pregnancy?
Menstruation or a period is due to the shedding of the inside lining of the uterus called endometrium which happens each month in a non-pregnant woman of child bearing age. Although periods are usually painless, some women may suffer cramping abdominal pains during, and sometimes just before a period.
In younger people, painful periods which may begin a year or two after being painless, may have no found causes (primary dysmenorrhea) though locally produced substances called prostaglandins that contract the womb to shed the membrane and expel blood may be to blame.
Apart from prostaglandins being excessive in amounts in adolescent girls, their uterine muscle over responds to the prostaglandins leading to more excessive contractions depriving the uterine muscle of oxygen supply resulting in painful periods.
As a woman gets older or after pregnancy, the response by the womb to the same substances reduces and with this the periods become less painful leading to a saying that pregnancy cures painful periods in youths. The older woman will also psychologically prepare better for periods psyche being an important modulator of pain.
When a woman gets painful periods later she is likely to have a cause such as fibroids, a membrane inside the womb being found elsewhere (endometriosis), a coil (IUCD) and an infection in the tubes or womb or ovaries (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) all which are usually associated with infertility.
There are many ways a doctor can manage painful periods in youth since they do not only lead to physical problems but also absenteeism in schools. Getting pregnant when one is not socially, economically and biologically ready but only for the sake of curing period pain may lead to serious complications which are numerous.