17 June, 2019
Can Menstrual Cramps affect your Fertility? Find out
Most women experience a mild to moderate discomfort during their monthly menstrual cycle. Some women experience an extreme pain or discomfort, which can affect their everyday life. If you’re a woman who suffers from dysmenorrhoea or severe period pain, you may wonder if this will affect your ability to get pregnant. Here is what you should know.
Main Causes of Period Pain
Prostaglandin is a chemical that is present across different parts of your body, including your uterus, which may cause your period cramps. The main function of this chemical is to regulate your body temperature, regulate inflammation, aid cell growth, muscle dilation, and constriction. During your menstrual cycle, this chemical causes contractions in your uterine muscles and also helps in expelling the uterine lining.
In case of higher amounts of the chemical in your body, these contractions may become severe. This is what causes severe menstrual pain and cramps. Dysmenorrhoea can be further categorized into two types:
Primary Dysmenorrhoea – This causes mild to moderate pain and is usually related to the shedding of the uterine lining only.
Secondary Dysmenorrhoea – This could lead to severe pain and could be indicative of an underlying medical condition that can affect your fertility or ability to get pregnant.
Menstrual Cramps and Fertility
Intense menstrual cramps or secondary dysmenorrhea may indicate the following medical conditions, which could adversely affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant or conceive:
Pelvic Inflammatory DiseasePelvic inflammatory disease is usually triggered by untreated sexually transmitted infections or STIs. However, in some cases, PID may get triggered by unrelated infections of reproductive organs too. Sometimes, this condition becomes difficult to detect because the main symptoms such as unusual vaginal discharge and pain during sex either go unnoticed or are not present. This can potentially affect one’s fertility. Untreated sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis or chlamydia may cause scarring in the reproductive organs (fallopian tubes, ovaries or uterus) and thus affect the fertility of a woman.
EndometriosisThis is one of the most common causes of menstrual cramps that can also affect a woman’s fertility. Endometriosis occurs when the lining, which usually grows inside the uterus, starts growing on other reproductive parts such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries. The lining growing on other reproductive organs weakens them, resulting in infertility issues. Endometriosis can be diagnosed through a laparoscopic procedure. However, it should be remembered that having severe menstrual cramps does not mean you have endometriosis.
AdenomyosisThis condition is similar to endometriosis, but here, the inner uterine lining starts growing on the uterine walls instead of on other reproductive organs. This medical condition can be characterized by lower abdominal pain, painful cramps and bloating during periods. There are several studies being conducted to understand why this condition occurs in women. It is believed to be caused due to hormone fluctuations in the body, which include progesterone, FSH, and estrogen. Adenomyosis causes intense menstrual cramps but there is little evidence to show if there is a connection between heavy, painful periods, and fertility.
Fibroids and CystsAbout 30 percent of the women between the ages of 30 to 45 may suffer from fibroids, a form on non-cancerous tumors present either inside or close to the uterine lining. These benign growths usually obstruct the flow of blood, causing severe pain during periods. If the condition is severe, it could hamper your fertility. Sometimes, a woman who conceives with fibroids condition may suffer an abortion or miscarriage. Apart from this, ovarian cysts can also affect a woman’s fertility. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that are present in the ovaries. Like fibroids, ovarian cysts are non-cancerous and usually get better on their own. However, if they are big in size and present in places like fallopian tubes or the ovaries, they might affect the conception process.
Dysmenorrhoea treatment and infertility
Women who suffer this severe pain during their menstrual cycles should not wait for things to get any worse. Try and seek the help of a gynecologist for the same. They may advise you to take hormonal birth control pills to ease your pain. However, this may not be recommended if you are trying to get pregnant. Some women prefer taking over-the-counter painkiller medicines for the pain, but many wonder if these can affect their ability to get pregnant.Research suggests that taking medicines such as ibuprofen, in the long run, can affect fertility negatively, and even delay ovulation. However, the impact was not believed to be substantial. Make sure you consult your doctor before taking any medication for controlling the pain of your menstrual cramps.Apart from this, some women may need to go for surgical procedures to get relief from their painful periods. However, before the decision for surgery is made, make sure you talk to a reproductive endocrinologist to know the effect of surgery on your ability to conceive. If your doctor says ok, it may be a good decision to go in for the surgery as it may not only help you get rid of the severe menstrual cramps, but may also increase your chances of getting pregnant.
If you, or someone you know, suffers from severe period pains, visit our team of expert doctors at KIMS Cuddles. We have a wonderful team of doctors and are widely regarded as one of the best maternity hospitals in Hyderabad. Seek their opinion and enjoy a successful, healthy and a happy pregnancy.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.