10 Causes of Painful Periods + How Stop Period Pain Naturally
Feb 24, · Some of the causes of missed periods, besides pregnancy, are as follows: Stress: This is one of the most common reasons for a missed period. Stress can result in a hormonal imbalance and even Low body weight: Low body weight is another potential reason for a missed period. . Some more specific causes include: Emotional or physical stress. Rapid weight loss. Frequent strenuous exercise. Recent use of hormonal birth control methods, including birth control pills, the patch and long-acting progesterone. A Polycystic ovary syndrome. This condition is associated with a Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins.
I have not had my period for three months. Having regular menstrual periods requires the normal production of sex hormones in the brain the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. These sex hormones travel through the blood to the ovaries. Sex hormones what can dog worms do to humans by the ovaries are what tell the uterus to go through the changes that lead to monthly periods — and allow you to conceive a child.
So, problems in the brain, the ovaries or uterus can all cause secondary amenorrhea. Some more specific causes include:. Chemotherapy for cancer can at least temporarily affect the ovaries and lead to secondary amenorrhea. So can breast feeding. Their ovaries suddenly stop making sex hormones and stop releasing eggs each month. The causes of this condition are largely unknown, but we do know that autoimmune diseases are associated with the condition. To figure out the reason for your loss of regular menstrual periods, check with your doctor.
The doctor may also do blood and urine tests or a noninvasive pelvic ultrasound. Get weekly health information and advice from the experts at Harvard Medical School. Learn more ». Harvard Health Publications is the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, providing the general public with authoritative, trustworthy, and accessible health information. The contents displayed within this public group ssuch as text, graphics, and other material "Content" are intended for educational purposes only.
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Why your periods might stop
Ashley Biscoe 15 Comments. Is your period is so painful that your life practically stops when you have it? Having extremely painful periods is a sign of an underlying imbalance that can have far-reaching implications for your overall health, not just your reproductive health.
Keep reading to find out what causes period pain and what you can do to stop it. That type of period pain is not normal. In medicine, painful periods are called dysmenorrhea. Your period is like a barometer of your overall health. I even made a cute little drawing to help explain everything. Bear with me and keep reading. Pain during menstruation is thought to be caused by prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Together, these compounds are known as eicosanoids.
Prostaglandins are a group of hormone-like fats that are made by our cells at sites of tissue damage or infection in the body. Their job is to direct the healing process by coordinating blood vessel constriction and blood clotting. In this process, prostaglandins cause the pain, fever, redness and swelling that we experience with illness and injury. In other words, prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract. Now, normally, prostaglandins are very short-lived. Once their job is done, the body breaks them down quickly.
But problems arise when inflammatory prostaglandins are produced in excess. Below is an illustration of the process. As you can see, anything that promotes high levels of arachidonic acid , the precursor to prostaglandins, can lead to pain and inflammation.
Prostaglandin E 2 PGE 2 , an inflammatory compound, stimulates the aromatase enzyme, which raises estrogen levels. Similar to prostaglandins, leukotrienes are inflammatory molecules that are released by our white blood cells.
Leukotrienes are notorious for their role in allergies and asthma, but leukotriene E 4 may play a specific role in menstrual pain. Keep in mind that the causes of your menstrual pain can be multifactorial, and often it is the total load of several imbalances that is responsible for causing symptoms.
We just talked about prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and their role in menstrual cramps. But what causes your body to produce them in large amounts? Much of it has to do with your diet. A diet full of vegetable oils, refined grains, sugar, and alcohol is almost guaranteed to make your periods miserable. Because of the ways these foods damage your cells, disrupt your hormones, and interfere with cell communication, these foods will send your immune system into a firestorm.
And that means prostaglandins and pain. These are the most common oils used in things like salad dressings, sauces, mayonnaise, and any fried or processed foods. Because these oils are extracted from the seeds using high heat and chemical solvents, they are oxidized spoiled by the time they make it into our food.
And those resulting oxidized fats and solvents are powerful drivers of cell damage and inflammation. Also, these oils are high in omega-6 fats that promote the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. The simplest solution is to eat at home and make your own simple vinaigrette using extra-virgin olive oil with vinegar or lemon juice.
Use healthy fats like coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil and organic, grass-fed butter or ghee for cooking. Grains can be problematic because they are broken down into sugar when we eat them. The more sugar and carbohydrates we eat, the more insulin our pancreas has to pump out. Excess insulin creates silent inflammation see point 2 below. Many women crave sugar during the premenstrual phase because of hormone shifts and other factors. However, sugar can contribute to period pain by promoting inflammation and insulin resistance.
Having insulin resistance means that your insulin levels are too high, and your cells are having a hard time using insulin to put glucose sugar into your cells. When you are insulin resistant, it means that your body cannot handle a sugary diet. These are all concentrated sources of sugar that will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, ultimately leading to inflammation and insulin resistance. Did you know that having just 2 drinks per day can double the amount of estrogen in your body?!
Having too much estrogen will also cause heavy periods, sore breasts, bloating, moodiness, and pretty much all of the things that we hate about periods in the first place! Got painful periods? Nix the booze! Click To Tweet. Not all types of dairy contain significant amounts of A1 casein butter and heavy cream contain only trace amounts , and not everyone is sensitive to it.
Removing dairy from your diet may or may not improve your symptoms, but I felt that it was important to mention. The other problem with an unhealthy diet is that eating junk food instead of healthy natural foods will create nutrient deficiencies. We especially need magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, iodine, folate and selenium for healthy periods.
Get our anti-inflammatory cookbook here! Are you noticing the theme with insulin yet? This relates back to point 1. Remember that insulin increases arachidonic acid, the precursor to the inflammatory prostaglandins that cause menstrual pain. Insulin also promotes clotting and can interfere with ovulation. How do you know if your insulin levels are too high? Ask your doctor to order a fasting insulin test for you, or get one for yourself from True Health Labs. Your fasting insulin level should be no higher than 8, but I really like to see it 6 or less.
If your insulin is too high, you need to start making changes like cutting sugar out of your diet and emphasizing vegetables, protein and healthy fats. Exercise, especially resistance exercise like weightlifting, is crucial for lowering your insulin levels. Also be sure to get 8 hours of sleep each night: Just one night of sleep deprivation can promote insulin resistance! Signs and symptoms of imbalanced blood sugar and insulin resistance include:.
Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary. It typically happens on day 14 of the menstrual cycle. Ovulation is important when it comes to period pain because that is where you get your progesterone. Progesterone balances the stimulating effects of estrogen; it is a very calming hormone. Common causes include nutrient deficiencies especially magnesium, selenium and B6 polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS and stress. Stress is of particular importance because it reduces progesterone in two ways: 1.
Are you deficient in important nutrients? Is it chronic stress? Are you eating inflammatory foods? Is it your thyroid? Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. Every single cell in your body needs thyroid hormone.
The most common thyroid problem is when the gland is underactive, which is called hypothyroidism. And remember that low progesterone promotes inflammation. Heavy menstrual bleeding can be a symptom of an underactive thyroid. Getting the right thyroid tests can be tricky. Did you know that even low-level exposures to chemicals and environmental toxins can cause period problems, cancer and reproductive issues?
These toxins include pesticides and herbicides, metals, solvents, flame retardants, plastics, food additives, and fragrances. The best thing to do is minimize your exposure check your personal care products! Eating sulfur-rich vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage is very helpful for this, and I also recommend collagen for its high glycine content.
Glycine is an amino acid that is not very abundant in our modern diet, but it is required for liver detoxification. Also, make sure that you are having daily bowel movements so that you are not reabsorbing hormones and toxins from the colon.
If you struggle with constipation, you must avoid refined sugar and rule out underlying conditions like yeast overgrowth, hypothyroidism and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Okay, this is a BIG one. The health of your GI tract is so intricately linked to the rest of your body and mind. Practically every patient who comes to me with chronic health issues has some degree of imbalance in their digestive system.
When our guts are healthy, good things happen for us. We absorb our nutrients. Our friendly gut bacteria help us detoxify estrogen and reduce inflammation.
Our hormonal systems are balanced. All good things! We become full of inflammation. Our immune system is imbalanced and we can develop autoimmunity. It can ruin our thyroid function.