What To Expect From Your Doctor If You're Having Severe Cramps
Most women experience menstrual cramps from time to time, but it can vary wildly from woman to woman. While some women ease through their periods without much of a problem at all, others will experience debilitating pain that completely gets in the way of them living their lives. If you consider yourself to be closer to the latter than the former, then it's time to seek help from a medical professional. This is what you can expect when you go to your doctor with complaints of cramps.
After listening to your concerns, your doctor will likely want to perform a physical test. This isn't a PAP smear or a pelvic, but rather palpation of your pelvis.
Your doctor will have you change into a dressing gown and lie down on the table. They'll then use their hands and place pressure upon your pelvis. This may be somewhat uncomfortable, but you shouldn't experience any pain. Your doctor is looking for masses in the pelvis that could be contributing to your pain. Whether or not they detect anything in your pelvis, they'll likely continue on to the next step.
The next step is for you to go and have an imaging test. Depending on the results of your palpation test, this may be an ultrasound or an MRI.
Both tests are painless, but they're performed a little differently. MRI scans are performed inside a large tube that you slide into and lie still in while the test is being run. The test is noisy, but painless, so all you have to do is follow directions while the test is running.
For an ultrasound, things are a little more involved. Most ultrasounds will ask for you to drink a large amount of fluid just prior to the test. This is to help open up the pelvis and to fill the bladder so that the ultrasound can view the interior of the pelvis more accurately. Like the MRI, however, an ultrasound is painless.
Once your imaging tests have been sent to your doctor's office, you'll be called in again. In many cases of severe period pain, women are diagnosed with cysts or endometriosis. These are both conditions where abnormal tissue develops where it shouldn't inside the pelvis that reacts to pregnancy and period hormone shifts, which can cause pain.
In both of these cases, birth control pills are usually recommended to help try and shrink the tissue. This is generally successful and may significantly reduce the amount of discomfort you experience every month.
Of course, there is the possibility that something more serious could be developing, like a cancerous lesion. In this case, your doctor will work with you and refer you to an oncologist for specialist care. For more information, contact a company like Premiere Medical Center Med Partners.