#Dysmenorrhea: What every girl should know about Aspirin
ASPIRIN is understandably a handy favorite for many ladies who experience painful monthly cycles. The drug often works like charm in causing the often excruciating pain to go away.
Almost a wonder pill, that tiny tablet is not as innocuous as it appears.
Before I get down on the ‘dirty details’ of Aspirin, let me clearly state that: First of all, ASPIRIN is a very important life-saving medication which is probably now consumed at a much higher rate than at its inceptions because of its efficacy in protecting the heart. (It is routinely prescribed as a mini 75mg dosage format popularly known as Vasoprin, for daily use in Hypertensive patients to prevent heart disease).
Aspirin belongs to a broad pharmaceutical class of drugs called the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDS for short. Glossing over the boring chemical details, NSAIDS are super-efficient at stopping our bodies from producing the hormone PROSTAGLANDINS.
It is these prostaglandins that concern every lady who experiences painful monthly cycles, WHY?
Because PRIMARY DYSMENORRHEA is caused by the increased synthesis of prostaglandins from the internal walls of the uterus/womb during menstruation
This leads to strong contractions of the uterus which causes the resultant pain during menstruation.
NSAIDs such as Aspirin, Ibruprofen, Diclofenac, etc successfully inhibit the formation of these prostaglandins which is how they get to relieve dysmenorrhoea.
The possible side effects of Aspirin & other NSAIDS
However, NSAIDs infamously have diverse possible side-effects ranging from:
MILD Side-effects from seemingly unrelated allergic reactions in the form of skin rashes or nasal discharge; to other more compelling ones like stomach irritation, heart burn, nausea and vomiting
SEVERE Side-effects like:
- unusual easy bruising due to an associated reduction of blood platelets
- erosion of the internal stomach lining
- activation of peptic ulcer (stomach and/or duodenal), with or without bleeding
- associated bloody vomiting (called Hematemesis) or passage of dark-coloured stool, if the bleeding ulcer becomes severe
- liver dysfunction from inflammatory hepatitis
- possible kidney damage (called Nephrotoxicity) when used for a prolonged period in large doses.
So in reality, every girl needs to know these basic facts about Aspirin & all NSAIDs before popping a pill.