How To Get Rid of Menstrual Cramps?
The part of life that every woman has to go through, conveniently or inconveniently, is those five days every month. Although, menstruation is all natural, biological and has much good in it, it comes with dreaded menstrual cramps. This obviously gives a reason for women to not look forward to it, but with some knowledge about easing the cramps at home, periods need not be so unwelcome in our lives. After all, periods are here for good.
What causes menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps come complementary to periods. Before ovulation in each month, the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) builds and forms a favorable place inside uterus for a possible pregnancy. But when the egg is released and is not fertilized by a sperm, the line made does not serve any purpose and it has to go.
At this time, the hormonal levels of estrogen and progesterone decline in the body of a woman which results in the swelling of the lining of uterus. Eventually, menstruation period starts and the lining is shed in the process.
During this process, your uterus contracts to help the lining shed and this result in menstrual cramps. Also, the hormone-like substance, prostaglandins build up while you are on your period, which trigger the muscle contractions and inflammations in uterus which obviously alleviates the menstrual cramps.
Sometimes, during the severe contractions, the blood vessels may be constricted to pass blood into uterus giving you a serious pain even in your heart due to restricted blood circulation. If your cramps go this far in your periods, you must take the case to your doctor as soon as possible.
Apart from the obvious, there are more causes of menstrual cramps which are summarized below:
1. Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID)
This is a type of infection in female reproductive organs which is caused by sexually transmitted bacteria. When you have this type of infection, you are bound to suffer during your periods with cramps, in more than regular amount. This condition also seeks medical advice as soon as possible.
2. Uterine Fibroids
The uterine fibroids are the small growths in the uterus, which are not necessarily cancerous. The presence of these fibroids can make the cramps very painful during menstruation.
This is when the tissues that line your uterus go on and get implanted outside of it, commonly in your fallopian tubes or ovaries. Needless to say, this condition gives you very painful cramps during your periods and if the pain is uncontrollable, you need to seek help from your doctor as soon as possible.
4. Cervical stenosis
This is the condition where the opening of your cervix is so small that it constraints the menstrual flow in your body. This can result in alleviated pressure inside your uterus causing painful cramps during menstruation.
How do severe menstrual cramps feel like?
Whatever be the cause, we know how most women suffer from menstrual cramps, excluding the lucky few. The cramps come differently to different women depending on the severity of pain. Most of the time, cramps are limited to lower abdominal pain, lower backache, slight headaches, and laziness. But for some, cramps come in a severe way.
Here are some of the major symptoms of menstrual cramp:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Tender breasts
- Intolerable pain
In medical terms, the pain caused by menstrual cramps is denoted by “dysmenorrhea”. Depending on the severity of pain, dysmenorrhea is classified into two parts, primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.
The first of the kind is normal and the pain literally comes from the contraction of uterine muscles and nothing more. But secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by the different causes like endometriosis, fibroids and many others. Women having this condition experience a lot of pain as mentioned above and to ease this, you must get some medical help as soon as you can and treat for the cause that is causing the pain.
In secondary dysmenorrhea, the pain is not only limited to the times you are having your periods but it is present in any time of the month. The pain can start far earlier than your PMS. Whenever you feel this type of pain, don’t keep yourself at home and take help from a gynecologist to get rid of the condition as soon as possible.
Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramp
How do you relieve menstrual cramps? It’s tough to go through all the excruciating pain during this stage and you need to make yourself at ease to stay healthy and well. We’ve compiled a list of best home remedies that can help you prepare for the worst and get yourself rid of pain.
Turning up heat at your room, or even using a heating pad at your lower abdominal area can give you instant relief from menstrual cramps to some extent. You can also use hot bags, or bottles filled with hot water for the same purpose till the water becomes lukewarm and repeat the process till you can feel relief from menstrual cramps.
2. Hot beverages
Drinking a lot of hot beverages like hot water, green teas and infused teas can ease your menstrual cramps instantly. Take a note that you should not be drinking coffee or soda during this time as caffeine can alleviate your pain abnormally. Stick to hot lemonades and infused teas, and you will be okay at your own home.
3. Use herbs
Herbs with medicinal values like ginger, chamomile, parsley, cinnamon and many more can also be helpful for relieving menstrual pain. These herbs can be consumed with food or by making tea. Also, consuming them at the other times of your months can help decrease your pain during periods.
Regular exercises, mostly cardio, can help relieve menstrual cramps in an amazing way. As regular exercises keep you fit and in proper shape, the menstrual cramps can be reduced. Also, if you walk while you have pain around your room, this can also help in reducing contractions in your uterus and relive from menstrual cramps.
5. Include aroma therapy and oil massages
During menstruation, you can indulge yourself in aroma therapy as well as essential oil massages. It has been practically proven that lavender oil massages can give instant relief to menstrual cramps and so does the aroma therapy. You can also massage yourself in your lower belly with finger tips while you are in your room which also helps in relieving menstrual cramps.
Using different positions of yoga which help in pain relief can be your friend during menstrual cramps. The child’s pose, pigeon pose, downward facing pose and different other yoga poses can help you relieve your cramps in a simple way. Also, while you are lying down, try lifting your feet above than your body and when you are sleeping; keep your knees bent as these can help you find relief from menstrual cramps.
All of these menstrual cramp relief tips work for mild and average painbut if it’s intolerable or if the pain is severe to make you weak for your daily routine, then you must seek some medical advice as soon as possible.
What medications to take for menstrual cramps?
For normal menstrual cramps or primary dysmenorrhea, you can also ask for over the counter medicines such as aspirins and acetaminophen. You can also use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as these medicines help to reduce the production and activities of prostaglandins in your body which is the major cause of menstrual cramps. These medicines that can be found over the counter in drugstore are ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and ketoprofen.
As these medications do not require doctor’s prescription, these can be readily used whenever you have menstrual cramps. Also, these medicines work better if you take them before your periods arrive making it easier for your body to reduce painful cramps effectively on time. As for the medicines be sure to take them in a regular basis in the first three days of your period in a proper time. The ibuprofen and ketoprofen should be consumed at the gap of every 4-8 hours whereas naproxen should be taken in the gap of 8-12 hours.
Let us know how you cope up with your menstrual pain in the comments below!