Menstrual periods(cycles) are the bitter-sweet time in a woman’s life. Menstruation is a phase that may have begun in her life when she was in her early teens or even earlier. Sometimes we desperately wait for our monthly period, but on another, much more realistic level, periods are the gross, terrible and horrible pain in the uterus. Throbbing or cramping pain in the lower abdomen is called as menstrual cramps. Today, let’s understand menstruation and remedies to reduce menstrual pain.
Menstruation is a woman’s monthly bleeding, often called your ‘period’. When a woman menstruates, the body discards the monthly buildup of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual blood and tissue flow from the uterus through the small opening into the cervix and pass out of your body through the vagina.
The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, but the average is to have periods every 28 days
Why does the period hurt so much?
Period cramps are caused due to contraction of the uterus. This uterus pain is called as Dysmenorrhea scientifically. The blood vessels in the muscle wall are compressed by the contractions, which cut off the blood supply to the uterus, starving it of oxygen and adding to the discomfort.
Periods Sign and symptoms
Most women experience certain symptoms as their period date approaches known as premenstrual syndrome(PMS) these include mood changes, behaviour changes, and physical discomfort and can occur up to 10 days prior to the period. Some of listed below.
- Tender breast
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Swelling of hands or feet
- Pain in joints or back can also occur before a period begins
- Painful cramps are also an indication that menstrual bleeding is soon approaching
- A woman may feel more irritable, edgy, depressed or anxious
- Poor concentration or sometimes forgetfulness
- Women might experience food cravings and an increase in appetite.
Here are a few tactics to help you feel better
1. Apply heat
Applying the heating pad, heat wrap, or hot water bottle to your belly works wonders for relieving menstrual cramps. Heating helps muscles to relax. This heat application home treatment is used for ages. Even taking a hot shower may relieve pain and make you feel more relaxed.
2. Massage with essential oil
Menstrual pain is often transferred to the lower spinal area. Sometimes certain aromatic essential oils and massage can do magic and relieves your menstrual cramp pain. A study in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that women who massaged lower abdomen during her periods with essential oils like lavender oil, marjoram essential oil, reported less pain as compared to usual.
3. Take Medicines
Over-The-Counter and prescription medicines can help treat some menstruation symptoms.
Over-The-Counter pain relievers you can buy at any drug or chemist store may help lessen physical symptoms, such as cramps, headaches, backaches and breast tenderness. OTC include Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin. Prescription drugs may help if over-the-counter pain reliever medicines don’t work.
Do not consider taking Aspirin if you are younger than 20, because it may cause Reye syndrome.
All medicines have risks. Talk to your doctors and nurse before taking these medicine about their risks and benefits.
Recommended: OTC drugs and it’s side effects
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Yes I know you might be thinking Even I can’t make a move and exercise idea seems pretty farthest. The exercising idea seems clumsy but believes me, exercise is more effective at reducing menstrual pain to the extent it may also eliminate or reduce the need for pain-relief medication. Take a deep breath while lying on your back with the knees bent. Yoga is another type of exercise that may help women who have menstrual cramps on a monthly basis.
In one study young woman who practised yoga for 60 minutes once a week for 12 weeks felt less menstrual distress or pain compared to those who did not do yoga. Some of the best poses that help women feel better during menstruation to include: bridge, staff pose, and bound angel.
5. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture and acupressure are eastern healing treatments that stimulate certain trigger points on the skin to give a relaxing effect in the body. Acupuncture therapy helps to regulate your blood flow through the abdominal cavity and relax the nervous system, which can help calm uterus muscular contraction. An Acupuncturist can use needles to decrease a woman’s menstrual cramps. Applying pressure to the key points on the back, abdomen, feet, and the fleshy part between your thumb and index finger can be effective treatments for pain. The best part is since these techniques are chemical-free, you can do them anytime you experience symptoms.
6. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea contains anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. Chamomile tea increases urinary levels of glycine, which helps relieve muscle spasm and act as a muscle relaxant. This gives you relief from menstrual cramps.
7. Glass of Milk
Include a glass of milk in your breakfast. Calcium is a good source of the relaxation of muscles and thus help alleviate cramping.
8. Go for Carrot juice
Carrot juice not only good for your eyes; carrot juice helps in regulating menstrual pain.
9. Take some fish oil or vitamin B1
Add some fish oil supplement, vitamin B1 to your vitamin regimen for relief. A study in the Global Journal of Health Science found that participants who took either fish oil or B1 had significantly less pain than the placebo group.
10. Drink More Water
Get in the habit of drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, especially during your period. Drinking more water may help ease bloating, which makes menstrual cramp worse. Staying well-hydrated isn’t just good for cramps, it’s good for your overall health.
11. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep has an effect on menstrual symptoms and many other health conditions. Good sleep and the position you sleep may help you to relieve period pain. Sleeping on your stomach brings more pressure to the abdomen and which may worsen menstrual cramps. So practice good sleeping position which brings relief to you.
Studies suggest that orgasms have the direct effect on menstrual cramps. Vaginal orgasms involve the whole body, including spinal cord, which signals the release of neurotransmitters like endorphins and oxytocin. These endorphins can decrease pain perceptions.
Walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds are rich in manganese and saturated fatty acids, both of which will help your body to better deal with period pains.
Ginger can effectively ease menstrual cramps. This herb plays a key role in lowering the levels of the pain-causing prostaglandins. It also helps fight fatigue which is associated with premenstrual syndrome(PMS).
Grate a small piece of ginger, boil it in a cup of water for five minutes. Strain it and add little honey and lemon juice. Drink this tea three times a day during your menstrual cycle.
Basil is another very effective herb for reducing menstrual pain. The caffeic acid present in basil has analgesic or pain-reducing properties.
Add 7-8 basil leaves in water and boil it for five minutes. Cover tightly and allow it to cool. Drink this every few hours to ease cramps.
Additional ways to relieve menstrual cramps
- Lie down and elevate your legs by putting a pillow under your knees.
- Lie on your side and bring your knees up towards your chest. This will help relieve backpressure.
Things to avoid
Your dietary and lifestyle can either help or hurt period cramps. Ditch the alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. All these things increase inflammation and may encourage painful periods.
Cut the junk, Skip white, refined foods including sugar, bread, and pasta. Avoid trans-fatty acids that are found most often in foods like french fries, cookies, onion rings, crackers, chocolates, and margarine. Salty foods will exacerbate bloating, while sugar and saturated fat will increase estrogen levels, which is responsible for PreMenstrual Syndrome(PMS) symptoms which includes menstrual cramps.
Managing Menstrual Bleeding
You can choose from a range of pads, tampons or menstrual cups to manage menstrual bleeding. More importantly, it is imperative that you wash your hands after you discard your used napkins.
Menstrual cups are the fresh comfort trend for every woman out there and here’s the link to can check out the super comfy 12-hour protection, leak-proof menstrual cups with storage pouch free. Arunachalam Muruganantham is the inventor of low-cost sanitary napkins making the machine. He is a Tamil Nadu-based social activist who revolutionized the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkins machine. Today, Muruganantham is one of India’s most well known social entrepreneur and TIME magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. To bring Arunachalam Muruganantham amazingly inspiring story to life, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar portraying the biopic movie named ‘Padman’, which is releasing on 26th January 2018. Twinkle Khanna is the producer of this film. Padman also stars Radhika Apte (wife of Arunachalam Muruganantham) and Sonam Kapoor, a protagonist playing main roles.
Most of the women have a love-hate relationship with their periods. This is obvious because they are painful, brings moodiness, irritation, fatigue and other whole hosts of symptoms and at the same time, we feel relaxed that ensure no sperm attacked our treasure(ovary), so we get it timely. We know periods are painful, but keep in mind that excessively painful menstruation can be a sign of a more serious underlying medical issue, such as endometriosis, ovarian cyst, a uterine infection, or any problem with uterus, cervix, and vagina.
Here are a few lists of Female sanitary care products that every woman should check out-
– Everteen Menstrual Cup for Women which save you from any leaks, bad smell, rashes, infections, etc.
– Anti-bacterial Sanitary Pads which protects from getting any infection.
– Soft cotton panty liners that keep you every day clean and hygienic.
– Toilet Seat Sanitizer Spray that keeps any infection or unhygienic at bay.
Don’t forget to consult your primary care to make sure these possibilities are addressed, especially if you just can’t seem to get your pain under control.