Most women have their monthly periods. Unfortunately, many of them also experience pain during menstruation. These normally include tender breasts, headaches, mood swings, unexplained occurrence of bruises, and painful cramps or dysmenorrhea. Having menstruation should not be a big deal unless you experience these kinds of bodily pain.
With that said, it’s natural for women to look for relief in this time of the month. How? First, let’s get to know more about one of the most common effects of menstruation – menstrual cramps. We will also learn why it occurs and how we can deal with it.
What is Menstrual Cramps?
Dysmenorrhea, commonly known as menstrual cramps, involves pain in the lower abdomen area. It normally occurs days before and during menstruation. Some women can tolerate menstrual cramps. On the other hand, other women experience severe cramps which greatly affect their daily life.
Women under age 30 are more prone to dysmenorrhea. Likewise, women who have menorrhagia (heavy bleeding during menstruation) metrorrhagia (irregular bleeding) are also at high risk of having dysmenorrhea. Furthermore, women who smoke and have a family history of dysmenorrhea can also suffer from the condition.
Causes and Symptoms
Women with dysmenorrhea often experience intense pain in the lower abdomen area. In some cases, the pain can extend to the lower back and thighs. On the other hand, some women may even experience nausea, loose bowels, and headache.
Dysmenorrhea can start as early as three days prior to your period, and subside on the third day of your period. However, if it consistently occurs every month or occurred after turning 25 years of age, it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately.
There are other causes of menstrual cramps. Among common reasons include:
Treating Your Period Cramps
Monthly periods are part of every woman’s life. However, the pains associated with it may signify some health issues as stated above. In such cases, it is recommended to consult your doctor immediately.
For the meantime, there are ways to alleviate menstrual pain. Doing such measures can help you deal with menstrual pain and prevent it from affecting your daily activities. Without further ado, here are the tips you can do to get rid of cramps:
For many women with menstrual cramps, exercise and other physical activities are the last things they want to do. However, doing such physical tasks can actually do better for your cramps. According to experts, exercise releases endorphins which can help relieve pain and improve your mood. Technically, any exercise can do (except weight lifting). You can either do cardio or yoga, whichever you find more comfortable to do.
Apparently, caffeinated drinks and foods (chocolate included) is considered a vasoconstrictor. It tightens the blood vessels in the uterus, hence making menstrual cramps worse. Instead, drink lots of water to prevent dehydration and relieve your cramps.
It has been an age-long advice, but it actually does wonders in alleviating cramps. According to one study from the University College London, putting a hot compress or hot water bottle can act as a painkiller and provide relief from cramps. Just make sure to cool it down a little before putting it on your abdominal area, or risk burning yourself.
Choose to wear clothes and underwear that are not tight around the lower body. These can help you breathe better and avoid getting sweaty down there. You can use an old pair of underwear if you’re just at home. That way, you won’t have to worry about it getting stained.
Most doctors would recommend taking ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate menstrual cramps. For women who are prone to menstrual cramps, it is advisable to take these medications every six hours, 2 days before your expected menstrual period.
Nothing beats the power of rest and relaxation. Sleeping and lying down comfortably can help you feel better. Likewise, it can also help relieve symptoms of menstrual cramps.
Menstruation is part of womanhood. Unfortunately, menstrual cramps may also accompany monthly periods that can hamper a woman’s daily activities. Thankfully, there are many ways to alleviate such menstrual pains. More so, such menstrual pains should not affect your daily life.