NOTE: Information provided here is meant for the purpose of education. You can visit your healthcare provider for more….
Menstrual cramps are very common and not a serious health condition but in a lot of cases, it makes life tough for women during menstruation. Here are some effective remedies to stop menstrual cramps. The menstrual cycle – a regular monthly change in the female reproductive system, does take a toll on a woman’s body – from experiencing abdominal pain to mood swings, lower back woes and fatigue – almost everything makes life tougher for women during the periods.
Menstrual cramps are another condition where a woman experiences mild or severe abdominal pain during the menstrual cycle. Generally, menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea is not a worrisome health condition but for some, the intense pain can really choke their life. But there are some remedies that can relieve your pain. Before that, let’s understand the biochemistry behind menstrual cramps.
WHY DO MENSTRUAL CRAMPS HAPPEN?
During periods, the womb contracts and relaxes to help shed the built-up lining. These cause cramps. Some women can also experience nausea, vomiting and headaches along with the cramps. The menstrual pain is usually in the lower abdomen but it can also radiate to lower back, groin or upper thighs. Generally, these troubles take place during the beginning part of the menstrual cycle and as days pass, the cramps ease out.
EFFECTIVE REMEDIES TO FIGHT MENSTRUAL CRAMPS
Heat: A heating pad or a hot water bottle is all you need to get some relief from your menstrual cramps. Heat relaxes uterine muscles and those adjacent to it. The heat pad can also be placed in the lower back to fight back pain during menstruation. Dr Ritika Samaddar, says that taking a hot shower or consuming hot fluids also provide relief during periods.
Massage with coconut/ sesame oil: Either a self-massage or from a professional relaxes the pelvic muscles and helps in fighting cramps. A massage from sesame or coconut oil or a lotion can be done gently. Using sesame oil is an Ayurvedic (healthy) treatment to menstrual cramps. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is rich in linoleic acid. During periods, it can be applied to the lower abdomen.
Massage with essential oils: For trying this remedy, people can add a few drops of any of the essential oil to carrier oil and give themselves a gentle massage. The ideal proportion is one drop essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil. Give yourself a massage for 20 minutes for effective results. Also when applying this massage, one should target specific points in the abdomen, back and side.
Herbal tea: Herbal teas also provide a good treatment when one faces menstrual cramps. Dr Malini Sharma, advises taking ginger tea with black pepper. However, she adds that avoid adding milk to it. Not just it reduces pain during periods, it also makes periods regular and tackles fatigue related to pre-menstrual syndrome. Chamomile tea can also be tried as it reduces the production of prostaglandins, which lessens menstrual pain.
Having an orgasm: There are not enough studies to back it but science suggests that this can be tried. Vaginal orgasms involve the spinal cord as well, which signals the release of neurotransmitters. Through orgasms, endorphins and oxytocin can be released. Endorphins can reduce pain perception.
Avoiding fatty food, alcohol, caffeine products: It’s best that during menstruation avoid having foods that cause water retention and bloating. And some of the foods in this list are fatty foods, salty foods, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, etc. So avoiding these foods will give relief to your cramps.
Light Exercise: Women avoid exercises during menstruation due to excessive pain but studies have found that performing mild exercise can provide benefits. But weight and strenuous training should be avoided. Some exercises that can be tried are walking, light stretching and yoga. Performing these exercises will also release endorphins which are a natural pain reliever to cramps.
In summary, when menstrual cramps are severe and home remedies are not working, consult a DOCTOR. Also, there are some dietary changes that help one in the long-run when it comes to dealing with menstrual cramps. These include reducing the intake of processed foods, consuming more fibre and plants. Papaya, walnuts, almonds, olive oil are good to ease out period cramps. Omega-3s is also a good option to reduce inflammation and swelling. Finally, drink loads of clean water.