Painful menstrual periods: how to reduce period pain and cramps

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Unfortunately, women often have to suffer from menses that can be accompanied by a variety of inconveniences. Thus, together with the lower abdominal pain which is quite frequent, women experience nausea, headaches, weakness and increased body temperature.

Why do we feel pain during menstruation?

Numerous uterine contractions are the main cause of pain. In addition, the female body releases a large amount of prostaglandins which increase the contractions. In fact, menstruation is somewhat similar to the process of childbirth when the uterus contracts to get rid of the unnecessary endometrium.

In most cases pain during menstruation comes with feeling unwell. Women can experience vomiting, lack of appetite and dizziness. Trembling of the hands is another common phenomenon. Women frequently feel pain in the lower abdomen and lumbar area. Sometimes it is even difficult to stand as pain is transferred to the hip muscles. The above symptoms are especially prevalent in the first days of the menses.

Menstrual pain

The usual duration of menstruation is from three to five days. The second and the third days are accompanied by the highest discharge of blood. By the end of menstruation the inner surface of the uterus recovers, and, as a result, the amount of blood is reduced to brown droplets of blood and sarnies.

Teenagers during maturation of the organism supplemented by hormonal changes often feel severe menstrual pains. However, adult women, especially those who are married, experience such pains much rarer. More than 30% of women don’t feel any menstrual pain at all. Interestingly, statistics demonstrate surprising facts: women from developed countries complain of pain and discomfort during menses more than women from Asian countries.

In some cases, menstrual pain is particularly felt when a woman has gynecological diseases such as polycystic ovaries, uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts.

How to get rid of the menstrual pain?

During menstruation, women have an only wish to lie in a bed without moving. Unfortunately, the rhythm of modern life doesn’t provide us such opportunity. That’s why each woman should have the suitable means to cope with the menstrual pain in order to function as usual.

Exercises and gymnastics

Some sports exercises help to reduce discomfort feeling considerably. You can see the example of the women that are involved in sports: they hardly feel pains during menstruation. In addition, you’ll get a pleasant bonus of toned and healthy body. We make a mistake when we endure pain lying on a bed as namely physical activity can relieve pain. Try to move more, walk and crouch. Without a doubt, don’t overdo the exercises; everything is good in moderation. Doctors don’t recommend doing complex acrobatic stunts and weightlifting. Quite a few sit-ups are enough to provide a first aid and ease the pain in the lower abdomen.

Menstrual pain

The following exercises would help to reduce the menstrual pain, and you would feel much better:

  • Lie on a flat surface. Bend your legs with your feet resting against the floor. Then slowly flex the abdomen up and down; remember to keep the muscles relaxed while doing that. Repeat the exercise four or five times.
  • After that take the following position: elbows and knees rest on the floor, with the head down between the hands. You should keep this position for 2.5-3 minutes.
  • Lying on your back, lift your legs high up against the wall in order to form a right angle. Rest your feet against a wall; try to press them tightly. Hold this position for five minutes.
  • The name of the last exercise is “Cobra”: lie down on your abdomen and rest your outstretched arms against the floor with a strong effort. Pull the chest and head back to the maximum distance. It is desirable to repeat the exercise four or five times; this way you stretch abdominal muscles and back.

Painkillers for menstrual pain

In case, the exercises described above have no effect and you still feel severe pain, you can take medicine. Any analgesic except for aspirin will ease the pain. Antispasmodic medicines such as Spazmalgon, No-Spa, Solpadein, Analgin, Baralgin are also effective during menstruation. You can also take Ketanov although you should be careful as this medication is quite strong. Nurofen with its active ingredient of ibuprofen can also be used to quickly reduce the menstrual pain. But, again, don’t take an overdose of medications containing ibuprofen as it is fraught with side effects.

Medications that include estrogen-progestin also relieve the pain as they reduce the formation of prostaglandins. Birth control pills have the same effect, as well.

After taking the medicine, doctors recommend lying for a while. Strengthen the legs and try to relax lying on your back – it is the most comfortable position. This pose will minimize muscle tension and help to alleviate menstrual pain. If it is impossible to lie down at the moment, then try to just sit and relax the muscles of the abdomen and back.

Diet against pain

If taking medications are not suitable for you, you can try to stick to vegetarian food which is believed to decrease the pain. Thus, begin abstaining from dairy and animal foods several days before the menstruation. Drink fresh juices; beet and carrot juice are especially beneficial in this period. Eat the vegetables that have green leaves and products containing calcium during the diet breaks. There is no need to drink coffee because caffeine causes irritability during this period; drink herbal tea instead. Thus, tea with chamomile, lemon balm, raspberry leaf and mint is the best choice during menstruation.

Actually, there is no universal way to cope with the menstrual pain. Each woman finds her own method as the individual characteristics of the body play an important role. So, for someone relaxing in a hot tub is very helpful; one prefers avoiding alcohol during this period, whereas another, on the contrary, drinks 30 grams of cognac. We are all different. One more method is to put a hot water bottle next to the lower abdomen. But in any case, don’t apply something cold, even if this usually helps you. The cold is capable of provoking inflammation of the appendages as during the menstruation the female body is particularly sensitive.

Yoga is another popular technique to escape from pain, and many women confirm its effectiveness during menses. In addition, this ancient oriental art helps greatly to manage with stress and anxiety.

Find the most suitable method for you from the above listed. However, keep in mind that pain can arise not only because of menstruation, therefore, visit the doctor regularly.

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2 Responses to Painful menstrual periods: how to reduce period pain and cramps

  • On the first day of mens I have a such pain, that my eyes darken and I want to vomit. But I know something that helps a bit: lie on my back, bend my knees and raise the pelvis higher – many times helped when the pain caught unawares, and the pills have not yet begun to act. When I go to bed in this position, after 5-15 seconds the pain completely passes – but when you are at work, you will not lie down…

  • Hello. I have been suffering with this problem for 7 years. Previously, pain came periodically … now every month. In addition, I have constant delays, from a couple of days to a crescent or even a month. Because of this problem, I literally registered with a gynecologist, and has already changed a few. BUT, it didn’t help. Assigned different types of treatments … none has helped. The only thing that helped me almost for half a year is acupuncture. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this procedure again.

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