Too terrible to handle those days of the month for you, Be relieve! not only you but almost all women feel some discomfort during their menstruation periods and many of them have to suffer from such unbearable pain also. Misery of period pains would be experienced by each and every women during their teens and 20s. Usually, this pain would be feel in abdomen, in back, or even down legs, it can be mild, moderate or severe in every individual’s case. Women, who have mild discomfort can cope with the pain just by taking painkillers, on the other hand, about 1 in 10 women suffer from severe period pain, find it too hard to perform normal household, job, or school-related activities for about few days during each menstrual cycle and it seriously disrupts their regular lives.
In general terms, period may be tend to become less painful as the woman gets older over time, however, there are many remedies available in this modern era to reduce the severity of these painful period. It would be easy to make periods more comfortable if we succeed to investigate and check or clear about the strong symptoms and causes regarding to this intolerable pain.
The period pain is medically known as the dysmenorrhoea, experienced during and sometimes just before a woman’s monthly period. This can be classified in two forms according to its severity, Primary and Secondary dysmenorrhoea. The most common type of painful periods is Primary dysmenorrhoea, not consisting with any underlying problem of the uterus (womb) or pelvis, Whereas, Secondary dysmenorrhoea is less common and more likely to occur in women in their 30s and 40s or tends to affect women later in their reproductive lives. It is caused by a problem of the uterus or pelvis.
No need to worry so much because doctors could find no physical abnormality in patients during their Primary dysmenorrhoea periods. In fact, menstrual pains are normal side effects of greater-than-normal uterine muscle contractions only.
Normal body chemicals which is called prostaglandins tend to build up in the lining of the uterus. This chemical help the uterus to contract and shed the lining of the uterus during menstrual period of the woman. Too much build-up of this prostaglandins chemicals or extra sensitivity of the uterus to the prostaglandins chemicals are responsible for the period pain in women. This may cause the uterus to contract excessively hard which may decreases the blood supply to the muscle wall of the uterus during the contractions. These contractions is an essential part of female fertility, as it aims to help the uterus shed its weak lining (as a period or bleed) so that new lining can be grown for a fertilized egg to implant itself therefore pain is just a side effect.
Symptoms of Primary dysmenorrhoea:
- Usually starts as the bleeding starts, but it may start up to a day before.
- Usually lasts 12-24 hours, but lasts 2-3 days in some cases.
- Tends to become less severe as you get older or after having a baby.
- Can vary with each period; some periods are worse than others.
- May spread to your lower back, or to the top of your legs.
Others symptoms in addition to pain include headaches, faintness, tiredness, feeling sick, bloating, breast tenderness, diarrhoea and feeling tearful or emotional.
There are a number of treatments that may help women to treat themselves at home during primary dysmenorrhoea. It is mild pain so not to worry just follow some required steps given in the below list.
Symptoms of Secondary dysmenorrhoea:
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal discharge
- Pain during sex
- Pains between periods
- Bleeding in between periods
- Crampy lower abdominal pain during periods
- The bleeding becomes heavier than previously
- Change in the usual pattern of pain
- Periods tend to become more painful after several years of ‘normal’ periods
- The pain starts several days before the period begins, and lasts all the way through the period.
If you develop any of these problems, then must see your doctor, as they will held examination of your abdomen, an internal examination to check your uterus (womb) and pelvis. Through this, they try to look for possible causes of painful periods like fibroids in uterus. Doctor may also take some swabs during the examination to look for any signs of infection if find necessary.
Following treatments may be helpful to regulate blood flow in the lower abdomen as well as normalize smooth muscle contraction and reduce cramps. Try from them and see which approach works best or try them all together to achieve quick and maximum effect.
Treatments to lessen the period pain:
Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, Motrin and naproxen help in prohibiting prostaglandins which means less contractions and less pain. They work best, if taken just before the start of a period. They can help to lighten up blood flow too. Make sure about to take it in the recommended dosage only otherwise there may be chances of reactions.
It can harsh the stomach and kidneys so you can also try some natural medicines like Menstrual Magic softgels – an herbal supplement which made with a blend of essential oils, find other similar products at mothernature.com.
- Birth control pills
Birth control pills also do well in this condition as hormones in birth control pills help to maintain a steady level of hormones and regulate periods too. Thus, they help greatly to reduce the severity of menstrual cramps in women.
‘Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill’ is good option to relieve from pain when you need contraception too. The pill causes the lining of the uterus to become thin, and the amount of prostaglandin is much reduced. Where as; if you need long-term contraception, then try a special intra-uterine contraceptive device called the IUS. It contains the hormone levonorgestrel which can reduce dysmenorrhea by as much as 50 percent unlike other non-hormonal IUDs, like those which contain copper can have no effect or may worsen dysmenorrhea. Both contraceptive effectively reduces the amount of pain and bleeding during periods.
Injectable progestogen contraceptives are good alternative for medication, as they are delivered direct through injection, by patch that you wear on your skin or in a flexible ring inserted into vagina.
- TENS machine
TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine is widely used for period pains. These machines are placed on the abdomen and give out a small electrical current to stimulate the nerve in the pelvic area; it also interferes with pain signals which are sent to the brain from the nerves so, in a way that may reduce the period pain.
- Use own pain-killers of the body
Make use of the body’s own pain-management mechanisms if you don’t want over-use of traditional pain-killers or in case painkillers are not available.
Distraction is most powerful and readily available painkillers so do something that totally absorbs you like socializing with good friends, playing a computer game, spending time on facebook or do your hobby related activities to relieve from pain in natural way.
Moreover, engaging yourself in stress reduction activities like yoga, massage and meditation may ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
- Do some mild exercise
Serotonin is considered as body’s own painkiller and overall serotonin levels would be increased by regular exercise. Make habit of run on the treadmill, walk around the neighborhood, go ride your bike, or do any other exercises you enjoy. All these will increase blood flow and help the cramps go away.
- Use Heat
Use of pill may lead you towards emotional wreck, gained weight, etc. so it would be better to go through other alternatives. Try placing a hot water bottle or heating pad on your abdomen as it improves blood flow, relax muscles, and ease pain.
If you don’t have a heating pad, you can try pepper patches or pain patches instead or may take a take a hot bath of shower, hot wash cloth or use warm blanket as of options.
- Body posture
Some body posture can reduce the pain for temporary period also. For example, laying on your side with your knees tucked into your chest; lay face down on the bed with your face in a pillow and stick your butt up in the air; try lying on your back and keep your feet elevated by pillows, etc.
Gently massaging your abdomen promotes blood flow to the tired muscles and brings more oxygen and nutrients, and takes away the acidic byproducts produced by tired muscles. In a way, it will effectively lessen your pain.
Clothing remain close to the body every time so it affects greatly on it. During period pains, try to wear all-in-ones clothing which doesn’t pressure your abdomen. This comfortable clothing reduce period cramps caused by tight clothing.
For over 2,000 years, Acupuncture has been used as a pain relief method. According to the Mayo Clinic, it may also help to relieve pain associated with menstrual cramps. In this, Hair-thin needles are placed into the skin on the specific locations of your body to pressure the pain related point.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Fat cells produce hormone called estrogen which imbalanced and contribute to uterine cramps. So, women should conscious about their weight and try to avoid high levels of saturated fat which increases the estrogen levels that bring you on the symptoms of PMS too.
- Drink plenty of water
The liver functions better in well-hydrated position and help to keep hormones (like estrogen) balanced. Drinking water decreases chances of water retention which makes cramps more painful and causes bloating, so try to be hydrated all time.
- Stay away from coffee
Caffeine, commonly found in colas, most teas and especially from coffee; makes blood vessels constrict. It may cause the vessels that feed the uterus to tighten more and make cramps a lot worse. If you can’t cut it out entirely, try avoiding it just for at least the week before your period.
- Try a Tea
Drinking herbal tea like raspberry leaf, peppermint, lavender, chamomile, chaste berry, helps to relax the muscles and soothe tension. Chamomile contains a compound called glycine that helps to relieve from muscle spasms as well as lavender, peppermint have some anti-inflammatory properties. Try a raspberry leaf tea as it is a mild uterine tonic, but not opt for raspberry-flavored black tea.
- Vitamin and Minerals
vitamin or mineral supplements like calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and iron help to reduce menstrual pain. No doubt that calcium is great for alleviating the pains of menstruation but seek calcium elsewhere other than dairy. Many dairy products contain higher levels of saturated fat and arachidonic acids which responsible to increase prostaglandins.
Eat a low-fat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables to ease pain; also there are some good fats (oil, flaxseed oil, omega-3) that help to metabolize into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and result in less pain.
- Eat Green
Try to get sufficient quota of vitamin or mineral from food sources especially dark leafy green like kale and spinach which contain lots of magnesium and are known as a natural muscle relaxant. As per some studies, women with the worst cramping are often magnesium-deficient so they should relieve greatly in a way.
Dark green vegetables prevent excess bleeding by giving your body a dose of vitamin K and reduce muscle spasms that lead to painful curl-up-in-a-ball cramps. They are great dietary source of calcium, magnesium, and countless other micronutrients which are essential for mediating muscle contractions.They are also considered to be mildly cleansing, which body needs in a “stagnation” condition. Some greens such as dandelion greens also have a mild diuretic effect to reduce bloating.
- Avoid Salty snacking
Sodium make your cramps worse and it is hard to keep the bloating level minimum during the period as all the processed foods contain high levels of sodium. So, try to stay away from Salty snack during periods.
- Skimping on fiber consumption
Insufficient fiber leads to the risk of immoral digestion rates during and before your period. Beans are a good source of the extra fiber which can work to your benefit.
In case, you would not get relief from any of the above mentioned measures and suffering severely of menstrual pain, then you must see a physician. Your pain may be as a result of other serious problems such as fibroids, cysts, infections, endometriosis, abnormal pregnancies, and IUDs.