Girl Talk: What You Can do About Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)
It’s that time of the week again— menstruation. Having menstruation is part of a woman’s life which signifies that she is fertile enough to carry a child in her womb. It is also the time of transition for little girls to become a full-fledged woman since menstruation starts at puberty between ages 11-14.
However, comes with this change are various issues such as having menstrual cramps during menstruation. Menstrual cramps, or also known as dysmenorrhea is an annoying part of your period wherein you feel pain in your lower belly or at your back, and it can range from mild to severe. So, how do you go through menstruation without having to ball yourself up in bed due to pain? Here’s how.
Causes of Menstrual Cramps
Before knowing how to handle menstrual cramps, you need to know first what causes it so that you may be wary of the possible health issues lurking around your body.
It is essential to know about the processes and vital organs in our bodies. For instance, the female uterus, whose primary function is to nourish and house a fetus during pregnancy, has something to do with our menstruation process. The uterus thickens it’s lining every month to fulfill its function of housing a baby. If the egg in the uterus is not fertilized or no pregnancy occurs, these linings will be discharged from the body in the form of blood, thus called the menstruation process.
During menstruation, there are hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that are mostly responsible for the pain and swelling sensation in the muscles. Therefore, menstrual cramps happen. If the pain and cramps are extreme, this is most likely because of a high production level of prostaglandins.
Other causes of menstrual cramps may be due to the following:
Adenomyosis is a condition that happens when the lining of the uterus begins to grow and break through muscular walls. This process, therefore, results in certain discomfort such as abdominal pressure, menstrual cramps, bloating, and heavy periods. While this is not a life-threatening condition, the frequency of its occurrence can posit an adverse effect on a woman’s life.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organ. This is usually caused by bacterias transmitted through sexual intercourse. The bacteria spread in the female uterus and ovaries that results to pelvic pain, cramps, and even difficulty to be pregnant.
Endometriosis happens when the tissues that are lining the uterus becomes present in other organs of the body outside of the uterus. There are a number of ideas why it happens; one is that the tissue lining may have traveled and found its way out of the uterus and builds up outside. Therefore, when a woman menstruates, pain is located not only within the uterus with also on parts where the tissue linings have built up.
Uterine fibroids are benign lumps that grow in the uterus, and these noncancerous growths in the wall of the uterus may cause menstrual pain to a woman.
Cervical stenosis is a condition wherein the cervix narrows or completely closes off the passage between the uterus and the vaginal canal. This, therefore, hampers the natural menstrual flow thus increasing the pressure and pain inside the uterus.
What You Can Do About It
Now you know about what might cause your menstrual cramps, let’s proceed as to how you can help yourself and alleviate the pain your menstruation is causing you.
Improving Your Diet
Research has shown that reducing the consumption of fat in your diet and increasing your vegetables may help ease your monthly cramps. This is because low-fat diet decreases the overall levels of inflammation in the body, which is why a low-fat and a vegetarian diet will help you in your monthly pain periods and may help your overall health.
Taking Safe Painkillers
Moderate use of NSAID or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication like Ibuprofen (Advil) or Naproxen (Aleve) can help since these drugs purposes are to help you manage the pain you are feeling.
Menstrual cramps occur because of high levels in prostaglandin, right? Well, NSAIDs lowers the prostaglandin production and decreases the overall pain and inflammation. Additionally, you might want to check some drug coupons when buying drugs online from accredited pharmacies.
Drinking Herbal Tea Infusions
There are certain teas that may help relieve menstrual cramps, this is affirmed by a registered dietitian nutritionist, Sonya Angelone which is based at the San Francisco Bay area.
There are only a few studies on herbal teas as a way to alleviate menstrual pain, however, teas have been around for many years and are used traditionally for various purposes. However, herbs may act as estrogens so ask your doctor first before using it as a way to alleviate your pain.
An example of an herb infusion is cramp bark which is used commonly form menstrual discomfort. Another example would be tea with peppermint oil for pain relief. Angelone recommended that you should start sipping tea a week or before you expect your period.
Be Helped out by Vitamins
Vitamins also help you in a way, try fish oil and vitamin B1 for a natural relief for period cramps. There was a conducted study wherein, 240 teens, were reported to have their pain relieved due to the intake of fish oil and vitamin B1. It was also added that the pain did not last long when the vitamins were taken daily.
Menstrual cramps may be normal but having severe menstrual cramps may indicate something serious. This is why if you are experiencing severe or unusual pain that would last for more than 2 or 3 days then you out to go to your doctor and get yourself checked so that your doctor can give you recommendation about what you should do and what you can do about the severe period pains you have been suffering.