Period cramps come with several conditions that affect your mood and health. The depression accompanying this monthly discharge can leave you depressed and frustrated. But it isn’t supposed to be so.
Your period should be a painless process that comes and goes without any pain or headache. If you are tired of constantly experiencing the effects of period cramps, there are some effective ways to prevent or manage the pain. We have listed them below.
What are Menstrual Cramps?
During menstruation, some women experience menstrual cramps, which can occur before or during this monthly cycle. Menstrual cramps are throbbing; aching pains women experience in their lower bellies before or during their period. It is often a result of uterine contractions that occur in reaction to prostaglandins and other chemicals.
Women fear menstrual cramps, not only because of the pain and discomfort it brings but because it is sometimes unpredictable. This pre or post-menstruation condition can occur before or during the month of your period. However, most women get them regularly.
Cramps vary from mild to intense. They often occur for the first time a year or two after you first experience your period. However, as you grow, they usually become less painful and may cease totally after having your first baby.
Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps
Of course, menstrual cramps—like some other health conditions—often come with signs which help you identify their presence. For period cramps, these signs include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Faintness and dizziness
- Diarrhoea or loose stools
- Pain in the lower back and thighs
These symptoms can easily be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and a little patience. However, ensure you see your doctor if:
- The symptoms are intense or get worse as time goes by
- Blood clots are bigger than a quarter
- Is very painful
Not all women experience menstrual cramps. While some do, others don’t. You may experience menstrual cramps if:
- You have a family history of menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
- You bleed heavily during a period (menorrhagia)
- You smoke
- You started puberty early, at age 11 or younger
- You experience irregular menstrual bleeding ( metrorrhagia)
How to Get Rid of Period Cramps
Use Heat patch:
The heat patch method is an effective way to ease period cramps. It involves placing a heated patch or wrap on your abdomen to soothe the muscles of your uterus. Heat can also increase blood circulation in your abdomen, thus reducing the throbbing pain.
Heating pads are super effective. Based on research, they are more effective than acetaminophen (Tylenol) in relieving period cramps. You can purchase abdominal heat patches online or at any drugstore. They are easy to use. All you have to do is peel and place them on your abdomen.
Electric heating pads and a hot water bottle are other options. However, they aren’t as convenient to use as patches. Nevertheless, they are good options if you spend a great deal of time at home and don’t need to move around much.
Massage your tummy with Essential Oils
Another way to ease your period cramps is by massaging your tummy. Not with typical body lotion, but with essential oil, which according to research, are effective in easing period cramps. For the best results, try to use a blend of oils.
The following oils are effective in alleviating period cramps:
Before applying these essential oils to your belly, ensure that you blend them with a carrier oil. These oils work by safely transporting the essential oil into your skin. They also assist in spreading them over a large area. Common examples of carrier oils are coconut oil and jojoba oil.
For health reasons, you should conduct a patch test before applying essential oils to your skin. After blending your oil with the carrier oil of your choice, add a few drops on your hands, then give your tummy a soft massage using a circular motion.
Natural remedies are commonly used to alleviate period cramps. You can go for Natural menstrual cramp relief solutions, which are effective in dealing with inflammation and chronic pain. These solutions can also help in treating muscle soreness and stress, which may be associated with period cramps, or menstruation as a whole.
Take pain reliever
Period cramp is associated with pain. Hence, it makes sense to consider pain relievers when searching for ways to ease your cramp. Many over-the-counter pain relievers are effective in soothing period cramps and other related symptoms like headaches. One of such relievers is Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs come in some varieties, which include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), aspirin (Bufferin).
These medications are usually effective when taken the moment you experience the first symptoms of cramps or pain. Ensure you take these drugs as directed. Also, and most importantly, talk with your doctor first if you have a history of conditions like
- Heart issues
- Liver issues
- Kidney issues
- Bleeding disorders
Exercise, as you already know, boasts of several therapeutic benefits. Aside from controlling weight, boosting energy and mood, and promoting sleep, engaging in low-to-medium aerobic exercise may help alleviate pain caused by period cramps.
To integrate aerobic exercises into your day-to-day activities, consider biking to work, going for a short walk at lunchtime, playing a sport you cherish, or if you have the time, swimming.
Soak in a tub
If you are a fan of hot baths, you’d love this option! Dipping your aching body in a hot bath is an exciting way to ease the pain associated with cramps. In addition, warm water will help soothe your abdominal, pelvic, and back muscles.
You can crank up the pain-relieving power of a good dip by including some drops of essential oils, such as lavender, sage, or rose, mixed with a carrier oil of your choice. Epsom salt may also be effective in relieving muscle pain. Try to chillax in a hot bath for a minimum of 15 minutes to derive the best benefits from it.
Menstrual cramps are a girl’s nightmare. However, you can kiss goodbye to the pain and discomfort that comes with this condition, or even prevent it altogether by adopting the tips above.
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