ad collaborative post // Menstruation is that time of the month most women dislike. It’s when you get mood swings, experience fatigue, headaches, develop acne, etc. To top it off, many experience intense pain that can make it difficult to function.
Painful periods, medically known as dysmenorrhea, occur when there is a chemical imbalance in your body and insufficient oxygen in the uterine tissue. As a result, muscles of the uterus walls contract, causing painful cramps.
Period cramps can also be a sign of serious medical complications like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, uterine fibroids or infection, and tumors in the pelvic cavity. If your pain seems strange, don’t dismiss it.
Popping a few ibuprofen pills might be tempting and even work, but these meds aren’t advisable, which is why we made a list of things you can do instead to make you comfortable and relieve pain during painful periods.
1. Know Your Flow
The first step towards relieving pain is to be your own period expert. Know how your body works, and track your cycle (some apps can help you do that, like Flo and Clue). Know how your body reacts before, during, and after menstruation.
You should know how long your period takes, how your moods are affected, your bowel movement, and even your sleep.
Understanding your menstrual cycle is crucial and can tell much about your health. For instance, irregular periods can be a sign of thyroid issues or hormonal issues.
2. See a Doctor
If the pain isn’t normal for you or it’s too strong, get to the hospital as soon as possible.
You want to see a doctor and get examined in case there’s a deep-rooted issue. What you shouldn’t do is head over to the nearest drug store and buy yourself pain medications.
It’s important to know why your menstrual cramps are so painful. If you don’t have an underlying problem, your doctor will prescribe the right medications for you.
3. Take Plenty of Water
Drinking water does not only help you stay hydrated during your menstrual cycle, but it also helps to relieve bloating and boost your energy levels.
Keep in mind that water is vital for digestion and blood circulation. You don’t want these processes interrupted by dehydration when you’re already in pain.
One experimental study suggests that drinking plenty of water may reduce pain intensity and even the duration of bleeding.
4. Apply Heat
A hot shower, heated patch, or a hot water bottle pressed on your abdomen helps the uterus muscles that cause cramps to relax.
Heat also reduces pain by improving circulation in your abdomen. Heat patches are more convenient to use since they allow you to move around and go about your daily activities.
However, you’re better off resting as you try to lower the severity of pain you experience. Lying down with a warm compress on the painful area is more advisable.
If you can manage to do 30 minutes of low to medium aerobic exercises at least three times a week, you may reduce the intensity of painful menstruation.
You don’t even have to set foot in the gym to perform these exercises. Try activities like biking or walking to work. Dancing and yoga are also good options.
Exercising releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones that relieve pain and help relax your muscles, so try it out the next time you experience painful cramps.
6. Try Herbal Remedies
Some herbal teas have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that may decrease muscle spasms in the uterus, which are responsible for painful menstruation.
A cup of ginger, chamomile, cinnamon, or fennel tea can easily do the trick. Herbal teas also relieve stress and help improve your sleep.
Alternatively, you may look into medical cannabis as it’s a proven solution for pain. The cannabis plant has many chemical profiles showing great potential in the medical field.
If you look into reports about cannabinoids and terpenes for pain relief, you’ll find that many people benefit from these compounds.
Menstrual cramps are a normal aspect of a woman’s life. They can be painful, but if the pain is intense or renders you incapable of going about your business, you need to do something about it.
The above tips can help tone down your pain. But if the pain persists or you feel like something isn’t right, seek medical care as soon as possible.