Menstrual pain (also called period pain or menstrual cramps) is a symptom that most women are familiar with in varying degrees. Regardless of how little pain you feel, it is not anybody’s favourite time of the month.
Menstrual pain is caused by the contraction of the muscles of your womb as it sheds its inner lining during a period. These contractions cause pain in the lower part of your stomach, lower back, groin or upper thigh.
The pain is usually worse at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and gradually reduces as the period comes to an end.
Thankfully, there are many simple ways to experience relief from menstrual pain. In this article, we will be looking at five of them.
Heat can relax the contracting muscles of your womb, relieving the pain. There are several ways to use heat to provide relief from menstrual pain, such as:
- A warm bath
- A hot water bottle
- Heating pads or packs
- A towel in hot water
One of the most effective types of pain medication is a class of drugs known as the Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). This drug class includes over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and diclofenac.
NSAIDs lower the levels of prostaglandin, a hormone that rises when you’re on your period as a result of inflammation and contributes to the pain.
Using these drugs at the beginning of your menstrual cycle or just before your period will effectively manage the pain.
However, this drug should be used moderately. Women who have ulcer or any history of kidney disease or gastrointestinal bleeding should not be using NSAIDs at all.
Exercise is probably the last thing you want to do while on your period, but simple, relaxing exercises like walking or yoga can help with pain relief. Studies show that it can help so much you may not need to take drugs for pain relief.
It might also help you reduce stress which can affect how much pain you feel.
Massaging the stomach is a good idea to relax the contracting muscles of your womb and reduce stress. You can massage your skin with any oil of your choice. But, using essential oils will add an aromatherapy element to the experience. Aromatherapy has added benefits for stress relief.
Foods rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals have many benefits for the human body. Foods rich in minerals like vitamin B1 and magnesium help reduce menstrual pain.
Examples of such foods include:
These tips should be helpful for most people. If none of these tips helps, and you experience excruciating menstrual pain, you might consider seeing your doctor. Menstrual pain is a typical experience for many women. But if it is severe and significantly interferes with your daily life, it may signify something else. Seeing a doctor can help you determine if this is the case and help you find a lasting solution.
Image credit: pexels.com
Nonye Ezeaka is a freelance health and wellness content writer