Painful menstruation, also known as dysmenorrhea, is one of the most common sexual health problems of women of childbearing age. Many symptoms can accompany the pain, including nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Mood swings can be related to hormonal fluctuations and a lack of sex hormones at the end of the cycle.
Pain and other unpleasant sensations before menstruation and the first 1-2 days of the cycle bother every second woman on average.
Keeping that in mind, we are going to find out more about the main measures suitable to reduce menstrual pain, cramps, and other unpleasant sensations during the period.
What causes the period to be painful?
There are two main reasons why menstrual pain bothers girls and women. The first reason is usually eliminated by giving birth. This is a mechanical reason, because the cervical canal of a woman who has not given birth is narrow, and during menstruation, the uterus tries to push out the menstrual blood, and mucosal splinters through the narrow cervical canal. For this reason, pain occurs due to strong pressure. After a woman gives birth, the canal expands, it is no longer so narrow, so after giving birth, menstrual pains are usually not so strong anymore.
Another reason is that the number of substances called prostaglandins increases in the uterus before menstruation. Prostaglandins cause uterine muscle contractions similar to cramps. When a muscle contracts, less blood with nutrients and oxygen flows to it. Similar to childbirth, these contractions cause pain and discomfort. Here there is no difference in whether a woman has given birth or not.
However, severe pain with excessive bleeding and fever are very dangerous. You should see your doctor immediately.
How to reduce menstrual pain?
If you need to reduce menstrual pain and it is not determined by various diseases, it can be alleviated by some lifestyle changes:
1. First of all, nutrition is key to a long and healthy life. Foods rich in salt and high in added sugar should be avoided. These products stimulate the release of insulin and, at the same time, the release of stress hormones.
2. It is recommended to increase fluid intake. When menstruation begins, you should drink as much liquid as possible. The most suitable drinks are water and herbal teas (ginger, chamomile, raspberry leaves). Some women like a variety of herbal teas. Herbal teas not only warm you up but also help relieve unpleasant symptoms.
3. It is advised to avoid alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and drinks with a lot of caffeine (such as energy drinks). Carbonated drinks are also not recommended. Bad habits and caffeine only make you feel worse. It is worth knowing that carbonated drinks can contribute to additional digestive problems.
4. Light physical activity is recommended. It should improve your general well-being. You can go for a walk, do yoga exercises, or choose simple exercises in the sports club. Moreover, go for a swim. Movement in water improves blood circulation in the body and reduces abdominal cramps. In addition, swimming is friendly to joint health and reduces stress on the lower back.
5. Regular consumption of group B vitamins is key to a regular menstrual cycle. Regular use of group B vitamins helps reduce unpleasant symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, regulate the cycle, and relieve menstrual pain.
6. Another solution is associated with heat. If you suffer from particularly strong menstrual pains, lie down in a hot bath. Bathing should last longer than 15 minutes. Special heaters can also be placed on the lower abdomen (if you don’t have them, just a bottle filled with warm water will help you).
7. Massage is also very effective in reducing menstrual pain, especially if the pain is not only local but also spreads to the back or legs.
8. Track your menstrual cycle. While following your menstrual cycle, you will know when you can start preparing for menstruation, for example, start to drink more water or avoid coffee, and black and green tea. The period calculator will help you track your menstrual cycle and not forget important information related to the menstrual cycle.
If your menstruation is very painful and can be determined by various diseases, it is recommended to visit doctors. Doctors can identify diseases that cause painful periods. These diseases can be endometriosis, adenomyosis (uterine endometriosis), cysts in the ovaries, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. In case of very severe pain, the doctor may prescribe pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs. It should be remembered that medicines do not solve problems, but only help relieve menstrual pain and other unpleasant sensations.
The bottom line
Menstrual pain disturbs the normal rhythm of life. The causes of such pain should be sought and efforts should be made to minimize potential inconveniences so that the woman can once again enjoy life. There are several effective measures that can reduce menstrual pain and discomfort. Every woman should find the most suitable ways to help herself.