Ladies, do you struggle to get through those difficult days every month and suffer from unbearable period pain? While period pain is common for most women but nearly 10 out of 100 women are unable to carry out their day-to-day activities due to the intense pain. Can it be managed? Certain lifestyle changes or home remedies can bring relief for many. Let’s know how.
Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar explains what are period cramps, symptoms, and how they can be managed. Read on…
What is Dysmenorrhoea and how it affects women
“Dysmenorrhoea or period cramps can be experienced by women in their lower abdomen and can radiate through the lower back, groin, and upper thighs during or before their periods. Furthermore, these cramps can steal your peace of mind, and you will not be able to perform your daily activities with ease,” says Dr Siddhartha.
Kinds of period cramps
Some women would also experience nausea, vomiting, and headaches along with cramps. During periods, the womb tends to contract and relax to shed the built-up lining. Menstrual cramps are not a life-threatening problem but they can interfere with your daily life. The causes are primary or spasmodic as the uterus tends to contract to expel the endometrium lining with blood. Secondary dysmenorrhea causes are due to endometriosis pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Symptoms of Dysmenorrhoea or period cramps
Low back pain
Treatment of period cramps
The treatment for this is oral contraceptives, dietary changes, vitamin supplements, exercise, hot bath, and abdominal massage.
Effective remedies for period pain
Period pain or cramping can be treated by embracing some lifestyle changes. Here’s all you want to know about home remedies or lifestyle changes that could bring relief:
Exercising: It can help to manage menstrual cramps naturally. Physical activity can help release happy hormones like endorphins that are responsible for blocking pain receptors in the brain. Hence, the brain doesn’t give a cramping signal as the uterus gets contracted. Exercising relieves cramps by improving the blood circulation throughout the whole body including the uterus and helps to open up the blood vessels. The happy hormones like endorphins and serotonin released while exercising can boost your mood and refresh you. This will allow you to calm down due to stress, tackle anxiety, and feel good. High-intensity exercises like running or jogging may not be recommended for you. But, you can try your hand at yoga and opt for breathing exercises to deal with stress, improve flexibility, and strength. Learn yoga poses with the help of a practitioner, says Dr Siddhartha.
Avoid caffeine and salty foods: While supplements may help manage the period pain, it’s great to avoid certain food items leading to water retention, bloating, and discomfort. Some foods that can induce period pain and cramping are salty foods, caffeine, and alcohol, processed and fatty foods. Moreover, you will have to also give up on other vices such as smoking on an immediate basis.
Soaking in a warm bathtub can give warmth to your pelvic muscles by relaxing them. You can enhance the pain-relieving power of a good soak by adding a few drops of essential oils of your choice to your bathwater. Try to relax in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes or more.
Using a hot water bag on the abdomen can help relax the muscles of your uterus. It’s these muscles that cause period cramps. Heat is beneficial in improving the blood circulation in the abdomen, which helps you to overcome pain.