Every month the lining of the uterus builds up in readiness for a possible pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining for nourishment. If no egg is fertilized the lining will break down and hormones called prostaglandins are released. The hormone triggers the uterus muscles to contract and squeeze the lining out. This is what leads to cramping. For some girls, menstrual cramps or period pain feels like minor discomfort while for others it leaves them doubled over in pain. Women with high levels of prostaglandins experience painful menstrual cramps. Now that you understand what causes period pain, how can you stop it?
Applying heat to the abdomen can significantly reduce menstrual pain. You can place a hot water bottle or a heating pad against the abdomen to relax the muscles and relieve the cramps. Taking a hot shower or bath will also ease the pain.
Exercising can help you relieve the period pain almost immediately. This is because when you exercise endorphin is released. This hormone plays a major role in pain management and has morphine-like effects. Exercising will also keep your body active thus allowing the proper flow of blood. Gentle exercises include swimming, walking, running and other exercises that keep the body active. As a matter of fact, medical research has found that sportswomen experience less period pain.
Cinnamon or ginger tea
Ginger tea serves as an anti-inflammatory substance. It can help reduce pain during periods. Cinnamon, on the other hand, has anti-spasmodic properties which means it will help reduce the pain during menstruation. Drinking these teas will thus reduce pain during menstruation.
Have an orgasm
Yes, this is a weird one but it works. Research has found that endorphin and oxytocin which is released during sexual intercourse helps reduce menstrual pain by up to 70%.
Skip the caffeine
Avoiding caffeine helps most women relieve period pain. Caffeine comes in many forms including soda, energy drinks, chocolate, tea, and coffee. If you have caffeine daily, you should reduce your dose gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
If you want to stop period pain immediately then you cannot ignore medication. Not all painkillers will work. The best over-the-counter medications for menstrual pain are aspirin, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen. You should, however, not abuse these medications.
Massaging the abdomen at least 5 minutes daily can relieve period pains. This is because massage encourages blood flow. Using massaging creams that contain essential oils such as lavender, clary sage and marjoram will offer added benefits because these oils contain compounds that help with pain relief and also soothe dysmenorrhea. If you want you can also consider acupuncture and acupressure which help relax the nervous system.
Keeping track of your period symptoms is the key to managing period pains. Knowing when it will start can help you prepare beforehand. Changing your diet will also help you prevent painful cramps. Certain foods will worsen the pain. Lastly, if no solution seems to offer you relief then you need to contact your doctor. Menstrual cramps can be worsened by medical conditions.