What Causes Cramps During Your Menstrual Cycle
Though it seems like the muscular contractions would cause the pain, its actually the prostaglandins that take you to cramp town. Typically, the more prostaglandins in your body, the worse you feel during your period.
Luckily, there are ways to minimize those body chemicals and reduce your pain, though they dont always give you the fastest relief.
How To Relieve Period Cramps: 17 Ways
The discomfort is merely annoying for some women. For others, cramps can be severe enough to interfere with daily activities for a few days each month. If you belong to the first group, you need to know how to reduce period cramps. Maybe you will be surprised, but home remedies are the best in these cases. You can relieve cramps naturally, without pills. Does a heating pad help with cramps? How can your diet help? Can vitamins help? Lets discuss the details.
Things That May Help With Period Cramps
Dealing with menstrual cramps every month can be as frustrating as it is painful. The good news is there are many remedies that might help you relieve period cramps. Its important to remember that these techniques wont always work, especially for chronic conditions, but they can offer relief for mild to moderate period pain.
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How To Get Rid Of Cramps Fast
One thing on everyones mind when reaching for something to help with cramps: when are they going away.I think its a fair question, De Lune founder & CEO Mimi Millard said in a recent podcast interview. If I was looking for a new solution, thats one of the first things Id want to knowhow long does it take to work?Great news: you can effectively get rid of period cramps fastby some reports, within minutes of using an intervention. That said, not all interventions are created equal in terms of speed, effectiveness, or safety, nor will everybody react to all interventions in the same way.Here are the top period cramp remedies with the best scientific evidence that they work for most peopleand work quickly.
HERBS, MINERALS, & VITAMINS FOR PERIOD PAINTime to relief:
In a survey of over 140 real Cramp Aid users, 93% reported finding cramp relief. For 78% of users, relief came within 60 minutes of taking just one 2-capsule serving of Cramp Aid.
Natural remedies like supplements can provide non-drug cramp relief thats safe, effective, and fast. Since nutritional and herbal supplements tend to act upon multiple organ systems at once, using them may also benefit other areas of your health as well.
Although risks of side effects are generally lower with dietary supplements than with pharmaceuticals, side effects are possible, especially if:
Always tell your doctor about all the supplements you take.
OVER-THE-COUNTER PAINKILLERSTime to relief:Pros:Cons:HEAT
How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps Naturally
A lot of women have their own ways of dealing with tough menstruation cycles and PMS symptoms, from tips handed down by mom to turning to medications. And if those work for you awesome!
But if youre looking for some new, natural ways to combat that painful time of the month, then this is the list for you. From essential oils and Epsom salts to fish oil and your favorite tunes, these methods for how to get rid of period cramps will help ease period pain so you can live your best life all month long.
1. Try acupuncture.
When youre in pain, the idea of getting pricked by needles probably doesnt sound too appealing. But acupuncture, a type of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has been used for more than 2,000 years to treat chronic pain and can be especially effective during a hard-to-handle menstrual cycle. In fact, one small study out of Australia and New Zealand found that acupuncture treatment can ease period pain, including secondary symptoms like headaches and nausea, in women.
The pilot study of women ages 18 to 45 years old had them undergoing one of four types of manual or electro-acupuncture treatments over three menstrual cycles. Half of the women experienced at least a 50 percent reduction in the severity of their symptoms over three months of being treated with acupuncture and reported they were able to use fewer painkillers to treat pain.
2. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts.
3. Get a dose of extra-virgin olive oil.
4. Try fish oil supplements.
5. Get more sleep.
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How To Get Rid Of Muscle Cramps In Your Legs
The muscles in your legs are made up of bundles of fibers that alternately contract and expand to produce movement. A cramp is a sudden, involuntary contraction of one of these muscles, typically in your calf. Cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. They can be mild, or intense enough to wake you out of a sound sleep. A sudden, painful muscle spasm in the leg is called a charley horse, which legend has it is named after baseball player Charlie Hoss Radbourn, who reportedly suffered from frequent cramps back in the 1880s.
Sometimes there is no obvious cause for a cramp. Exercise is a common trigger, especially after youve exercised for a long period of time or in the heat. Muscles that are tired or dehydrated become irritated and are more likely to cramp up. A deficiency of electrolytes such as magnesium or potassium in your diet can lead to more frequent cramping, by preventing your muscles from fully relaxing. The risk of a cramp increases during pregnancy, possibly because of circulatory changes and increased stress on the muscles from a growing belly. Age is another factor, with cramps becoming more frequent in middle age and beyond. Older muscles tire more easily, and they become increasingly sensitive to lower fluid volumes in the body. Cramps can also be a side effect of medicines like statins, which are used to treat high cholesterol.
How Do Hormones Help With Period Cramps
Estrogen and progesterone affect your period in different ways. Estrogen works to thicken the uterine lining, whereas progesterone prevents it from becoming too thick. The thicker the lining, the more inflammatory prostaglandins are produced, and the tighter uterine muscles have to contract to shed it, leading to worse cramping.This means the baseline cramp severity you feel at the beginning of your period may be related to your bodys ratio of estrogen to progesterone in the ~14 days leading up to menstruation. Generally, the more progesterone youre able to make after ovulation, the lighter and less crampy your periods will be, and the fewer PMS symptoms like anxiety, bloating, and fatigue come with them.But theres one catch: while its possible to get rid of cramps quickly once they start, preventing them altogether is a longer-term project. Experts recommend allowing ~90 days for progesterone levels to optimize, as this is the typical lifespan of progesterone-producing cells and tissues. However, getting to the root of the issue can be well worth the effort, especially if you struggle with more severe cramps. The less intense your cramps are going into each cycle, the more effective remedies for quick, in-the-moment relief will be.
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Using Hormonal Birth Control
By definition, hormonal birth control can prevent ovulation. If the uterine lining is not shedding, then a woman may not experience the pain associated with this process. The connection between severe menstrual cramps and birth control is explored more in-depth in a Journal of Womens Health study.
Choosing the right type for your body is a decision you should make with medical experts. To learn more about whether hormonal birth control is right for you, please speak with your gynecologist.
Medically Reviewed by Naziliya Rakhimova, MD
Millions of people suffer from various types of cramps every day . The most common and painful types are stomach cramps, spasms in muscles , and severe menstrual cramping . This simple breathing remedy was developed and used by over 150 Russian MDs. They have successfully applied this method to thousands of their patients. Virtually all people reported that they could prevent or stop their suffering in about 1-2 minutes. This technique is used to relieve severe menstrual cramps, stomach and leg-foot spasms, and many other types of cramps. It can be also applied during night-time sleep.
Period Pain Caused By A Medical Condition
Less commonly, period pain can be caused by an underlying medical condition.
Period pain linked to an underlying medical condition tends to affect older women. Women aged 30 to 45 are most commonly affected.
Medical conditions that can cause period pain include:
- endometriosis where cells that normally line the womb grow in other places, such as in the fallopian tubes and ovaries these cells can cause intense pain when they shed
- fibroids non-cancerous tumours that can grow in or around the womb and can make your periods heavy and painful
- pelvic inflammatory disease where your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries become infected with bacteria, causing them to become severely inflamed
- adenomyosis where the tissue that normally lines the womb starts to grow within the muscular womb wall, making your periods particularly painful
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When To See A Medical Provider
Period cramping might be a common part of life for some people, but it should not be severe enough to interfere with everyday activities. If you find that period cramps keep you bed-bound or unable to function on certain days, see a medical provider.
Extreme period pain, new, or worsening period pain may be a sign of underlying health issues such as:
- Uterine fibroids
- Sexually transmitted infections
A healthcare provider will consider your symptoms, medical conditions, and health history to provide an accurate diagnosis and more information about why your period pain is more severe.
How To Get Rid Of A Cramp In Your Leg
Leg Pain Cramps. Pain from monthly cramps, usually in the lower abdomen, can spread to other areas of the body. You may be wondering about how to get rid of leg cramps.
When you should be worried: There are some more serious issues, like fibroids, that can cause leg cramps during your period. While it might be surprising to know, leg pain caused by fibroids is quite common. Fibroids may contribute to sciatica. The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back down the back of each leg. If fibroids are pressing against the nerve, it can cause radiating pain down either or both legs.
Back and Side Pain Cramps. These are two other totally typical symptoms, though, again, they shouldnt be too unbearable and should be easily alleviated with the help of some OTC meds.
When you should be worried? There are some people who end up in bed, they end up missing school or work because of their cramps, says our fibroid specialists. If thats the way your periods are affecting you, you definitely should see a physician because theres a lot of different things, we can do to help with that.
Cramps can be painful, but they shouldnt interfere with your daily lifeyou shouldnt have to miss work and events because youre on your period. If thats the case for you, head to the doctor. It may just be as simple as them prescribing a stronger pain med, but it could also be something more serious.
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Start By Swapping Out Unhealthy Snacks Or Meals For A Healthier Option
No one expects you to become a healthy eating machine overnight. The good news is that even making small steps can put you on the path to better health. Here are some examples to help you get started:
- Try oatmeal for breakfast and skip donuts or pastries. This swap increases the amount of heart-healthy whole grains while also eliminating saturated and trans fats.
- Instead of eating hot dogs or deli meat for lunch, make a trip to the salad bar and load up your plate with nutritious veggies. And to get heart-healthy fats, opt for an oil-based vinaigrette instead of creamier dressings.
- Instead of a steak, choose an oily fish like salmon for a boost in healthy fats from omega-3 fatty acids while also reducing saturated fats.
- Eat unsalted nuts instead of chips, fries or buttered popcorn to fill up with good fats and protein while reducing salt and bad fats.
- Drink water and other calorie-free beverages to cut down on calories.
Major Causes Of Period Cramps
Before we wrap up this session, lets take a quick look at the major causes of cramps in periods. Period Cramps can be influenced by several factors, and their status can change anytime.
For example, for women who experience severe cramps during her periods, it doesnt mean that every time she is going to experience it with similar intensity. There can be some months when she wont feel it a bit.
The major cause of period cramps is contractions in the uterus. Health experts around the world believe that these contractions are also triggered by changes in the levels of hormones.
As you are already aware, during these periods, women experience more fluctuation in their hormone levels which can trigger contractions. The whole thing will result in Period cramps. Health experts around the world believe that there are some conditions where women experience more severe menstrual cramps.
- When you first start experiencing a menstrual cycle at the age of 11 or earlier.
- Women who smoke are more vulnerable.
- Women who have a family history with similar conditions.
- Women who experience irregular bleeding.
- Women who experience more bleeding than normal.
- Women below the age of 30.
Apart from the above-given causes, menstrual cramps can also be caused by poor diet and lifestyle habits. The list can go on and on. In case you are also experiencing severe menstrual cramps, then you should consult with your health care provider and let them know about your whole history of menstrual cycles.
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What Can I Do For Cramps
If cramps bother you, you can:
- Take a pain reliever. Talk to your mom or dad or your doctor about which medicine is best for you. They can help you figure out how much to take and how often.
- Exercise! Being physically active can ease cramps, probably because exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the body that make you feel good.
- Get warm. Try placing a warm water bottle, warm heating pad, or warm compress on your belly or take a warm bath.
If these tips dont help, talk to your parent or your doctor about other treatments.
How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps Fast Without Medicine
Most of the time, women can treat menstrual cramps at home. How to get rid of severe period cramps? Dont hesitate to consult with your doctor in the case of severe pain that impacts your lifestyle. Some treatments may require prescription medicines. There are remedies that can help relieve menstrual cramps safely and effectively.
Every woman is different in how she responds to different remedies. For the best way to get rid of period cramps without medication, try the following:
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How To Stop Period Cramps At School Fast: 10 Methods That Work Best
A child is very sensitive during early period days and in such conditions do not want to step out of the comfort zone. At school too, sitting and standing several times, physical activities, and improper hygiene services are a concern for most of them.
To top it all, period cramps often cause a lot of distraction and trouble the little girls with nobody to share the feeling with. Since the body undergoes so many changes, it is natural for a girl to be a little under-confident.
As a parent/guardian, it is necessary for us to train our children to deal with such situations boldly and correctly.
Yoga Exercises And Menstrual Cramps
Many girls and young women have cramps when they have their periods. Cramps usually feel like pain in the abdomen , pelvis , lower back, and upper legs. The pain usually hurts worst on the day before the period begins and on the first day of the period.
If cramps are heavy , it you might not feel like you can go to school. Instead of missing school, you can try stretching and moderate-intensity exercise to help relieve the pain caused by cramps.
You may feel like you have less energy than normal during the first couple of menstrual days, when bleeding and cramping are usually heavier. High-intensity exercises like running may not be appropriate. Instead, yoga and breathing exercises can be a good way to help reduce the pain caused by cramping. Yoga also reduces stress, improves flexibility, and strengthens muscles.
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Causes Of Period Pain
Period pain happens when the muscular wall of the womb tightens . Mild contractions continually occur in your womb, but they’re usually so mild that most women cannot feel them.
During your period, the wall of the womb starts to contract more vigorously to help the womb lining shed as part of your period.
When the wall of the womb contracts, it compresses the blood vessels lining your womb. This temporarily cuts off the blood supply and oxygen supply to your womb. Without oxygen, the tissues in your womb release chemicals that trigger pain.
While your body is releasing these pain-triggering chemicals, it’s also producing other chemicals called prostaglandins. These encourage the womb muscles to contract more, further increasing the level of pain.
It’s not known why some women have more period pain than others. It may be that some women have a build-up of prostaglandins, which means they experience stronger contractions.