Birth Control Pills May Lessen Painful Cramping Too
While not exactly a home remedy, birth control pills and hormonal intrauterine devices are potential tools in your anticramping arsenal and should not be overlooked, Thielen says.
Consider cramp relief a benefit to some types of contraception. Many women find relief from painful cramps when they start the pill, Thielen says. Hormonal birth control typically lessens the amount of bleeding, and less bleeding can translate into fewer cramps, she says.
Curl Up With A Heating Pad To Ease Period Cramps
The uterus is a muscle, so anything that helps relax muscles, like applying heat, can be beneficial, Thielen says.
Indeed, research published in Evidence-Based Nursing found that topically applied heat was just as effective as ibuprofen for period cramps. Over the two study days, the women used heat alone, heat plus ibuprofen, ibuprofen alone, or a placebo. The best results were in the heat plus ibuprofen group adding heat led to faster improvements.
A review published in March 2014 in The Journal of Physiotherapy also found that heat significantly lessened a womans period pain.
Have Her Favourite Movie Or Tv Show On Hand
Just like your magical hands massaging her will distract her from her period pain , so too will the magic of television/movies!
Have her favourite thing to watch ready to go. Whether that means renting Titanic from iTunes, or grabbing the four-season box set of The O.C., have it ready to go and you might just be her hero.
Just make sure that you dont get wrapped up in the show and ignore her completely. Oh Marissa and Ryan will you two EVER sort things out and be a normal couple?
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How Can You Tell If The Pain Of Your Menstrual Cramps Is Normal
If you have severe or unusual menstrual cramps or cramps that last for more than two or three days, contact your healthcare provider. Both primary and secondary menstrual cramps can be treated, so its important to get checked.
First, you will be asked to describe your symptoms and menstrual cycles. Your healthcare provider will also perform a pelvic exam. During this exam, your provider inserts a speculum . The provider is able to examine your vagina, cervix and uterus. The doctor will feel for any lumps or changes. They may take a small sample of vaginal fluid for testing.
If your provider thinks you may have secondary dysmenorrhea, you may need additional tests, such as an ultrasound or a laparoscopy. If those tests indicate a medical problem, your healthcare provider will discuss treatments.
If you use tampons and develop the following symptoms, get medical help right away: over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dizziness, fainting or near fainting.
- A rash that looks like a sunburn.
These are symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening illness.
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Period Pain And Fertility
Period pain thats part of your normal menstrual cycle will not affect your fertility. However, if the cause is a medical condition, this may affect your fertility.
For example, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease can cause scarring and a build-up of tissue in your fallopian tubes, making it harder for sperm to reach and fertilise an egg.
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What Are Menstrual Cramps What Causes Menstrual Cramps
When a girl attains puberty, every month the female body prepares itself for conception by shedding the previous endometrial lining of the uterus. Shedding of the endometrial lining involves contraction and relaxation of the muscle fibres of the uterus and hence the period cramps.
These period cramps are usually felt as a discomfort but depending upon the pain bearing capacity of the woman or any pathology associated with the uterus, they can sometimes be really painful needing medical attention.
When Do People Usually Get Cramps
It is no secret that pain symptoms can appear at specific times in a womans cycle.
- Perimenstrual cramps. Pain starts before your period and lasts during menstruation. It can be felt in the lower back and thighs.
- Mid-cycle/ovulation pain. This pain can also occur in the middle of your cycle. Ovulation pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen. It may last from a few hours to even a couple of days.
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Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
Yes, if you have painful periods you and your obstetrician-gynecologist should talk about your symptoms and your menstrual cycle. If needed, your ob-gyn may recommend a pelvic exam. A first step in treatment may be medications. If medications do not relieve your pain, treatment should focus on finding the cause of your pain.
An ultrasound exam may be done when pain is not relieved with medications. In some cases, an ob-gyn may recommend a laparoscopy. This is a procedure that lets an ob-gyn view the organs in the pelvis. With laparoscopy, a small incision is made near the belly button. A thin, lighted cameraa laparoscopeis inserted into the abdomen. Laparoscopy often is done with general anesthesia in a surgery center or hospital.
Medications are usually the first step when treating painful periods. Certain pain relievers target prostaglandins. These medications, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , reduce the prostaglandins made by the body and lessen their effects. This in turn makes menstrual cramps less severe. Most NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can be bought over the counter.
Acupuncture, acupressure, and nerve stimulation therapies may be useful for treating painful periods. Physical therapy that eases trigger points also may help with pain.
Acupuncture May Help By Relaxing The Nervous System
Acupuncture can help relieve cramps, says Jeannie Bianchi, a licensed acupuncturist in San Francisco. This ancient Asian healing method is thought to relax the nervous system, allow more blood to flow to internal organs, and quell inflammation, Bianchi says.
In a review published in April 2016 in the CochraneDatabase of Systematic Reviews experts looked at 42 studies that observed the effects of acupuncture on period cramps. Each compared acupuncture with no treatment, conventional treatment , or a sham acupuncture procedure. Many of the studies found that the acupuncture group had less period pain and no side effects. The researchers emphasize, however, that the quality of all of the studies was poor.
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How Is The Cause Of Severe Period Pain Diagnosed
To diagnose severe period pain, your health care provider will ask you about your medical history and do a pelvic exam. You may also have an ultrasound or other imaging test. If your health care provider thinks you have secondary dysmenorrhea, you might have laparoscopy. It is a surgery that that lets your health care provider look inside your body.
Be Prepared With Her Favourite Snacks Drinks And Meals
I know a lot of women who get unique cravings when they first get their periods.
You can either ask her in advance what she wants to have on hand to mow down on, you can ask her on the day, or you can just have her favourite snacks and drinks on standby.
Not sure what to get for her? Here are two delicious and practical places to start.
Dark chocolate aids blood flow, sleep quality, and mood. And cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that ease the severity of her cramping. So both of these foods are good to consume during her period, especially in the first day or two.
Last but not least, curcumin is a great supplement to take while experiencing period cramps. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory and is good for the overall maintenance of health.
I mean, period or no period, who would ever turn down a big plate of dark chocolate and cinnamon toast?
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How Period Pain Affects Education
Many young women experience menstrual symptoms. Almost three quarters report regular period pain, around half report fatigue, and more than one third report emotional changes such as mood swings. Studies show these menstrual symptoms can cause women to miss work or school and some previous studies in teenagers show it may potentially impact academic performance.
We wanted to understand how menstrual symptoms might be affecting young women in Australia with regard to their education, and how they manage these.
We asked young women about how often they got period pain and other menstrual symptoms, how it impacted their attendance or classroom performance, and explored how useful they found the sexual and reproductive education they had previously received.
In our survey, nine out of ten young women reported having had period pain in the past three months, and half reported pain every month. This is similar to previous findings in teenagers in Australia.
Their pain scores, which tended to be moderate to severe for most, didnt change as they got older.
More than one-third of young women said they missed at least one class in the past three months due to their menstrual symptoms. This was almost identical no matter if they were at school or at university.
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Tips To Prevent Period Cramps
You cant control whether youll have cramps in a given month. But you can do things to make sure the pain isnt too much to handle. Sticking to your exercise regimen and applying heat as a precaution are both good options.
Dr. Levine says you can also be prevention-minded and preemptively take ibuprofen to reduce the impact of cramps. If you find that your cramps start two days before your period and are really bad for three to four days, taking ibuprofen in that time period can help prevent cramps from getting severe, she says.
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How To Tell If Your Period Cramping Is Normal
Each girl or woman typically experiences a similar level of cramps from one month to the next, says Jackie Thielen, MD, an internist and womens health specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. For some women, monthly pain is minor. For others, it can be quite debilitating.
The main question doctors ask when determining whether your cramps are normal is Are they normal for you? Dr. Thielen says.
Try Some Yoga Poses To Ease Menstrual Pain
Whether it’s the stretching of your muscles or the relaxing effect of the poses, a regular yoga practice can indeed help your cramps.
When 20 undergraduate students did an hour-long yoga program once a week for three months, they had less menstrual cramping and period distress than 20 women who didnt, according to researchers for a study published in September 2016 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
The Journal of Physiotherapy review that sanctioned heating pads also found benefits for yoga.
You can practice during your period or between them, but some instructors advise women against doing inverted poses in the midst of menstruation, so as not interfere with your natural flow.
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How To Get Rid Of Cramps From Your Period
No matter whether theyre debilitating or just annoying, cramps can wreak havoc on your lifestyle and sense of wellbeing. Technically speaking, period cramps are mechanical spasms of the uterine muscle triggered by the release of prostaglandins to help facilitate menstrual flow. In addition to period cramps, female bodies can experience mid-cycle discomfort and cramping during ovulation called mittelschmerz. This occurs in the middle of a menstrual cycle when an ovary releases an egg, and this type of pain usually only lasts for a few minutes to a few hours, explains Laurence Orbuch, MD, FACOG. He adds, Menstrual cramps can persist for hours or days during a period.
Every female who gets their period experiences cramps differently, based on individual anatomy. Depending on the position of the uterusanterior, posterior, or mid-positionin your pelvis, can determine where you may experience the most painful menstrual cramping, says Sherry A. Ross MD, FACOG. Lower back and abdominal pain are the most common places women experience the discomfort. The severity of cramping can vary not only from person-to-person but also from month-to-month. Thankfully, there are many remediesfrom herbs to yoga poses and the tried-and-true hot water bottle methodthat can help you feel better when cramps strike.
Ahead, three OBGYNs and a naturopath offer viable solutions on how to get rid of cramps caused by your period.
Meet the Expert
All Women Menstruate Differently
The bottom line is that no two women are the same. While your ex may have been totally chill during her period, your current girlfriend may be really irritable. Being aware of this and avoiding comparisons is key. Dont bring up how your sister or your ex acted. Let your love know that while you cant even imagine how it feels to have hormones constantly changing, you are there for her and want to support her in any way you can.
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Facts About Period Pain
If you have dysmenorrhoea you are not alone. Around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime. You can suffer from period pain from your early teens right up to the menopause. Most women experience some discomfort during menstruation, especially on the first day. But in 5% to 10% of women the pain is severe enough to disrupt their life. If your mother suffered period pains, you are more likely to suffer too. In 40% of women, period pain is accompanied by premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, tender breasts, swollen stomach, lack of concentration, mood swings, clumsiness and tiredness.
There are two different types of period pain:
Why Do Some Girls Have Menstrual Cramps And Others Dont
Menstrual cramps are caused by uterine contractions , gas,The most common treatments for menstrual cramps include: Pain relievers, So instead of running for the hills and leaving her to do her own thing or naproxen , many women actively avoid becoming pregnant, Hormonal birth control, and is caused by contractions of the uterus brought on by prostaglandin, More women than men suffer from the condition, Symptoms include severe abdominal cramps, Causes
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What Helps With Cramps
Here are a some things that can help ease cramps:
Over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetaminophen . Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Talk with your doctor before taking pain medication if you have an allergy to aspirin or severe asthma.
Hormonal birth control .
Acupuncture and acupressure.
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation therapy that uses mild electric currents to stimulate your nerves to relieve pain.
Certain vitamins and herbs like vitamin B1, fish oil, fenugreek, ginger, valerian, zataria, and zinc sulfate.
Cramps are a pretty normal part of getting your period, but sometimes people have period cramps that are so painful its hard to do everyday things . If your period pain is really bad, and over-the-counter medicine doesnt help, talk with your doctor. They can help with other ways to manage the pain, or they may want to check to see if theres something more serious going on.
Cramps that are really bad may be a sign of:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease an infection in your reproductive organs.
Endometriosis a condition where the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterus.
Adenomyosis when the tissue that lines your uterus grows into the muscle wall of your uterus.
Uterine fibroids non-cancerous tumors that grow inside your uterus, in the walls of your uterus, or on the outside of your uterus.