What Percentage Of Women Experience It
Depending on your data source, between 70% and over 80% of women experience mild to severe menstrual cramps. One study published in the Journal of Womens Health that considers global figures found that 71% of menstruating women under 25 experience them. That’s a lot of people.
Its common for women to begin noticing pain after 6 months of menstruation, according to a study on primary and secondary dysmenorrhoea. This phase is called menarche. And as a womans cycle becomes more regular, so does the pain that comes along with it.
The Sunshine Of Vitamin D
Cramps associated with dysmenorrhea can be disabling. Painful cramps associated with dysmenorrhea occur due to increasing levels of prostaglandins, which cause the uterus to contract. These contractions cause the shedding of the uterine lining. Vitamin D reduces the production of prostaglandins. In one study of young women who had primary dysmenorrhea and low vitamin D levels, high weekly doses of supplemental vitamin D decreased pain intensity significantly both 8 weeks into treatment and 1 month after the end of treatment. The women taking vitamin D also took less pain medication to treat period pain. You can ask your doctor to measure your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test.
The Power Of Pycnogenol
Pycnogenol is a plant extract derived from the maritime pine tree found in the southwestern region of France. The extract contains several potent antioxidant compounds. In one study of women between the ages of 18 and 48 years old, those who experienced dysmenorrhea who took a supplement containing 60 milligrams of pycnogenol during their periods had significantly less pain and needed less pain medication compared to when they didn’t take the supplement. They also needed pain medication for fewer days when they took the pycnogenol supplement. Surprisingly, women still needed less pain medication during their periods even after they stopped taking the pycnogenol. However, women who had low levels of menstrual pain weren’t helped by the supplement. Ask your doctor if pycnogenol may help relieve severe pain associated with your period.
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Massage With Essential Oils For Pain Relief
Massaging your skin with certain aromatic essential oils can relieve menstrual cramp pain, according to research published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. Investigators asked 48 women with menstrual cramps and other symptoms to massage either essential oils or a synthetic fragrance into their lower abdomen between periods.
Women in both groups reported less pain, but the essential oils group did better. Based on the women’s reports, researchers found that the duration of pain was reduced by almost a half a day after self-massaging with the essential oils.
Some oils thought to be helpful include lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil, and .
Just be sure youre using essential oils safely. Buy high-quality oils that are tested for purity. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests diluting pure essential oils in an unscented cream, lotion, or carrier oil before placing it on your skin to avoid irritation.
Ways To Relieve Period Cramps
While menstrual cramps can be painful, you can take many routes to relief and get rid of the pain.
More than half of women who menstruate report some pain from period cramps for a day or two each month, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. While menstrual cramps, also called dysmenorrhea, are usually not a sign of a serious health condition, they can put a crimp in your lifestyle.
To help with the pain, here are 10 safe and effective tactics. If your period cramps seem severe or you dont get relief despite trying some of these options, check with your doctor to rule out more serious health issues.
A heating pad can be just as effective as medication to treat menstrual cramps.
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What I Can Do To Relieve Pms
Many of the things that help ease cramps can also help with PMS. Here are some different ways to relieve PMS symptoms:
Take 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.
Do aerobic exercise, like walking, running, riding a bike, swimming, or any activity that gets your heart rate up. Regular exercise is ideal.
Do breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.
Get plenty of rest. Sleeping regularly every night can help with stress, mood changes, and feeling tired or fatigued.
Eat healthy foods like fruits, veggies , whole grains, and yogurt.
Limit fat, salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Make sure you get enough vitamins in your diet, or take vitamin supplements. If you dont get enough calcium, take a supplement of 1200 mg of calcium daily. Magnesium and Vitamin E might also help.
Use hormonal birth control . Your doctor can help you find a birth control method that can help with PMS.
What Is A Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is cyclic changes that occur in a womans body every month. During the menstrual cycle, the levels of reproductive hormones change, the egg is released from the ovary, and the uterus is prepared for pregnancy.
The typical female menstrual cycle is 28-30 days. Some women may have a shorter cycle of around 20 days or a longer cycle of around 35 days. The first day of the menstrual cycle is when a woman starts bleeding. Periods usually last for three to seven days in most women. Ovulation occurs between 11-15 days of the menstrual cycle but most commonly on the 14th day. During ovulation, usually, only a single egg is released from the ovary.
When the sperm meets the egg , pregnancy occurs. If fertilization does not occur, the uterine lining sheds and presents with bleeding, marking the onset of periods.
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How To Make Cramps Go Away
Do you dread the time when cramps strike? Most girls and women suffer from mildly painful cramps. Normally, cramps strike a day or two before bleeding starts and cease a day or two after bleeding begins. There is no way to dodge them, but you can make them less painful and manageable. Here is how to make cramps go away.
Tame Chronic Sleep Problems
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep quality has an effect on menstrual symptoms and many health conditions. In one study, women who had insomnia reported more severe dysmenorrhea and more interference with daily activities due to symptoms compared to women who did not have insomnia. Practice good sleep hygiene to keep painful menstruation symptoms at bay. This involves going to bed at about the same time every night. Establish and stick to a nightly routine to give your body the signal that it’s time for sleep. The routine may involve things like listening to soothing music, enjoying a cup of tea, or taking a warm bath. Getting adequate sleep to promote overall health will help you manage monthly symptoms associated with your menstrual cycle.
More Sleep Tips
Avoid TV, your smartphone, computer, and other screens before bed to help you wind down. You may feel more comfortable sleeping in different positions during your period. Pay extra attention to sleep hygiene in the days leading up to your period.
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What Are Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are when you have aching pain or a feeling of pressure in your lower abdomen or belly. You could also feel pain in your hips, lower back and inner thighs, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic describes the pain you might feel from menstrual cramps as âthrobbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen.â
Just to clarify, whether we say period cramps or menstrual cramps, weâre talking about the same thing.
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The Best Yoga Poses For Menstrual Cramps
Experiencing painful menstrual cramps can leave you desperate for a solution. Doing something physical, such as yoga, may feel like the last thing you want to do.
However, some yoga positions are so effective at relieving menstrual pain that once you attempt them, they will probably become a part of your pain management routine!
The providers at Moreland OB-GYN encourage patients to give yoga a try. Exercise, in general, is a great way to ease the pain caused by your periodand yoga is one of the best options!
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The Best Sleeping Positions For Period Cramp Relief
Has your period ever kept you from sleeping? Mine sure has. Im an adult and still cry because I can’t find the best position for cramps, and sometimes they hurt so much that I use my dachshund as a heating pad. Not to mention, I dont particularly enjoy waking in pools of my own blood, and neither does my dachshund. Your period may be gentle and easy to sleep on, but in my case, sleeping with my period deserves its own season of American Horror Story and I know I’m not the only one wondering how to sleep with cramps.
“Sleep quality tends to be poorer during your period, so you are not alone in the plight to ease nighttime cramping,”Jessica Grossman, MD, told Teen Vogue.
Don’t fret, my sleep enthusiasts, there is good news for all who menstruate. It turns out certain sleeping positions may help solve our period-sleep problem. So, what’s the best position for cramps? Turns out there are a few.
Glamour spoke with Lisa Mindley, MD, who told the mag that “sleeping in the fetal position takes pressure off the abdominal muscles,” as it causes the “the skeletal muscles around your abdomen” to relax. Basically, the less strain there is on your abdomen, the less pain and cramping you will experience. Jennifer Wider, MD, concurred, telling Glamour, “Many women report that the fetal position can help relieve cramps.”
This article was first published in 2016 and has since been updated to include more information.
Why Do I Poop So Much On My Period
These chemicals stimulate the smooth muscles in your uterus to help it contract and shed its lining each month. If your body produces more prostaglandins than it needs, theyll enter your bloodstream and have a similar effect on other smooth muscles in your body, like in your bowels. The result is more poop.
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Period Pain And Fertility
Period pain that’s 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.
Try And Avoid Caffeine
Studies show that taking too much of caffeine makes the cramps even worse. Experts recommend avoiding drinks and foods that contain caffeine such as teas, coffee before and during your periods which reduces cramps. Caffeine contained in various foods worsens symptoms such as depression, anxiety and breast tenderness. Instead of caffeine, focus on herbal teas and water to keep the body hydrated
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How Common Are Cramps
Unfortunately, menstrual cramps are very common. According to a 2012 study, they affect about 84% of young women. About 43% experience these pains every month.
Mild cramps are manageable and can be treated. However, high levels of prostaglandins can cause severe pain, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and in extreme cases fainting.
Cramps can become so debilitating that a woman may need to miss school or work. According to the same study, about 32% of women reported being absent from study or social activities due to their period pain.
Menstrual cramps are usually treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Many women also use heat as a home remedy for their menstrual cramps, including hot water bottles, heating pads, and warm baths.
If these treatments dont work and cramps are interfering with day-to-day activities, a doctor may prescribe an oral contraceptive . Birth control pills are thought to reduce the amount of prostaglandins, which reduces cramping and suppresses ovulation.
Although studies show that birth control pills can reduce menstrual pain, this isnt the case for all women. Contraception expert Dr. Katharine OConnell White told TIME that if a woman has very severe cramps, birth control pills are unlikely to make the pain go away completely.
Ways To Get Rid Of Menstrual Cramps
Wondering how to get rid of period cramps? Every woman develops her own ritual to cope with the pain that may come along with a healthy cycle. For some, an anti-inflammatory may do the trick while other women benefit from adopting a more balanced diet and stress-free lifestyle.
Experiencing severe menstrual cramps? Remember that there are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary. If you have any questions or concerns regarding secondary dysmenorrhea please speak with a gynecologist. The above is not medical advice, nor should it be treated as such.
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To Know When Menstrual Pain Is Abnormal
Menstrual cramps and PMS are not the same. PMS symptoms usually include mood swings, irritability, bloating, and fatigue appearing about a week before the menstrual cycle begins. Once started, symptoms will improve.
After the menstrual cycle begins, PMS symptoms fade, but new pain appears. The lining of the uterus releases prostaglandins that make contractions more painful, especially during the first few days of the menstrual cycle. Menstrual discomfort is more of a nuisance.
There are two types of menstrual pain that children may experience, namely:
Primary dysmenorrhea: This pain occurs around the time of a girls first menstruation. This type of pain usually does not indicate a medical condition.
Secondary dysmenorrhea: This type of pain develops some time after a womans first period, even for women who have a history of normal menstruation. This type of pain usually indicates problems with the uterus and pelvic organs, including endometriosis, fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
If your childs menstrual pain isnt relieved by anti-inflammatory drugs and is so severe that he cant go to school, it may be necessary to see a doctor to find out whats causing it.
When Should We Call The Doctor
If your daughter’s PMS is severe, her doctor can help with other treatments, including medicine. Call the doctor if your daughter:
- does not feel better after trying home treatments
- seems very sad or hopeless
- ever talks about hurting or killing herself
- can’t do her usual activities because of her PMS symptoms
- has PMS symptoms that don’t go away after the first few days of her period
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