What To Do When Menstrual Cramps Are Severe
The period cramp relief tips above are a good place to start, but they may not work for every woman especially for those who have very painful cramps.
If you’re experiencing serious pain during your period, it’s important to talk to your OB-GYN. She or he will ask you about your symptoms and cycle and can recommend lifestyle changes that may help ease your pain, as well as perform a pelvic exam and prescribe medications, if needed.
“For instance, hormonal birth control medications are sometimes used to treat menstrual cramps and the pain that accompanies a period,” adds Dr. Borchardt.
Plus, in some cases, severe pain may be a sign of something more serious.
“Beyond the significant impact that period pain can have on your everyday life, the cramps themselves aren’t typically a medical concern,” says Dr. Borchardt. “However, severe menstrual cramps can sometimes be caused by a more serious gynecologic condition.”
In certain cases, severe period cramps can be a sign of:
- Endometriosis uterine tissue gets implanted in your fallopian tubes, ovaries or pelvic lining
- Uterine fibroids noncancerous uterine growths that can cause pain
- Adenomyosis uterine tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus
- Pelvic inflammatory disease infection of your uterus, fallopian tube and/or ovaries
What Causes Period Pains
Primary dysmenorrhea is more common than secondary dysmenorrhea and does not usually occur due to any other diseases.2Contraction of the uterine muscles and release of a chemical called prostaglandin from the body is what results in pain during periods.1
Secondary dysmenorrhea is a condition more common in older women aged 30 to 45 years. This can be the result of an underlying medical condition, some of which are listed below:
- Fibroids: These are non-cancerous tumours that can grow in or around the womb and cause painful periods.
- Endometriosis: It is a disorder in which cells that usually line the womb grow in other reproductive parts like the ovaries and fallopian tube, causing painful periods.
- Adenomyosis: It is a disorder in which the tissues that normally line the womb begin to grow within the muscular womb wall, making the periods more painful.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: All parts of the female reproductive organs become infected, causing severe inflammation and painful periods.1
Matsyasana Or The Fish Pose
- Start with lying down on your back.
- Place your feet together and keep your hands alongside the body.
- Place the hands beneath the hips and draw your elbows close to each other.
- Take a breath and lift your head.
- Put the chest up.
- Elevating the chest, place your head backward and try to touch the top of your head to the floor.
- Count to 20.
- Lift your head, lower the chest, and return to the starting position.
- Do the corpse pose or Savasana.
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Include Magnesium In Your Diet
Dietary magnesium appears to help in soothing the menstrual cramps. Magnesium is found in numerous food sources and can be taken as an additional supplement by people who are deficit in it. Magnesium directs and controls nerve and muscle working, among other crucial functioning. Specialists who have studied magnesium consider it as a promising treatment for menstrual issues. The suggested dietary intake of magnesium for women of childbearing age is around 320 mg per day. An ounce of dry almonds or one cup of spinach has about 80 mg.
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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Plants That Relieve Pain
Health practitioners may prescribe herbs to treat a woman’s menstrual cramps. Black cohosh, cramp bark, turmeric, and chasteberry are a few herbs that have been used. They are effective for pain relief and decreasing inflammation. Chasteberry has been used extensively in Europe for the treatment of irregular menstrual cycles, cyclical breast discomfort, premenstrual syndrome , and dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Make sure your doctor knows about all of your medical conditions, medications, and supplements because herbs are not appropriate for every woman. Herbs may interfere with the action of some medications or decrease their effectiveness.
Foods To Introduce In Your Diet
Apart from exercise, spices, herbs, heating the area, and other localized remedies, you can also eat specific things during those days in which severe menstrual cramps are bothering you immensly. They have calming properties which will help with the pain.
- Milk you can include a glass of cold or lukewarm milk into your breakfast as it has calcium. Its a good way to deal with the painful cramps. If you dont like to drink milk or are lactose intolerant, you can also take a few calcium tablets every day as long as your period lasts.
- Papaya this delicious and fragrant fruit is rich in an enzyme named after it papain. It both regulates the blood flow and eases the pain during menstruation.
- Carrots they will help you as well during those difficult days, as long as you drink a tall glass of fresh juice every day
- Aloe Vera it reduces the pain and soothes the aching. If you dont like the way it naturally tastes, you can mix it with a little bit of lemon.
- Lavender is an ages old remedy for pain and calming the nerves. It will help all your muscles, your brain, and your heart beat relax and induce a peaceful state.
- Green tea another great soothing agent for pain and discomfort, green tea mixed with some raspberry or jasmine will work wonders on your body.
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How To Stop Your Periods Once It Starts
If you are just getting started with having your menstrual cycle or have an underlying medical condition that might interrupt your normal monthly cycle, then its possible to have your period unexpectedly. This can be very annoying and discomforting.
But can you really stop your periods once it starts? The answer is yes, you can. There are some ways that you can manipulate your body to stop your period. You can try the following to see if your menstrual flow will stop.
How Do I Know If My Cramps Are Severe
Menstrual cramps feel like a throbbing or cramping pain in your lower abdomen. You may also feel pressure or a continuous dull ache in the area. The pain may radiate to your lower back and inner thighs.
Cramps usually begin a day or two before your period, peaking around 24 hours after your period starts. They typically last for two to three days.
Menstrual cramps can be accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- spotting between periods
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Eat Healthier To Reduce Pain
Its no secret that eating healthy foods and reducing your fat intake can benefit your body. However, you might not know that these dietary changes can also provide a way to relieve menstrual cramps.
Eating healthy fats and lots of vegetables can reduce inflammation throughout your body, affecting your levels of estrogen and prostaglandins and reducing menstrual pain. These foods are delicious and can help you manage inflammation and pain:
- Brown rice
- Olive oil
You should also make sure to drink plenty of water during the day. Being hydrated will help you reduce uncomfortable bloating and oxygenate sore muscles.
There are also foods that increase inflammation and cause bloating, worsening your cramps. These are some of the foods you should avoid during your period:
You should always ask your doctor for advice before using any herbal substances since some of them can interact with certain medications.
Heat Will Help Ease The Pain
Is it getting hot in here, or is your stomach just on fire? Heat soothes period cramps and takes your mind off things.
Bath. Take a much-needed break from a pad or tampon and have a nice soak in the bathtub. Not only is it relaxing as hell, but the warm water will relax your muscles and help your cramps chill out. Add some Epsom salts to the bath for extra relief, and a bath bomb to crank up the vibes.
Heating Pad. Dont have a bathtub or just not a fan? Get a heating pad! There are a variety of heating pads you can pop in the microwave or fill with hot water and bring wherever you go! Whether youre watching television, in the car, sitting at your desk or lying in bed hold a heating pad against your stomach to reduce the pain of period cramps.
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Is There Surgery To Relieve Severe Menstrual Cramps
Surgery may be necessary to relieve menstrual cramps, but it should be reserved for those cases in which non-invasive therapies have been shown to be unsuccessful. Such refractory cases are usually secondary to true pathology, such as endometriosis. The exact surgical procedure chosen depends upon the type of abnormality that is being treated. Examples include:
- Endometrial ablation: This procedure destroys the lining of the uterus.
- Endometrial resection: This procedure removes the lining of the uterus.
- Hysterectomy: This surgical procedure completely removes the uterus.
Q I Have Infrequent Heavy And Prolonged Periods What Should I Do
A. In the case of abnormal periods, you need to visit a gynaecologist. Heavy, prolonged and infrequent periods are a menstrual disorder that usually occurs due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body. However, it’s not the case with everyone and depends from woman to woman. The diagnosis will differ based on the exact cause. In any case, a few pointers to follow are to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet rich in iron, fiber and protein. Exercising will also help ease the problem.
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Can Bad Period Cramps Be A Sign Of Something Else
Period cramps usually dont signify that something is wrong with your health. But in some cases they can be a symptom of a medical condition:
- Endometriosis This disorder occurs when tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus, often adhering to your bladder, ovaries, or even your bowels.
- Uterine Fibroids These are noncancerous growths that emerge inside the uterine walls. They can range in size from one tiny speck to several bulky masses.
- Adenomyosis Tissue that normally lines the uterus begins to grow inside the organs muscle wall.
Pain from these conditions may seem like period pain, but it typically lasts longer and can be more severe than your usual menstrual cramps.
If you experience this type of pain, its important to see your doctor, Thielen says.
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4 Yoga Poses to Relieve Cramps
Yoga is a gentle exercise that releases endorphins and can help prevent or reduce menstrual symptoms.
One study compared the effects of aerobic exercise and yoga on PMS symptoms. The researchers found that both yoga and aerobic exercise significantly reduced PMS symptoms and pain intensity. However, yoga was more effective than aerobic exercise at reducing symptoms. Helpful yoga poses for PMS may include:
- Cat-Cow pose
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Take Steps To Reduce Stress
“Stress affects your body in many ways, including lowering your threshold for pain,” says Dr. Borchardt.
Reducing stress is easier said than done, of course, but taking steps to do so can help you find relief from period cramps.
In addition to exercise, here are several ways to reduce stress:
How Long Period Pain Lasts
Period pain usually starts when your bleeding begins, although some women have pain several days before the start of their period.
The pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours, although it can last longer. It’s usually at its worst when your bleeding is heaviest.
Young girls often have period pain when they begin getting periods. Read more about starting periods.
Period pain that does not have an underlying cause tends to improve as a woman gets older. Many women also notice an improvement after they’ve had children.
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Period Pain Caused By Contraceptive Devices
An intrauterine device is a type of contraception made from copper and plastic that fits inside the womb. It can also sometimes cause period pain, particularly during the first few months after it’s inserted.
You may notice a change in your normal pattern of pain if your period pain is linked to a medical condition or a contraceptive IUD. For example, the pain may be more severe or it may last much longer than normal.
You may also have:
See a GP if you have any of these symptoms as well as period pain.
Cut Back On Caffeine And Alcohol
Pre-menstrually, alcohol can enhance PMS symptoms like breast tenderness, mood swings, and bloating, says Dr. Bitner. And coffee can overstimulate the digestive tract and irritate the bowels, not to mention dehydrate you, which causes you to retain water. Hey, you’ll save some serious $ by bypassing your morning latte, too.
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Got It But When Should You See A Doctor
Yes, period bloat is super normal, but if it doesnt seem to cycle with your cycle , or the bloating and your other PMS symptoms are really bothering you, talk to your ob-gyn.
Your doc may suggest keeping a symptom diary, according to the Mayo Clinic. This will help you keep track of your bloating and give your MD useful data to help determine next steps.
Ques Can We Drink Hot Water During Periods
Improves Blood Circulation The blood vessels increase and give the circulation of blood a boost which improves the performance of muscles and internal organs. Hot water is beneficial for cramps during menstrual cycles. Drink three litres of warm fluid throughout the day while you are on your menstrual cycle, to have the calming effect of abdominal spasms.
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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.
Take Hormonal Birth Control Pills
You can take oral birth control pills or get the birth control shot to help regulate and shorten your menstrual cycles.
Hormonal contraceptive pills inhibit ovulation and fertilization, which in turn affects the uterus when no shedding of the uterine lining is triggered.
Start taking the hormonal pills one cycle before the period that you dont want to have. To help skin your period, stop taking the last week of the pills. Also, these pills are helpful in reducing cramps and other discomforts associated with periods.
Bear in mind that prolonged intake of hormonal contraceptives can cause headaches and hormonal imbalances in the body, as well as putting you at greater risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Hence, before you start taking birth control pills or other contraceptives, it is best to see your doctor to help you determine which option is best for your lifestyle and medical needs.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking a lot of water and other healthy fluids will help shorten your period as well as reduce discomforts, such as bloating and cramps. Water intake helps the fluids run faster through your body.
Also, drinking sufficient water improves the bodys metabolism and keeps you hydrated.
To help you figure out how much water you should be drinking, simply divide your current body weight by two. Thats how many ounces of water you should drink a day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should try to drink 70 ounces of water on a daily basis.
Drinking green tea, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, and coconut water are also good options to increase your fluid intake.
Stay away from caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks, which can be dehydrating and can cause menstrual problems.