How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps 10 Secret Weapons
Ever wonder how to get rid of period cramps? I know. It might seem strange that, as a man, Im offering advice on how to combat painful periods. But with so many women suffering from painful PMS symptoms each month, its a topic Ive wanted to tackle for some time now.
Yoga Against Period Pain
Yoga doesn’t mean that you have to stand on your head but can be just a series of simple stretches. If you practice yoga regularly dont stop, and even if you feel that yoga is not for you, try a session and learn a couple of poses to use for when you have period pain. And if you do want to stand on your head, do. The myth that you shouldnt do certain yoga poses has been debunked. Concerns that this would lead to worry retrograde menstruation, or the blood flowing back, as a risk for endometriosis are no longer accepted. This was based on research dating back to 1927.
Symptoms Of Menstrual Pain
Besides cramps in the lower abdomen, you may also have some of these symptoms with menstrual cramps:
- Current medications
- What things seem to improve or worsen the pain
The doctor will perform a pelvic exam to check for any problems. If there are concerns about a possible infection, cervical cultures and a blood test will confirm the diagnosis. You might get these tests, too:
- The doctor may order a pregnancy test if your periods are irregular or you are not using birth control regularly.
- An ultrasound exam is necessary if the doctor discovers any abnormal masses during the pelvic exam or there is a new onset of menstrual pain.
- A doctor may recommend a laparoscopy, which is a minor surgical procedure allowing the doctor to look directly into the pelvic cavity with a fiber-optic scope. This is an outpatient procedure using very small incisions.
- A hysteroscopy is another possible procedure. By inserting a hysteroscope through the vagina, the doctor can see inside the cervix and the inside of the uterus without incisions. This can be done in a doctor’s office or a hospital.
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Causes Of Period Pain
Period pain is often a normal but uncomfortable part of a womans menstrual cycle. Its caused by chemicals called prostaglandins which are made in the lining of the womb and trigger muscle contractions during a period. This type of pain is called primary dysmenorrhoea and often develops within 6 to 12 months of a girl’s first period.
Secondary dysmenorrhoea is period pain caused by an underlying medical condition such as:
- a problem with an intrauterine device
Fish Oil And Vitamin B1
Researchers studied the effects of vitamin B1 and fish oil on dysmenorrhea symptoms in high school students. The young women were separated into 4 different groups. One group took 100 milligrams of vitamin B1 per day. Another took 500 milligrams of fish oil per day. One group took a combination of both vitamin B1 and fish oil daily. The last group took a placebo. The women took the treatment at the beginning of their menstrual cycles and continued for 2 months. Compared to those in the placebo group, those who took vitamin B1, fish oil, or both reported significantly less pain. The women who took fish oil or B1 also reported their pain didn’t last as long compared to those in the placebo group.
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A Sprinkle Of Cinnamon
In a study of young women, those who took capsules containing 420 milligrams of cinnamon 3 times a day for the first 3 days of their menstrual cycle had less menstrual bleeding, less pain, and reductions in nausea and frequency of vomiting compared to those who took a placebo. The women didn’t report any side effects associated with taking cinnamon pills. Try a sprinkle of cinnamon on your cereal or cup of hot cocoa. It can’t hurt and it might help your cramps and other period symptoms.
Herbs To Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps, also called dysmenorrhea, are cramping aches and pains that typically affect the lower abdomen but may also radiate to the lower back and thighs.
Thought to be caused by excess levels of prostaglandins , menstrual cramps often occur just before and during the first few days of the menstrual period. Some people also experience loose stools, headaches, nausea, or dizziness.
For many people, menstrual cramps occur without an underlying health condition . But if you’re experiencing regular or severe cramping, consult your healthcare provider to see if you’re suffering from an underlying health issue that might be causing the pain .
So far, scientific support for the claim that any remedy can treat menstrual cramps is limited.
Here’s a look at four kinds of herbal medicine that are sometimes recommended by alternative medicine practitioners.
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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.
Tens Or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Against Period Cramps
If youve had a baby you might have used a TENS machine during labour to relieve the pain of the contractions. But did you know it can also help with period pain? Delivering low voltage electrical shocks through two electrode sticky pads on your skin, you feel a tingling sensation. It works through interaction with your nerves going to the spinal cord and reducing the pain. It also potentially releases endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. Should you be interested in this option, try renting a machine before buying one.
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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 Research Shows: Nsaids Can Relieve Period Pain
The studies show that NSAIDs were more effective than placebos at relieving period pain:
- 82 out of 100 girls and women who didn’t take NSAIDs still had severe pain after a few hours.
- 51 out of 100 girls and women who took NSAIDs still had severe pain after a few hours.
So the painkillers relieved pain in 31 out of 100 girls and women.
Some studies compared NSAIDs with acetaminophen . They suggest that NSAIDs are a little more effective than acetaminophen at relieving period pain. There’s not enough good research to be able to say whether some NSAIDs are more effective than others.
The studies also show that NSAIDs can sometimes have side effects: 2 to 3 out of 100 girls and women experienced stomach problems, nausea, headaches or drowsiness.
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Is Tylenol Good For Period Cramps
Tylenol is not as effective as some of the NSAIDs for period cramps. Studies done on women who experience period cramps tends to benefit more with NSAIDs than acetaminophen such as Tylenol. The exact reason for this is unknown, but studies done on women with period cramps shows that pain relief with NSAIDs are slightly more effective than Tylenol for period cramps.
The reason might be that acetaminophen has a weak inhibition of PGs in the peripheral tissue and also it does not reduce the inflammation in the uterus. It mainly has an analgesic effect on the uterus which might not be enough to relieve severe pain.
Women with mild to moderate period cramps usually benefit with acetaminophen, but with severe cramps are not relieved with acetaminophen.
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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What Causes Period Pain
If you experience chronic painful periods, its only natural to wonder why. Maybe youre the only woman in your family who gets severe cramps. Maybe your painful periods didnt start until your twenties. Whatever your situation, a doctor can help you understand why you get painful cramps every month. Some of the most common causes of painful periods are:
Living With Period Pain
To help you manage period pain in the longer term, your doctor might prescribe the combined oral contraceptive pill or another hormonal form of contraception such as a vaginal ring, implant or a hormone-releasing intra-uterine device . These reduce the amount of prostaglandins released during your period and make your periods lighter.
You could also consider taking nutritional supplements such as magnesium, vitamin B1 , vitamin E, pyridoxine or fish oil.
Quitting smoking and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink may reduce period pain.
It is a good idea to keep a diary of your pain, bleeding and any other symptoms to show your doctor. This will help them diagnose whether there is an underlying medical cause for your period pain.
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What Are Period Cramps
Most women have experienced dysmenorrhea, or period cramps, at some time. It tends to happen just before and during the menstrual cycle. What does it feel like to have period cramps? Its often described as a cramping or constant ache in the lower belly and lower back back. The intensity varies some women dont experience cramps or theyre very mild, while for other women, it can be painful enough that normal day-to-day activities are affected.
What causes period cramps? During menstruation, the uterus contracts as it gets rid of the lining thats what the blood is. The contractions are what cause the cramping. Thats normal cramping, anyway. Other conditions, like endometriosis and adenomyosis, can also trigger period cramps.
What relieves period cramps fast? This also depends on the woman. Over-the-counter medications can help, as can birth control pills . Warm compresses applied directly on the abdomen can help. But ultimately, many women just wind up grimacing and bearing the pain each month.
Menstrual Cramps Definition And Facts
- Menstrual cramps are periodic abdominal and pelvic pains experienced by women.
- More than half of all menstruating women have cramps.
- The cramps are severe in at least one in four of these women.
- Medically, menstrual cramps are called dysmenorrhea.
- Primary dysmenorrhea is common menstrual cramps without an identifiable cause.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea results from an underlying abnormality that usually involves the woman’s reproductive system.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used to treat cramps.
- Physical exercise can help alleviate menstrual cramps.
- Menstrual cramps tend to improve with age.
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Exercise To Help Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Although traditionally people with periods were expected to be less active and in some cases and cultures withdraw from society altogether, the evidence is that regular exercise before and during periods can help alleviate the pain. The type of exercise doesnt matter and Zumba can be as good as going for a run or a swim. You can absolutely continue with your usual lifestyle and sport using a menstrual cup.
Try Fish Oil And Vitamin B1 For Natural Relief
Another natural route to period cramp relief is taking fish oil supplements, vitamin B1, or both, according to research published in September 2014 in the Global Journal of Health Science. Scientists assigned 240 teens with menstrual cramps and other pain to take B1 and fish oil, B1 alone, fish oil alone, or a placebo. The teens took 100 milligrams per day of B1 and 500 mg daily of fish oil supplements.
When the teens reported their pain, those taking either the fish oil, B1, or both had significantly less pain than the placebo group. The pain also didnt last as long if they took fish oil or B1.
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When Should I See A Doctor
You might have sharp pain or a dull ache in your lower abdomen. If it lasts just for the first 1 or 2 days of your period it is probably normal. See a doctor if:
- the pain lasts for longer than 2 days
- it doesnt go away when you take the contraceptive pill or painkillers
- it stops you from doing your normal daily activities
- it hurts when you go to the toilet
- you get pain in the pelvic area when you dont have a period
- sex is painful
- you have an intrauterine device
Painkillers Block Prostaglandin Production
Anti-inflammatory painkillers are often used to relieve period pain, especially the drugs diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen. These medications are all non-steroidal . They inhibit the production of prostaglandins and can relieve period pain in that way. Many NSAIDs are available from pharmacies without a prescription.
Researchers at the an international network of researchers looked for clinical studies of these drugs to find out whether they help and how well they are tolerated. The researchers found 80 good-quality studies involving more than 5,800 girls and women between the ages of 12 and 47. These studies compared the effectiveness of the painkiller with that of a placebo or other medications. The studies included women with and without endometriosis.
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