How To Stop Period Cramps
Dealing with cramps every month can be as frustrating as it is painful. Luckily, there are a 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.
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.
More Energy During Your Period
Exercise might help you improve problems with low energy, too. When you exercise, you strengthen your heart so it can provide more blood and oxygen throughout your body, including your brain. Exercise can also help relieve stress that can drag your energy levels down during the day. Finally, exercise can improve sleep so you can make the most out of your eight hours of rest.
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Care Advice For Menstrual Cramps
Up The Magnesium In Your Diet To Help Nerve And Muscle Function
Dietary magnesium seems to help ease the pain of cramps, says DeJarra Sims, ND, an assistant professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr Universitys California campus in San Diego and the author of Your Healthiest Life Now. A Cochrane review of dietary and other remedies published in 2001 concluded that getting enough magnesium can help relieve pain.
Magnesium is found in many foods and as a supplement if you cant get what you need from your diet. Magnesium helps regulate nerve and muscle functioning, among other vital tasks researchers who evaluated the evidence on magnesium call it a promising treatment for menstrual cramps. But they cannot recommend a specific dose, because researchers have studied various doses. The recommended dietary allowance of magnesium for women of childbearing age is about 320 mg daily. An ounce of dry almonds or one half cup of boiled spinach each has about 80 mg.
Dr. Sims says the dose you may need depends on the severity of your cramps and other factors. Ask your doctor about the best magnesium intake for you.
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Birth Control For Period Cramps
When you have period cramps you just can’t seem to relieve with the methods mentioned above, your doctor may prescribe birth control, which provides your body with hormones that may reduce your menstrual cramping. Talk to your doctor about your birth control options. They include birth control pills, injections, a patch, or an intrauterine device. Such a wide array of birth control options are available that there should be something that will work for your lifestyle and individual needs. Just make sure to let your doctor know youre hoping to find a birth control option that will provide relief from your menstrual cramping.
Pills Vaginal Rings And Shots
Other options include birth control pills, the Nuvaring® and medroxyprogesterone shots.
Its worth pointing out that the birth control pills we would prescribe for a 16-year-old differ from those we would prescribe for a 45-year-old.
This sophisticated strategy should be directed by, or done in partnership with, a physician well-versed in adolescent health and menstrual manipulation.
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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 it’s 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.
Relieve Menstrual Cramps Without Pillsheres How
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Ugh, itâs that time of the month and youâre dealing with dreaded cramps. Itâs common to feel uncomfortable around your abdomen, thighs and lower back when youâre menstruating. In fact, about half of women who menstruate have some paincalled dysmenorrheafor one to three days each month.
Menstrual cramps are throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen. The muscles of your womb contract and relax to get rid of built-up lining. And thatâs when you may get cramps, with some women experiencing more pain than others. 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.
You likely want to relieve your pain. But perhaps you donât want to pop a pill. Youâre aiming for relief in a natural way. Here are a few tactics to help you feel better, naturally.
Be sure to speak with your health care provider if your cramps seem severe or you donât have any easing of symptoms. Your clinician can help rule out any other health conditions that may be causing your intense discomfort such as fibroids, a sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or more serious menstrual disorders.
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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
What Causes Dysmenorrhea
Women with primary dysmenorrhea have abnormal contractions of the uterus due to a chemical imbalance in the body. For example, the chemical prostaglandin control the contractions of the uterus.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by other medical conditions, most often endometriosis. This is a condition in which endometrial tissue implants outside the uterus. Endometriosis often causes internal bleeding, infection, and pelvic pain.
Other causes of secondary dysmenorrhea include the following:
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Women who started their periods before the age of 11
Women who have never been pregnant
Consult your health care provider for more information.
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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.
If You Have Cramps That Meds Dont Help
It might be: endometriosis. This condition causes uterine tissue to grow on other organs such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It affects up to 10 percent of women, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists , though women often dismiss their excruciating pain as a normal part of their periods.
What to do: If you can, keep a log of your menstrual cyclesnoting degrees of pain as well as the dates of your periods and other symptoms like bleedingand bring it to your doctor. The more information you can bring about your normal cycles, the better, Masterson explains, but if youre really uncomfortable, dont waitjust come in and let us figure it out. Hormone treatments may be effective, she adds, because they can decrease the length of your period and shorten the amount of pain you experience each month.
Massage Your Tummy With Essential Oils
Oils that seem to be most effective at reducing period cramps, due to their ability to boost circulation, include:
You can find essential oils online, or at your local health food store. Some drugstores may sell them, too.
Before using essential oils, youll want to mix them with a carrier oil, like coconut oil or jojoba oil. Carrier oils work by safely carrying the essential oil into your skin, and helping to spread the oil over a large area.
Once your oil mixture is ready to use, rub a few drops between your hands and then give your tummy a gentle massage.
Experts say massaging in a circular motion for just five minutes a day before and during your period may help lessen cramps and boost circulation in your abdomen.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen , naproxen , and aspirin are effective treatments for period cramps.
These medications work best if theyre taken at the first sign of cramps or pain.
You can find ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, at any drugstore. Be sure to take only as directed, and talk to your doctor first if you have a history of heart, liver, or kidney problems, or if you have asthma, ulcers, or bleeding disorders.
recent study , low-to-medium intensity aerobic exercise can help reduce pain caused by period cramps.
Feels Like I’m Dying From Menstrual Cramps Am I Normal
Its that time of the month when your hormones are supposedly out of whack, everything annoys you, and it feels like a shark is attacking your abdominal area. As much as you dont like it, you know menstrual cramps are normal. But what if it seems like this time is the worst out of all the other times? As much as 29 percent of women experience severe menstrual cramps that are bad enough for medical attention. Womens expert Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones tells you how to identity whether or not your menstrual cramps are normal or not.
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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 youâre experiencing serious pain during your period, itâs 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.
âFor instance, hormonal birth control medications are sometimes used to treat menstrual cramps and the pain that accompanies a period,â adds Dr. Borchardt.
Plus, in some cases, severe pain may be a sign of something more serious.
âBeyond the significant impact that period pain can have on your everyday life, the cramps themselves arenât typically a medical concern,â says Dr. Borchardt. âHowever, severe menstrual cramps can sometimes be caused by a more serious gynecologic condition.â
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
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Your Thyroid Is Out Of Whack
Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes thyroid hormone, which provides the spark for bodily functions like digestion, generation of body heat, detoxification and ovulation. Every single cell in your body needs thyroid hormone.
The most common thyroid problem is when the gland is underactive, which is called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism interferes with ovulation, which means youll be making less progesterone. And remember that low progesterone promotes inflammation.
Heavy menstrual bleeding can be a symptom of an underactive thyroid. Unfortunately many women with hypothyroidism never get diagnosed because the standard screening test doesnt show the whole picture. I always recommend a complete thyroid panel that includes TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.
Getting the right thyroid tests can be tricky. Ive had many patients tell me that their conventional doctors straight-up refuse to order a full thyroid panel for them. Its really frustrating, but thankfully you can get a thyroid panel for yourself online.
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