What Causes Menstrual Cramps
Leading up to a period, the uterus sheds its lining of endometrial cells. These cells then release a group of lipids known as prostaglandins.
While we dont like to point fingers, prostaglandins are pro-inflammatory. Simply put, they trigger the blood vessels in the uterus to constrict, which ultimately leads to cramps and other undesirable PMS symptoms. The number of prostaglandins produced has a direct correlation with the level of menstrual pain that women experience during their period.
Often overlooked however, is the important relationship between food and period-related pain and inflammation.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Linden Flower
With linden flower as its main active ingredient, Traditional Medicinals Organic Linden Flower with Hawthorn and Lemon Balm works effectively to reduce the painful symptoms of menstruation for a more relaxed and problem-free cycle.
The tea combines this main herbal ingredient with lemon balm and hawthorn to soothe cramps and reduce stress levels, which also play a role in the aggravation of pain.
Warm, rich, and fragrant, this natural tea blend engages the sense of smell through a potent floral scent that helps reduce the negative symptoms of menstruation. The flavorful blend of herbs and spices make it a unique and interesting tea, offering a different experience for individuals seeking an enjoyable remedy for menstrual cramps.
Do You Need To See A Doctor
If your menstrual cramps are unusual or severe, or if they last more than a few days, you may want to see your doctor. Painful period cramping is treatable, so anytime you’re worried about your symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
Your doctor may perform a pelvic exam to make sure everything is normal. They may also ask you questions about your menstrual period history, suggest lifestyle modifications, or even recommend and prescribe medicines that may help relieve your painful periods.
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How Does Secondary Dysmenorrhea Cause Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual pain from secondary dysmenorrhea is a result of problems with the reproductive organs. Conditions that can cause cramping include:
- Endometriosis: A condition in which the tissue lining the uterus is found outside of the uterus. Because these pieces of tissue bleed during your period, they can cause swelling, scarring and pain.
- Adenomyosis: A condition where the lining of the uterus grows into the muscle of the uterus. This condition can cause the uterus to get much bigger than it should be, along with abnormal bleeding and pain.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease : An infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs. PID can cause pain in the stomach or pain during sex.
- Cervical stenosis: Narrowing of the cervix, or the opening to the uterus.
- Fibroids : Growths on the inside, outside or in the walls of the uterus
What Is Menstrual Pain
Menstrual pain or cramps are pains in your lower abdomen that happen when your menstrual period begins . This pain may continue for 2 to 3 days. Cramps may be throbbing or aching, and they can be dull or sharp. Symptoms can range from a mild discomfort to serious pain that interferes with your normal activities.
Menstrual cramps are the leading cause of absenteeism in women younger than 30. Although over half of people who have menstrual periods feel some discomfort, 10% are temporarily disabled by symptoms.
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Pop A Safe Painkiller To Cut The Inflammation
Moderate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or naproxen is one of the best ways to curb period pain, Thielen says. This is because NSAIDs reduce the amount of prostaglandins in the body. For this reason, taking a pill just before you get your period can keep the level of pain-causing prostaglandins from rising, she says.
As with any medicine, you should first check with your doctor to be sure NSAIDs are a good choice for you, especially if you have a history of bleeding or stomach or kidney issues.
If the NSAIDs you buy in the store dont offer enough relief, your doctor might prescribe an NSAID with more potency. Some women need up to 800 milligrams three times a day for cramps. Youd have to take a lot of over-the-counter pills to equal that, Thielen says.
Can You Heal Menstrual Cramps With Home Remedies
Most of the time, menstrual cramps can be treated by women at home.
But if your pain is severe and impacts your lifestyle, dont be afraid to talk to your doctor. You might need medicines that are only available by prescription or some other treatment to help.
To help reduce period pain, here are 10 safe and effective home remedies for menstrual cramp relief.
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Yoga Positions To Help Period Cramps
Heading to your yoga mat may not seem intuitive when your cramps are bothersome, but yoga can provide multiple benefits.
- stretches lower back and spine
- increases blood circulation
- promotes relaxation
To do this pose, get on all fours and bring your big toes together as you widen your knees. Lean your upper body over your lower body as you stretch forward with your arms and take big, deep breaths.
- improves body and spinal mobility
- improves body alignment
- activates abdominal muscles
To do this pose, Agénor recommends starting with a deep inhale through the nose and exhaling out through the mouth. Tuck your chin to your chest, and roll down your spine, vertebrae by vertebrae.
As you roll back up, you find a soft bend in the knees and feel each vertebrae stack one on top of the other, until your head is the last to come up, she says.
Keep in mind that its important to listen to your body without pushing yourself. If a posture feels uncomfortable, Agénor recommends a smaller range of motion to help you feel more stable. Youll still get the benefits.
Thats because your hormone levels drop, causing your body temperature to rise. This can throw off your circadian rhythm.
On top of that, cramps may provide an extra layer of discomfort.
Heres what Agénor recommends for your go-to sleep position:
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.
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Tea Made With Red Raspberry Leaves
The leaves of raspberry plants are used to make red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry tea has a subtle flavor that reminds me of black tea. It doesnt have a raspberry flavor to it.
Its used for a range of womens health purposes, including its stated capacity to promote uterine contractions.
According to anecdotal evidence, it may help tone and strengthen the uterus. contractions. Therefore, Menstrual cramps are caused by uterine contractions, if this is the case, red raspberry leaf tea may aggravate your cramps. However, there are several anecdotal stories on the internet from women who claim that drinking red raspberry tea for cramps has helped them feel relieved.
The 8 Best Foods For Cramps According To An Rd
Gaby Vaca-Flores, RDN, CLE, investigates what causes menstrual cramps and how common they are. Plus: how to experience natural relief with a list of what to eat for cramps.
Cramps are an unwelcome monthly experience for many of us. An estimated 80 percent of women experience dysmenorrhea, a fancy name for period cramps. Of those women experiencing cramps, half felt the need to seek medical care to alleviate the severity of their monthly pain.
With cramps among the most common PMS symptoms, its no wonder that we often reach for food as a form a comfort. But what if I told you that you could choose specific foods to relieve your cramps instead?
While it may feel like the only solution for cramps is taking OTC meds, there are certain foods that can help ease monthly pain.
Before discussing the best foods to reduce cramps, lets start by understanding why we experience them in the first place.
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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.
What Happens To Your Body During Your Period
Menstrual cycles last from 25 to 35 days, with an average of 28 days for most healthy women. Fluctuation in four key hormones mark phases of the cycle and account for many of the symptoms women experience. A cycle begins on the first day of menstrual flow when levels of estrogen and progesterone are low. During the follicular phase , estrogen rises, leading to ovulation . The post-ovulation luteal phase sees an increase in progesterone before hormone levels drop and a new cycle begins with the start of menstruation.
August 6, 2020// by Terry Cralle//
That one time at a month is described with headaches, drastic mood swings, hormonal changes that influence redness, acne, and the notorious cramps. Period cramps can occur at unpredictable times of the day. However, many find them to be the worst when they occur during the night. Night cramps can deprive you of sound and restorative sleep, which leads to even more unpredictable mood swings and daytime sleepiness.
If you feel like you cant control your menstrual cramps and their intensity and you dont want to drink medicines that fall heavy on your stomach to be able to sleep, we compiled a list of things you can try to help you sleep with cramps.
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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 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
How And Why Cramps Happen
Menstrual cycles come in all shapes and sizes. While your specific period might dictate your weekly plans, affect your mood, or encourage you to use up your sick days, you might find that your best friend, Sam, can simply pop an Advil and instantly feel better.
In other words? Theres a pain scaleand, for some, normal will be around a 2 or a 3. For others, normal might crank all the way up to a 9 or 10. And the pain might come and go from day to day, or even disappear altogether after day one. For most, noticeable period pain will stick around for one or two days.
While this pain will most likely be mild in nature, some can experience intense pain for several days. This pain that we so gingerly speak of is called dysmenorrhea. The symptoms can cause diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, headache, and vomiting. Does this sound all too familiar?
While were all well-versed in how we feel during our period, we should probably talk about why were feeling this way. Did you hear that bell? Health class is in session! First, during the first half of your menstrual cycle, the endometrium expands and renews itself to prepare for a possible pregnancycreating a nice home for the potential implantation of an embryo.
If pregnancy doesnt happen, your blood vessels open up, the uterine lining begins to shed, and the uterine muscle contracts to expel your menstrual fluid through the small opening in your cervix and down through your vagina.
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How To Relieve Painful Menstrual Cramps
Period cramps are annoying, aggravating and at times, downright terrible – and they may be a regular part of the menstrual cycle for more than half of women who have periods.
When you’re having menstrual cramps , you can have pain in your belly, hips, lower back, and even your inner thighs. The pain in your belly may also be accompanied by pressure, and in severe cases, loose stools, upset stomach, and vomiting.
Even though your menstrual cramps may be normal, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to relieve the pain. Here are a few things you can do .
Cramps Got You Down Heres What To Take For Period Pain
You know the feeling: Its that deep-from-within, slow-burn sort of ache that starts in your pelvis and gradually makes its way into your lower back, abdomen, or even spreads down your legs. Yep, period pain can be a total buzzkillbut whats even more frustrating is not knowing how to make it stop with the right pain reliever or self-care routine.
Some of us have known our cycle intimately for decades , while others may see it as a newer acquaintance. But whether your period is a two-day or week-plus-long visitor, it takes many years of trial and error to master numbing that dull, continuously aching, throbbing, and cramping feeling in your bodynot to mention the actual blood. Part of this process is figuring out what products work best for you.
You know that saying from the State Farm commercials, We know a thing or two because weve seen a thing or two? Well, were not going to say that. But what we will say is that we do know periods. We know what works some of the time, whats scientifically proven, and what fails to do a damn thing .
In this post, lets take a look at some of the best supplements and over-the-counter pain relievers to help alleviate those pesky cramps.
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