Menstrual Cramps: Helpful Remedies to Ease the Pain

Around 80% of women experience menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea) before or during their period. While it is common to most women and seem unnoticeable, it can be severe to some and affect daily activities. The piercing pain in a woman’s abdomen could go all the way to the lower back and inner thighs. It can sometimes be accompanied by nausea, fatigue, headache and dizziness. To some, it can happen just before the start of menstrual cycle. Others experience it on the first day and could last up to three days. At times it would come and go, while others get better as hours pass. If you’ve been there, you probably know how it really feels. Thus, women try to find menstrual cramp remedies to alleviate the throbbing pain.

What causes it?

Even doctors could not tell why other women experience pain while some don’t. However, menstrual cramps can sometimes be associated to some medical conditions. Endometriosis is one of the possible causes of menstrual cramps. It happens when there is an excess of tissue inside the uterine lining (endometrium). Other medical related causes also include adenomyosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and cervical stenosis. There are also other factors that may cause it. Women under 30 or teenagers who started puberty early are more likely to experience dysmenorrhea. Smoking also is another determining factor. Regardless of what causes it, women definitely would do whatever it takes to prevent or stop it. Thus, we’ve come up with a list of helpful menstrual cramp remedies.

Hot Compress

This is probably the most popular home remedy among women. Applying heat compress to your abdomen helps relieve the pain. In fact, it was proven effective by a study involving 147 women. A heat patch containing iron was found to have similar analgesic effects to ibuprofen and may be used for primary dysmenorrhea. Worry not if you don’t have a heat patch as there are plenty of alternatives that you can try. You can fill your water bottle with hot water or you can soak a towel in it. Just be careful not to burn yourself and apply only at bearable temperature.

Warm Bath

Since heat is our friend on a seemingly painful day, why not soak yourself in a soothing warm bath. Heat relaxes the muscles in the uterus and increases the blood flow. Thus, it relieves that uncomfortable and painful feeling on a red day. Not only does it ease the pain but also relaxes your mind and improves your mood. You can try playing a relaxing music or you can enjoy the quiet isolation and comfort while trying to get rid of the menstrual pain.

Massage Therapy

When experiencing the throbbing pain, a woman’s natural reaction would be to press down her abdomen. Perhaps it is just a natural reflex or it does somehow help in easing it. Regardless, going for a massage therapy actually helps in reducing the pain significantly. A 2010 study found that massage therapy reduced a significant of amount pain among women experiencing menstrual pain caused by endometriosis. Therapist press specific points in a woman’s abdomen, side and lower back. You might as well want to add some essential oils to reap more benefits. Another study found that aromatherapy provided faster relief to women experiencing menstrual cramps. It further suggests the blended essential oils with four analgesic components to be an alternative medicine for primary dysmenorrhea.

Masturbation

The taboo surrounding masturbation has prevented women (or so we thought) from masturbating. Often it becomes a shameful topic and seldom will you hear women admit to doing it. But hey girl, women definitely should masturbate and there is nothing shameful about that! All the more reason for you to do so is the benefit it can provide on your red days. While some are not comfortable doing in on their period, it is totally fine as there are other alternatives you may find suitable for you. When women are having orgasm, they release the feel good chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals help relieve menstrual cramps and may as well relieve stress. It is completely safe to masturbate or engage in sexual activity on your period as there are no scientific evidence supporting the harm that the menstrual blood may bring. As with any other blood from your body, menstrual blood is not dirty nor dangerous.

Herbs

Certain herbs contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic compounds. They help decrease muscle contractions and swelling. Thus, they are one of the most effective menstrual cramp remedies that women can try. Among the herbal medicines that you can try are listed down below.

  • Ginger
  • Chamomile
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Dill
  • French Maritime Pine Bark Extract

What to avoid?

Reducing or avoiding intake of some particular food may help alleviate menstrual pain as well. This includes caffeine, alcohol, fatty and salty food. Here’s an additional tip from a personal experience. Try avoiding cold drinks and food three days before the start of your menstrual cycle. This will relax the muscle right before the start of your cycle and avoid contractions beforehand.

Menstrual pain, as with any other kinds of pain, can be aggravating and tremendously affect our day-to-day life. Thus, try any of these menstrual cramp remedies to find comfort on that time of the month.

Angelica Montero

Angelica Montero

Angelica Montero is a content writer at Six3 Magazine who likes to share her ideas on topics related to health, fitness, beauty and sex. A teacher by day and a writer by night, she has a way with words and likes to write articles, poems and learning materials.

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