Menstruation is not a sickness and is a process that should happen to every girl once they reach puberty. Periods can be uncomfortable, painful and annoying. It is habitual for women to undergo menstrual pain but excessive pain can impact their daily chores. Women suffer from menstrual cramps from their early teens until they reach menopause. Sometimes, relaxing in a hot bath, cuddling a hot water bottle, or loose-fitting clothes cannot ease the discomfort. Severe menstrual pain can be side-effects of lifestyle choices like alcohol consumption, smoking, unhealthy food preferences, and too much sugar intake.
The menstrual cycle generally lasts for five to seven days and women undergo many health issues besides bleeding. Most women experience discomfort especially, on the first day of their periods. Menstrual cramps generally occur in the lower abdomen and can show symptoms of nausea, diarrhoea, lower back pain, and headaches. Women might complain about mood swings, bloating or weight gain, fatigue, and irritability during their menstrual cycle.
Types of menstruation pain
Pain-related to menstruation is also known as dysmenorrhea, which can be two types. Primary and secondary.
– Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common period-related pain which starts at a younger age. It is caused due to the increase of prostaglandins, a type of natural chemical produced by the uterus that causes the contraction of the uterus muscles. This procedure leads to period cramps. When periods start, the level of prostaglandins is comparatively higher that goes down as the bleeding continues.
– Secondary dysmenorrhea is a type of menstrual pain generated due to health conditions that affect the reproductive organ or the uterus. Medical conditions like uterine fibroids or endometriosis are responsible for secondary dysmenorrhea.
A painful period can occur because of various reasons. Some of the causes are discussed below:
– Heavy bleeding or irregular periods
– A woman who smokes regularly
– Has a family history of a painful period
Various medical conditions can also lead to painful menstrual periods such as:
– Premenstrual syndrome or PMS
– Pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID)
– Cervical stenosis
– Fibroids in the uterus
To ease your period pain there are certain treatments available that one can try:
According to the studies, cannabis seeds contain THC chemicals that can divert your attention from the pain. CBD oil can reduce chronic pain and inflammation therefore, it is used in relieving menstrual cramps and other period-related symptoms like lower back pain and headaches. It is known as a perfect natural remedy for period pain relief. You can add a few drops of CBD oil to your drink or food. You can even apply it as a balm or add a few drops in the warm bath. But if you’re looking for relief from severe pain, in that case, you must consult a doctor.
There are several home treatments that a woman can go for to relieve their menstrual cramps like
– Warm bath
– Massaging the abdomen
– Heating pad of your back or pelvic area
– Regular physical activity
– Balanced diet
– Practicing yoga or relaxation techniques
– Anti-inflammation medicines
– Vitamins supplements like vitamin B-6, B-1, and E, omega-3 fatty acid, calcium and magnesium
– Limiting the intake of alcohol, sugar, salt and caffeine
If your menstrual cramps withhold you from performing your daily chores, then it is advisable to consult a gynaecologist. Your doctor will take your medical history and perform physical examinations like an ultrasound, an MRI, and a CT scan on you. If you are experiencing passing of blood clots, nausea or diarrhoea along with cramps then there are high chances of you having an infection. This infection must be treated, immediately or you might have a fever and foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
If home remedies aren’t working for you, your doctor might prescribe certain medicines. This medicine depends on the causes and severity of the pain. If STI is causing the pain then, your doctor might prescribe some antibiotics for the infection. Your gynaecologist might advise some over-the-counter medicines like NSAID’s or painkillers like acetaminophen. Doctors sometimes propose antidepressants as well for mood swings and PMS.
Hormonal birth control
In the case of primary dysmenorrhea, you might require medical treatment. The doctor might ask you to use hormonal birth control alternatives like pills, rings, patches, or IUDs. They will give some pain relievers after the treatment.
Having an orgasm
Science suggests that having a vaginal orgasm can directly affect menstrual pain. Vaginal orgasm requires the involvement of the entire body. This situation can trigger the brain and make it release endorphins and oxytocin. Endorphins help in decreasing pain awareness.
Yoga is a form of exercise that helps in the release of endorphins that further helps in reducing menstrual pain. Both yoga and aerobic exercise helps in reducing the pain and PMS symptoms. Yoga poses like child’s pose, plank pose, cat-cow pose, and cobra pose help in relaxation and stretching of the body that positively affects your body against menstrual cramps.
Application of warm compress, massage with essential oil and consuming herbs with anti-inflammatory compounds are great ways to cure the cramps. You must add papaya, walnuts and almonds, flaxseeds, olive oil and broccoli to your diet to get better results. Keep your fluid intake high to avoid water retention. This will keep your body from bloating during the menstrual cycle.
You can increase hydration by consuming water-based products like celery, lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers and berries. As obvious as it might sound, regular physical activity can nearly eliminate menstrual cramps. Exercising releases endorphins in the body which is significant in relieving the cramps.
CBD oil and other natural remedies are also helpful along with doctor prescribed medicines. You can also rely on home treatment. Stay away from any harmful unscientific methods of quick pain relief. Also, try to keep yourself aware of the myths regarding period pain.
If the menstrual pain is unbearable and the bleeding gets heavier, then, consult a gynaecologist. Get the consultancy in time before something serious happens.