How to Reduce Menstrual Cramps |Natural Ways to Reduce Period Pain
Menstrual cramping is a very common problem experienced by 50-90% of reproductive-aged women. Pain during menstruation is the result of cramping of the muscle in the wall of the uterus, similar to a muscle cramp you may get in other parts of the body while exercising. Strong, lengthy contractions of the muscles in the uterus lead to cramping of the muscle. Cramping usually begins 1-2 days before the onset of bleeding, and then diminishes 1-2 days after the onset of bleeding. It’s generally experienced as a lower abdominal or pelvic pain that is sharp, intermittent, and varies in intensity. It can sometimes be experienced as a continuous, dull ache. The pain can radiate into the back, thighs, and upper abdomen. Women may also experience headache, fatigue, nausea, or diarrhea. If you have moderate to severe cramps, there are some remedies you can follow to help reduce your menstrual cramps.
How to Reduce Menstrual Cramps
Method 1 –Seeking Medicinal Help
1) Take over the counter medication.
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are the first-line medicines for painful menstrual cramping. NSAIDs work by blocking the contractions that cause cramps. Ibuprofen is the most common of the two. You can take 400-600 mg of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours or 800 mg every 8 hours with a maximum dose of 2400 mg daily.
You should start taking them as soon as you feel the onset of symptoms and continue your dose for 2-3 days as needed, depending on your symptom pattern. If you wait after they start, especially if you have had bad cramps in the past, you risk getting a cramp that is so bad, that there isn’t much of anything you can do for it.
Try ibuprofen brands such as Advil and Motrin. You can also try naproxen brands such as Aleve.
2) Learn about hormonal birth control
If natural remedies, diet and nutrition, exercise, and NSAIDs do not work to relieve cramps in a satisfactory manner, hormonal birth control may be a good options for you. There are many different forms and kinds that can be effective in making menstruation lighter and less painful.
The method you chose depends on your general health, sexual practices, and personal and financial preferences. Discuss your options with your healthcare provider.
3) Take birth control pills Birth control pills
are an oral hormonal birth control that you take daily. Because you control when they are taken, they are easily stopped. They are widely used, readily available, and relatively inexpensive. However, they can be annoying because they must be taken daily at the same time
4) Wear the birth control patches.
The patches work just like the pill, expect they are in a patch form. They must be applied monthly and, like the pills, can easily be stopped.
They can also fall off accidentally, be easily seen when applied to certain areas, and are a constant monthly expense
5) Try the vaginal ring.
If you don’t want a pill or patch, you can try a vaginal ring. This form of hormonal birth control is only changed monthly and can easily be stopped when you don’t need them anymore. They are considered more private than the patch or pill because you don’t have to take a pill or put on a patch where anyone can see you.
It can accidentally fall out during sexual activity and it is still a constant monthly expense
6) Consider hormonal injections.
If you don’t like any other options, you might consider taking a hormonal injection. They are more convenient because they are given only every 3 months, but they must be injected every time. However, they have worse side effects than the other options. You may stop having periods and can continue to be infertile for up to one year after stopping.
This option may result in weight gain
7) Get a hormonal birth control implant.
Implants are more permanent options for menstrual cramp control. Once they are implanted, they last for 3-5 years. Despite their longevity, they are easily reversible once you remove the implant.
The insertion process can also be quite painful, though you only have to do it once every few years The implants can cause regular bleeding.
8) See a doctor.
If your cramps are more severe than usual, feel unusual for you, and if the timing or location of the cramps is different, you should contact your doctor. You should also consult your doctor if your cramps last more than 2-3 days. It is possible that you cramping may secondary dysmenorrhea, which is a more severe version of menstrual cramps that are usually caused by an underlying disease or disorder
There are certain reproductive disorders that cause secondary dysmenorrhea. These disorders include endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, stenosis of the cervix, and tumors on the wall of the uterus
If your doctor suspects any of these disorders, he or she will perform a physical exam and run tests to see which is most likely. She will perform a pelvic exam and check for any abnormalities or infection in your reproductive organs. She may also give you an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI. In some cases, your doctor may perform a laparoscopy, which is an outpatient procedure where a camera is surgically inserted to examine your your abdominal cavity and reproductive organs
Natural Ways to Reduce Period Pain
Method 2–Using Alternative Therapies and Natural Remedies
1) Use heat.
There are several natural therapies that have been studied and shown to help relieve pain from menstrual cramping. One of the most common and easiest methods to use is heat. Heat can be just as or more effective than over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The heat aids in relaxing the contracting muscles that cause cramps. You should apply heat to your lower abdomen. You can also apply it to your lower back. Try a heating pad or a heat patch. Heat patches are adhesive, non-medicated pads that give off heat for up to 12 hours. You can apply them to skin or clothing, but make sure you read the directions.
Heat patches come in different shapes, sizes, and say they are for different uses, though you can use any patch for menstrual cramps. Some brands even have patches specifically for menstrual cramps, such as ThermaCare heat wraps.
Patches are more convenient than heating pads because they are portable, so you can apply it and go about your day.
If you don’t have a heating pad or a heating patch, then you can try soaking in a hot bath or taking a hot shower to help relax you and relieve cramps.
2) Try behavioral intervention.
It may be helpful to develop certain kinds of behavioral intervention coping strategies, especially if you have persistently bad cramps. These strategies include relaxation training, which uses a repetitive activity, such as deep breathing, reciting a prayer, or repeating a word or sound, in combination with clearing your mind, ignoring distractions, and taking on a positive attitude. This is supposed to help you relax and let go of the pain.
You can also try imagery intervention, which uses positive thoughts and experiences to change your emotional state and distract you from and relieve the pain.
Hypnotherapy is another method that uses hypnosis to induce relaxation, decrease stress, and relieve pain.
Since cramps effect the same muscles as child birth, some women find it helpful to use Lamaze exercises to relieve menstrual cramps. Try the rhythmic breathing used in Lamaze exercises to help relieve or lessen the pain.
You can also attempt biofeedback, which is a method where you learn to control physiologic parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature along with relaxation techniques to help train your body to control symptoms
3) Distract yourself.
Distraction is one of the most powerful and readily available painkillers. If you have intense cramps, then do something that normally absorbs you completely, such as socializing with good friends, reading a book, playing a computer game, watching a movie or TV show, or spending time on Facebook.
Make sure you pick something that will keep your mind off of the pain and convince your body to focus on other things.
4)Massage your abdomen gently.
Sometimes, it helps to put gentle pressure on the affected areas. Lie down and prop your feet up. From your reclined position, gently massage your lower back and abdomen.
Make sure you don’t press too hard. You don’t want to cause more pain instead of relief. This can help relax the muscles and relieve the pain.
How to Reduce Menstrual Cramps