Women generally know the struggle when it comes to period pain, some of us experience severe or moderate pain and the luckier ones get away with little to no cramps at all. This blog covers topics to help understand what period cramps are, what causes them, symptoms and tricks on how to help relieve the pain.
What causes period pain?
Period pain occurs when muscles in the uterus contract or tighten causing throbbing or cramping pains in the lower abdomen, the feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area or even lower back pain.
What is ‘normal’ period pain?
Your period cramps are generally normal if the pain doesn’t affect how you go about your day. Your typical period pain should wear off after the first few days of your period and shouldn’t stop you from completing daily tasks. Pain that stops you doing everyday tasks, working or going to school is NOT normal.
How to ease the pain:
Applying heat to these areas helps to relax the muscles, improve blood flow and relieve tension.
Stress can make your period cramps worse, so it is important to rest and relax to lower your stress levels. Maybe run a warm bath, mediate, sit down and read or watch a movie.
Practice yoga, aerobic exercise, go for a walk or do a form of exercise that you enjoy. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good which can reduce pain and relax your muscles.
When you begin to feel cramps that are uncomfortable or painful, taking pain relief such as ibuprofen can help soothe the pain. It is important to see your doctor if minor cramps worsen
Talk to your doctor about taking additional supplements such as: Fish Oil, magnesium, zinc, calcium, Vitamins B, E and D that may help reduce period pain.
Maintaining a healthy diet is good for your body and its overall performance. Consuming foods that are high in sugar, fats and salts can cause bloating and inflammation which can worsen menstrual cramps. Consuming caffeine can cause your blood vessels to narrow, constricting your uterus which also worsens menstrual cramps. If you’re craving either coffee or ‘bad’ foods, try opting for a decaf option, some fruit or unsalted nuts to relieve that craving.
In most cases, bloating can worsen menstrual cramps so staying hydrated can help reduce bloating and avoid worsening cramping pain
Who doesn’t love a massage? Massage therapy can help reduce stress and relax your muscles to ease pain
Consider these tips a starting point or guide to taking control of your period pain and treating your body with kindness.
Click here for everything you need to know about using tampons whether you’re a new tampon user or simply want to learn about potential better practices around precautions, inserting, removing and disposing a tampon.
Medical Disclaimer: Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. Ask a medical professional if you have any health-related questions or concerns.
Cirino, E. (2019). Period Cramps Getting You Down? Try these Remedies.https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/how-to-get-rid-of-cramps#exercise
Health Partners. (2020). 13 Ways to Stop Period Cramps.https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/13-ways-to-stop-period-pain/
Jean Hailes. (2020). Period Pain. https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/period-pain#period-pain-dysmenorrhoea
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