I’ve had menstrual cramps ever since I can remember. I’d be twisting in pain or even feeling faint from those nasty cramps! Oh, and I’ve had to miss school or work for the better part!
Some cases of cramps may be mild and tolerable, but a number of women report that it interferes with their daily routines. Menstrual cramps can also be accompanied by various symptoms like feeling faint, having headaches, bloating and feeling irritable.
What Causes these Nasty Menstrual Cramps?
The menstrual blood you see is actually the lining of your uterus being broken down. During your period, the uterus contracts to help eliminate this lining. These contractions then cause the pain.
There may be other medical factors that can cause menstrual cramps. Medical problems like pelvic infections and benign growths such as polyps, fibroids or cysts can contribute to the pain. Additionally, if you’ve undergone medical procedures like radiation or IUD insertion, to name a few, may also add to the pain brought by menstruation.
If you think menstrual pain may be due to an underlying condition, it’s best to check with your physician. This may especially be the case if the pain is severe.
What you can do about it
Heat Therapy can Help
Curl up in bed with a hot compress or heating pad over the area. Alternatively, soaking in a hot bath can help lessen the cramping as well. Additionally, a hot bath can help soothe your frazzled feelings by promoting relaxation!
Try some Essential Oils
A number of essential oils like clary sage, lavender and marjoram can help relieve menstrual pain. Researchers have actually studied their pain-relieving effects! You can start by combining a few drops of the oils with an unscented cream or carrier oil. Massage some onto your lower belly and back. It can help to inhale their scents as well! Women who used essential oils were found to have a shorter duration of menstrual pain.
Though the last thing on your mind is exercise, doing a workout may help reduce the pain. Physical activity actually produces endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Aerobic exercises, stretching, and maybe some sports that you enjoy can help keep the pain at bay.
Try some Pain Meds!
If your cramps are killing you and the above methods don’t seem to help, you can take a safe, over-the-counter pain medication. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen (Read more about risks when using ibuprofen), or naproxen can help. You can also opt to take a liquid form or a capsule containing a liquid for more rapid relief.