Effective Ways To Stop Pain From Periods | Causes

periods pain relief

Introduction

Period pains or menstrual cramps is pain experienced during the days of the menstrual cycle when bleeding takes place. The abdominal area is the most affected, with throbbing and cramping experienced in and around the uterus.

The extent of pain for each woman might be quite different. The intensity may range from being a source of slight discomfort, to completely disrupting the flow of daily activities.

Causes of Period Pain

There are mostly two types of period pains, primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. While secondary dysmenorrhea takes place in the latter part of life, when the woman enters the age nearing menopause, the primary one is prevalent in adolescence and after the age of 20.

Any other underlying condition does not cause primary dysmenorrhea. It solely occurs due to the overproduction of prostaglandins by the uterus. This chemical is responsible for the tightening and relaxing of the organ, which in turn causes the cramps.

The bleeding occurs because of the uterus shedding its protective lining that it has built up during the process of the cycle. This shedding of blood tissues can also be one of the causes of extreme pain in the lower abdominal region.

Signs of Period Pain

There can be some symptoms that signal the oncoming of menstrual cramps before or during the bleeding phase arrives. Some of them are:

  1. Sore or swollen breasts
  2. Dull ache in the lower back
  3. Nausea or signs of diarrhea
  4. Bloating
  5. Pain radiating from the abdomen to the thighs and pelvic joints
  6. Continuous cramping of the uterus
  7. Headache and dizziness
  8. Mood swings, with or without a cold sweat

Treatments

While the pain usually lasts only on the first days of the bleeding cycle, it can severely impact day-to-day activities and elevate stress. Many women share accounts of complicated cramping, which are too painful to sit through.

There are numerous solutions for easing the pain and providing some relief. These may also count as methods to provide comfort for the symptoms associated with it.

Home Remedies

1. Heat

Using a hot water bottle, a heating pad or a towel soaked in warm water on the lower abdomen can help provide comfort from the pain temporarily. Heat relaxes the aching uterus muscles and increases the blood flow for quicker regeneration of tissues.

2. Exercising

During days of lighter menstrual bleeding, exercise can help to do away with bloating and improve the blood circulation in the lower body. The feel-good hormones, called endorphins, are also released in the brain, which uplifts the mood and alleviates the pain. 

Some recommended activities for dealing with dysmenorrhea are yoga, brisk walking, and other easy aerobic exercises.

3. Hydration

Periods may leave the body a bit dehydrated, which promotes the bloating and muscle ache all over the lower body.

Many women are also susceptible to cravings during this period, which includes sugary, salty, or fatty foods. It is essential to increase the intake of water so that the body remains comparatively safer from the side-effects of such foods. The side effects being mainly fluid retention or digestive problems.

4. Complementary Therapies

Acupuncture, or massages with essential oils for at least 20 minutes, relax the muscles and ease the cramps. 

There are specific points present on the lower body, which should be the focus of the massage or acupuncture. The aim is to apply pressure in those areas, while massaging using essential oils used for aromatherapy. These include lavender, sage, and sweet almond oil.

5. Herbs

There are uncountable medicinal properties in ordinary cooking ingredients and other routine ingredients in a healthy diet. These contain anti-inflammatory and antispastic properties, which aid in reducing menstrual cramps.

Chamomile Tea:

Sipping chamomile tea at least two times a day before or during your period can lessen the intensity of the oncoming cramps. It has proven to increase the urinary levels of glycine, a form of nerve relaxant, which relieves muscle spasms. 

Fennel seeds:

Fennel seeds, extracts, or oils should be consumed in minimal amounts, at around 4 times a day. It’s lessens the muscle pain when the cramps ensue. The herb inhibits uterine contractions, by countering the overproduction of prostaglandins.

Cinnamon:

A spice easily found in many kitchens, cinnamon is one of the few remedies which pose no side effects when consumed regularly. Administering cinnamon capsules thrice a day, or adding it to daily meals results in reduced menstrual bleeding, pain, and minimal chances of vomiting.

Ginger:

Ginger is an effective alternative to taking painkillers and other medications, in terms of doing away with the cramps. It can be grated into teas and other warm drinks, or used as one of the main ingredients in soups and other comfort food.

Medication

Over-the-counter solutions for menstrual cramps are readily available. They act as a quick means of controlling the symptoms and overall pain altogether. These can be in the forms of:

1. Painkillers

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or simply painkillers aid in reducing the overall pain, which comes along with the cramps. Regular doses should be taken when the symptoms of menstrual cramps start showing up. Some common painkillers are:

  1. Ibuprofen: Contained in Advil, Motrin IB, and others
  2. Naproxen sodium: Contained in Aleve
  3. Celebrex: Contained in Celecoxib
  4. Period pain pills: Composed mainly of naproxen

It is important to note that these medicines should not be taken in large doses unless directed so by the doctor. This is because it is easy to develop a dependency on them. Painkillers can also cause stomach irritations, thus it is best to consume them along with food.

2. Oral contraceptives

Birth control pills have another significant use besides preventing pregnancy. They are also effective in relieving menstrual cramps. 

A doctor may prescribe pills that have more progestogen. This hormone prevents the overproduction of prostaglandins, thus reducing the contractions and cramping of the uterus. 

The tablets also surpass ovulation, which prevents any related cramping. Any birth control combination pills available in the market can be utilized for this.

3. Intrauterine Devices (IUD)

Commonly associated with contraception, these are also one of the most successful treatments for uterus pain. One such component can last up to 5 years.

It contains a progestogen medication, which is slowly released within the uterus over time. This makes the bleeding much lighter and the cramps become more manageable.

The only drawback of this method is that within a few weeks of its use, there would be irregular periods and cramping pains. However, this is normal and would cease to exist over the oncoming months. 

Conclusion

The above-stated ways are competent enough to control period-related cramping and its associated symptoms. But if they continue becoming worse, are accompanied by fever, or are experienced even when there is no bleeding, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.