Do you have a painful period or cramps during period? You are not alone. About 50% of women experience cramping when they are mensurating.
Before I discuss the causes of period pain and treatments, Let me first explain what they are.
What are Menstrual Cramps?
Menstrual Cramps also known as dysmenorrhea are cramping pains in the lower abdomen that affect women before or during their period.
Your monthly period is part of your ovulatory cycle that happens monthly, when the uterus sheds its lining.
Pain during periods may may occur in the lower back or lower abdomen.
About 50% of women experience these pains and it decreases as you grow older.
Now, Let's take a closer look at what causes this abdominal pain.
What Causes painful periods?
1. Excessive Prostaglandins
During period, the uterus contracts to expel and shed its lining. AS the uterus contracts, hormone-like substances called prostaglandins are released.
The role of prostaglandins is to send pain signals to the brain. For example when you close your finger in between a door, chemical messengers called prostaglandins send pain signals to the brain.
Women with severe menstrual cramps are known to also have excessive amount of prostaglandins.
As the uterus contracts, pressure is applied on the nerves in the lining of the womb. This pressure cuts off the supply and flow of oxygen from the nerves. The loss of oxygen supply causes cramping pain.
Endometriosis is a painful medical condition, in which the lining of the uterus known as the endometrium, is found in other reproductive organs such as the fallopian tubes, ovary and the pelvic region.
Normally the uterus sheds its old lining each month. But in some cases, this uterus lining starts to extend and grow in other places.
Endometriosis, is a leading cause of infertility in women. Severe pelvic Pain during mensuration is one of the common symptoms of Endo.
Other symptoms of Endo are:
- Pain during and after sex
- Discomfort when urinating or during bowel movement
- Excessive Bleeding
- Serious pain during ovulation
3. uterine fibroid
Uterine Fibroids are muscular benign tumours that are found growing in the walls of the uterus. Most fibroids are non cancerous. However, they may cause serious pelvic pain, pressure and vaginal bleeding.
Women with fibroids, may experience pain during their period more.
Symptoms of uterine Fibroids are:
- Heavy periods or painful periods
- Lower Back cramp
- Cramps during and after sex
- Frequent Urination
Adenomyosis is a female medical condition, in which the inner lining of the uterus known as endometrium, breaks through the muscle of the uterus walls (myometrium).
Symptoms of Adenomyosis are:
- Long and Heavy Menstrual Periods
- Painful Menstrual cramps
- Bloating and abdominal pain
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory disease(PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs such as fallopian tubes, Ovaries, upper genital tract and Pelvic.
Symptoms of PID are mild and some women may not even know they have it.
Symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease are:
- Heavy and Periods that are painful
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Pain when peeing
6. Cervical Stenosis
Cervical Stenosis is a condition in which the passage of the cervix is narrow than usual.
Some women are born with narrow cervix passage. In fact, the entrance of the cervix may be so narrow it is difficult for sperm to enter.
Cervical Stenosis it may also develop as a result of a disorder.
Symptoms of Cervical Stenosis are:
- Dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain)
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Absence of Period
How To STop STOMACHE PAIN DURING PERIODS?
1. Take Calcium and Magnesium Supplements
Deficiency in magnesium and calcium can be linked to many health issues in women. Issues such as cramping, fatigue, preeclampsia, depression, bone disorder to mention a few.
Magnesium supplements can help reduce Premenstrual Syndrome and cramps before and during period.
Also a deficiency in calcium may lead to PMS. Calcuim consist of enzymes that hep with blood clot and osteoporosis in women.
According to a research conducted on a group of ten women, for a period of 169 days. The result of the study showed that increasing calcium intake reduced mood, reduced pain during period or menstrual cycle.
2. EAT More Green Vegetables and Fruits
If you are not a fan of supplements, consuming green vegetables can help get rid of your cramps and also prevent bloating during periods.
Eating fruits such as bananas, Avocado, pumpkin seeds, dark leafy vegetables are great for alleviating period pains.
Other foods good for treating cramps are:
- Black Beans
- Dark chocolate
If suffering from bloating, Eat celery. Celery has lots of water content and no calories. Which makes it a perfect food to eat to get rid of bloating.
3. REduce Your SUgar intake
Sugar and sugary foods is one of the things you want to avoid in order to stop period cramps.
Although, some women crave sugary food during their period. It is important to resist this temptation.
Sugar increases any form of pain in the body. Some foods can leave you lethargic, bloated and even worse.
Instead of opting for sugar, use honey instead. Stay away from soda and sugary fizzy drinks.
4. Drink Tea daily
It has been discovered through research that herbal teas such as Chamomile, can help relax nerves and as well as sooth pains during menses.
Why not try a chamomile tree, when next you suffer from pain before or during your period.
The two main ingredients, that makes it a perfect choice to relieve period pain are:
- Hippurate: helps fight infection
- Glycine: Helps reduce muscle spasms and ease of cramps
These two ingredients makes it a great choice of tea to eliminate cramps.
5. Reduce Your Alcohol intake
Avoid drinking too much alcohol in your menstrual cycle. Alcohol is diuretic and may cause water retention. feeling bloated during menses may lead to cramps in the stomach or lower abdomen.
IS PAIN DURING PERIOD A GOOD OR A BAD THING?
Pain and cramping during period is normal and expected. Remember these cramps happen when the uterus contracts to expel its lining.
Although, some women do not experience this cramps at all. And that is ok as well.
We are all different, so also is our level of prostaglandin. Women with higher level of prostaglandins experience more pain.
However, if you have severe or bad menstrual cramps during your period that is unbearable or abnormal. See a doctor or health care provider.
A terrible or painful cramp may mean a more serious medical condition such as endometriosis, fibroid, PID.