Want to get rid of period cramps? You are not alone.
Many women experience menstrual cramps(dysmenorrhea) each month. These period pains usually occur in the lower abdomen. The cramps can be mild or severe. Having a severe menstrual cramp can interfere with your day to day activities.
Before we discuss how to stop menstrual cramps fast, It is very important to look at what causes these cramping pain in the first place.
types and Causes of Menstrual Cramps
There are two main types and causes of menstrual cramps known as the primary and secondary dysmenorrhea.
Primary Dysmenorrhea: This is the normal menstrual pain experienced by most women, in which it is caused by the normal contractions of the uterus to shed its lining. Pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen and lower back. Primary Dysmenorrhea isn't caused by any complicated medical condition or disorder.
Prostaglandin is a hormone-like substance, that causes the cramping feeling. So women who have higher levels of Prostaglandin feel more cramps.
Secondary Dysmenorrhea: This is an abnormal pain that is caused by a medical disorder in a woman's reproductive organ. Disorders such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, cervical stenosis polyps, uterine fibroids, Functional ovarian cysts, Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Cramps felt in a secondary dysmenorrhea are usually starts earlier than when normal cramps starts and also lasts longer than normal cramps.
Now that we know the causes and types of pain in mensuration. Let's take a look at how to get rid of them.
How to stop period pain
Here are the top remedies to get rid of painful period with or without using pills.
1. Have an Improved Diet
Studies has shown that taking a low fat diet helps to reduce inflammation or pain in every part of the human body. Decreasing the fat in your diet and increasing fibre(vegetables) would have a positive effect on your menstrual cycle and hormone productions.
According to a research in the British journal, there is a correlation between eating a low fat diet and reduced production of prostaglandins (the higher the production of prostaglandins, the more pain you feel).
In fact, In a research done and published in obstetrics and Gynaecology showed that women who take a low fat, vegan diet have a reduced period pain and cramps.
After changing your diet you should see a reduction in pain in one or 2 cycles.
What to Eat
- Eat Plenty whole grains: brown rice, whole-grain bread, oatmel
- Eat Plenty of Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard
- Eat Legumes such as Beans, Lentils and Peas
- Eat Plenty of Fruits
What not to eat
- Avoid animal products: fish, poultry, meat, diary
- Avoid vegetable oil such as cooking oils, salad dressing and margarine.
- Avoid foods with high fat content such as doughnut, French fries, potato chips, peanut butter.
- Sugar helps to amplify pain because it causes inflammation
Eliminate caffeine from your diet because caffeine constricts the blood vessel which would make period worse.
2. use Heating Pads
According to a study published in Evidence-Based Nursing in 2001, the small study showed that using heating pad to calm menses cramps is as effect as using a pain killer such as ibuprofen.
The study divided 84 women into 4 groups. Group 1 consisted of women who used both heating pad and 200 mg ibuprofen every 6 hours. Group 2 consisted of women who used non heated pad (Placebo) and ibuprofen. Group 3 consisted of who used heated pad and a placebo pain killer pill. The fourth group of women were given a placebo heated pad and a placebo painkiller.
The study was conducted for 2 days. The results showed that the group of women who used either heat pads alone or heat pads and ibuprofen or ibuprofen alone had significant reduction in cramps and pain. Women who used placebo heating pad and placebo painkiller showed no improvement.
In fact, women who used heat experienced a quicker pain relief when compared to women who used pain killer alone.
3. Drink Tea to calm period pain
There are some teas that have proven to help with cramps during menstruation.
Chamomile tea in particular has anti -inflammatory properties that helps to reduce the production if prostaglandins. Chamomile tea also helps calm nerves.
Other Teas that helps with menstrual cramps are:
- Raspberry leaf tea
- Cinnamon Tea
- Ginger Tea
Another great herbal remedy to reduce cramps is by having a tea bath.
Chamomile Tea and Ginger are excellent choices for bath tea to reduce cramps during mensuration.
4. Use a Pain Killer
Although popping a pain killer every time you experience a menses pain is not a good idea. You should aim to treat the root cause of the pain by changing your diet or using other natural remedies.
Non- Steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, naproxen or Aspirin would help reduce overall body cramps and pain.
They work by reducing the production of prostaglandin hormones.
5. Make Use of Oral Contraceptive
Oral contraceptives helps to prevent menstrual pain by suppressing ovulation and reducing the thickness of the uterine lining.
Birth control pills works by thinning the lining of the uterus where prostaglandins are produced. This reduces the uterine contraction, there by reducing the pain and cramping felt.
The downside of using oral contraceptive as a treatment to period cramps is that they cannot be used by women who are trying to get pregnant. It is commonly used among women who are not trying to conceive.
Benefits of using a Birth Control Pill
- It Regulates the menstrual period
- It reduces or eliminates menstrual cramps
- It is used to treat acne
- It is used in the treatment of PCOS
6. Do some exercise or get moving
Exercise helps to relieve cramps by increasing blood circulation which in turn helps to get rid of cramps.
Although it is advisable not to depend on exercise alone but a combination of remedies to get rid of menstrual pain.
7. Take Vitamins and Supplements
Researchers have found that women who take vitamins that is rich in calcium and magnesium are likely to have no or little pain during or before menstruation.
3 ways to get relieve period cramps at night
Having trouble sleeping because of period cramps?
Cramping can sure keep you restless at night.
Follow our recommendations on how to reduce this discomfort at night.
1 . Change your sleeping Position
The sleeping position you adopt at night can help ease your pain.
For example, sleeping face down is not recommended if you are on your period.
According to researches done on periods. The most recommended position to sleep while on your period is the fetal position. This is because sleeping in the fetal position takes the pressure off the muscles of your abdomen. In fact this position allows for the muscles around your abdomen to relax. Thereby relieving menstrual cramps. The lesser the tension the fewer the cramps.
2. Take Ibuprofen or Naproxen
Another way to stop pain during period from interfering with your sleep at night is by taking a pain killer. These pain killers work fast by reducing the pain felt at any location in your body. Including your lower abdominal cramps.
3. Showering or Bathing Before Bed
Taking a warm bath before bed will make you feel fresh and also help to relax the muscles in your body. Including the stomach and abdominal pain caused by your period.
To take this a little further, you can soak yourself in a bath filled with warm water and infusion of different herbs.
4. Sleep with a hot water bottle or heating pad
Hot water bottle or Heating pads are one of the most effective ways to ease cramps during period.
Sleep with a heating pad on your tummy.
How To Stop Period Cramps at School
If you get really bad cramps during your period. Staying at school can be very uncomfortable. You are also limited with the choices of ways you can relieve your cramps. For example you won't be able to lie down on your bed at school.
These are our top recommendations on what you should at school to ease you pain fast.
2. See your school Nurse: If you have severe cramps, you should seek help by booking an appointment with the nurse in your school. She will be able to check to see if these are abnormal or normal cramps.
top 10 DIY Home remedies to stop period pain without medicine(naturally)
These are the things you can do at home to make period cramps go away fast without medicine.
1. Drink Cinnamon Tea to ease menstrual cramps symptoms
2. Eat Raw or Cooked Ginger
3. Take Peppermint Tea to relax your muscles
4. Drink Chamomile Tea to reduce prostaglandins production and cramping
5. Add Basil to your Diet to reduce cramps fast
6. Use a hot water bottle or heating pad to apply heat to you lower abdomen or back to relieve pains and aches naturally
7. Add Parsley to carrot, cucumber and beetroot Juice to treat menstrual pains.
8. Exercise everyday to get rid of cramping pain.
9. Consume a high fiber and low fat diet.
10. Avoid Chemicals Found in Food and Households