How to stop period pain or cramps is a common question women ask.
It is normal for women to have cramps during mensuration, but severe or bad menstrual cramps may be as a result of excessive prostaglandins or more serious condition such as pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.
What DOES Period cramps MEAN?
Period cramps are mild or painful sensations that affects women before or during their mensuration. They are also known as dysmenorrhea or menstruation pain
When you menstruate, you are basically shedding your endometrial lining. Endometrial lining is the lining of your uterus(womb).
For the endometrial lining to shed, the muscles of the uterus would need to contract. During contraction the muscles of the uterus relaxes and tightens to expel the blood and tissues.
The tightening and relaxing of the muscles presses hard on blood vessels that transport blood and oxygen to the womb.
These blood vessels are found on the walls of the uterus. The compression of the blood vessels reduces the flow of oxygen and blood to the uterus(blood) thereby causing pain.
The body also releases hormone-like chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins communicates pain to the brain.Prostaglandins is what makes us feel pain.
The more the prostaglandins produced by the body, the more pain and cramps you feel.
This means women with release more prostaglandins have more cramps and pain than women who release less prostaglandins.
When does menstrual cramps start?
Abdominal cramping can start as early as 1-2 days before period starts.
There are 2 types of dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain):
Primary Dysmenorrhea: This is the most common and normal type of menstrual pain. It is not caused by any medical problems. Primary dysmenorrhea begins within a year after the first period(menarche).
Secondary Dysmenorrhea: This is a type of cramp that is caused by a more serious medical condition such as endometriosis, uterine adenomyosis, uterine fibroids.
what CAUSES menstrual Pains
Let's take a look at what causes normal pain and severe bad cramps before or during periods.
3. Uterine Adenomyosis
4. Uterine Fibroids
5. Cervical Stenosis
6. Endometrial Polyps
7. Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases
Primary dysmenorrhea can be treated without the need of going to see a doctor.
But if you have a severe or bad menstrual cramp, It is advisable you see a doctor to check it there is a serious underlying condition causing the pain.
The doctor may perform a pelvic examination. And also carry out a blood or urine test.
Medications are prescribed to you based on the cause of your pain.
Primary dysmenorrhea can be treated with anti-prostaglandins. Over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium are use in treating normal menstrual pain.
Some doctor's also make use of hormone medications and oral contraceptives to treat primary dysmenorrhea.
Women who still experience pains after 3 months of using NSAID's and hormonal contraceptives may have a more serious pelvic abnormalities or disease.
Secondary dysmenorrhea, will be treated based on the cause of the lower abdominal pain. For example, a surgery may be done to remove fibroid or to widen the cervical canal.
Home Remedies to relief menstrual cramps
Popping painkiller is not the only way you can stop cramps. Other home remedies and natural ways work to eliminate or to ease the cramps.
Here are ways you can stop cramps fast without medicine.
Ginger is widely used because of its numerous health benefits. It is not only a spice used in cooking but also an herb(medicine). It is used in treating pain during menses by lowering the level of prostaglandins which is used in causing the pain.
According to a study conducted on 150 students of 18 years and above with primary dysmenorrhea. The women were separated in 3 groups:
Group 1: Received 250mg of ginger powder 4 times daily.
Group 2:Received 250 mg of mefenamic acid capsules 4 times a day
Group 3: Received 400mg of ibuprofen capsule 4 times a day.
They all started the medications on the first day of their menses.
The result: At the end of the study, women who took ginger became pain free in comparison to the women who took ibuprofen of mefenamic.
- Boil 2 tables spoons of ginger root powder with water for 5 mins to make ginger tea.
- Add honey if you wish to sweeten or lemon.
Women now make use of heating pads to ease cramps . Heats pads works by radiating heat through the skin to the source of the pain relaxing the sore muscles of the uterus. This helps to reduce any pain that you are feeling around your lower abdomen.
- Apply the heat pad or hot water bottle to your lower abdomen. The area where you feel the pain.
- Lie down and relax. The pain will start reducing gradually.
- If using a hot water bottle, remember to wrap the hot water bottle with a clean cloth to avoid getting burnt.
Basil is a natural pain killer herb because it contains caffeic acid. Caffeic acid is a major component of Chinese medicine.
It contains pain killing properties that can make mensuration pain go away.
- Add a teaspoon of basil leaves to a hot boiling water
- Allow the tea to cool down to room temperature then sip
- Drink this when you feel the cramping.
How to relief menstrual pain instantly
Looking for ways to relief your menstruation cramps in minutes look no further
- Take a glass of warm water to avoid dehydration. your cramps is more likely to be severe if you are dehydrated.
- Make some ginger tea, by boiling some slices of ginger in water. Drink anytime you feel the pain.
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle(wrapped) on your lower abdomen, where you feel the pain.
- Drink more hot liquid to help with your flow of blood and relax your muscles.
- Drink green tea or herbal tea 4 times a day or anytime you feel the pain.
- Take magnesium and calcium supplements regularly.
- Avoid drinks that cause irritation of the stomache such as caffeinated drinks or fizzy drinks.
- Take a hot shower or bath
How To Stop period cramps at school
Having cramps in school or at a gathering can make you loose focus.
Here are the tips to deal with cramps when you are in school or not at home:
- Go and see your school nurse, who will be able to prescribe pain-killing medication for you.
- Have some chamomile tea to ease the cramp.
- If you have access to a shower take a hot bathe. Hot water helps.
- Take NSAID like ibuprofen for immediate pain relief
Can you stop pain during period forever?
when the muscles of your uterus contracts or tightens it causes the flow of blood to be constricted. Them in turn causes cramps.
Period cramp is normal but excessive or severe cramp that is unbearable may be a serious health condition.