Having menstrual cramps is a common occurrence in menstruating women. Painful menstruating is medically termed as Dysmenorrhea are experienced more by younger women. Symptoms usually reduce after pregnancy and with aging. Cramps can also be severe in some women and some may not experience them throughout their fertility periods. Painful menstrual cramps start a few days before menstruation and reduce within 1-2 days of the period. Painful menstruation does not require medical attention unless you suffer from endometriosis and the pain is severe to interrupt your daily activities.
Common Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps
Women go through different degrees of pain in the pelvic and abdominal area during periods. These pain start a few days or hours before the periods start and usually last for one or two days during the periods. Other symptoms like dizziness, nausea, low back pain, leg pain and vomiting may accompany menstrual cramps.
Causes of Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps result due to the release of the hormone prostaglandins, which helps in the contraction of uterus to shed the endometrial lining. Menstrual cramps are severe at a young age when the uterus starts functioning normally and recedes with aging.
Depression, anxiety and stress are other factors that can lead to painful menstruation. Secondary dysmenorrhea can arise due to cysts and fibroids in the uterus and ovaries and other inflammatory pelvic diseases.
Natural Remedies for Painful Menstruation
Painful menstrual cramps is a normal condition that can be reduced through the following natural remedies.
Hot Water Bottle
Using a hot water bottle or heating pad on your lower abdomen reduces the pain significantly. One can also apply hot compress with a padded cloth.
Drink Herbal Tea
Drinking chamomile is very helpful in reducing mental cramps. Add two teaspoons dried chamomile powder to a cup of boiling water. If you don’t have the powder, you can use chamomile tea bags instead. You can add sugar or honey for the taste. To have maximum benefits take the tea before the start of the menstrual cycle.
You can prepare ginger tea from ginger root for effectiveness in reducing menstrual cramps. Put a few pieces of ginger root in a cup and simmer for ten minutes. Strain the liquid and drink to relieve your menstrual cramps.
Food Rich in Calcium
Make sure you eat a diet rich in calcium, Vitamin B and magnesium. Calcium is highly beneficial in preventing cramps and toning the muscles. On the other hand, magnesium helps in calcium absorption. Food like salmon, vegetables, tofu, nuts and green vegetables are rich in magnesium.
To relieve painful menstruation, you can massage the back and lower abdomen. This enables the muscles to relax and blood flow easily. When getting a massage, try to incorporate soothing essential oils such as mint and lavender.
Exercise is known to help with menstrual cramps. Engaging in exercise increases the level of endorphins in your body which stimulates circulation especially in your lower abdomen. Try exercising regularly during the month before your period even starts.