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  • Writer's pictureGrace Health

Period Cramps: Home Remedies For Relief

We can all agree that pre-menstrual symptoms are the worst and some of the most uncomfortable, especially if you experience multiple symptoms at once. The most common PMS symptoms include bloating, headaches, tender breasts, fatigue, mood changes, food cravings, and insomnia among others. But there’s one symptom which brought you to this article, cramps. Just that one symptom can make you dread your monthly period. Fortunately, you don’t have to keep on suffering we are here to explain why we get menstrual cramps and help you find some period pain relief.



What causes menstrual cramps?

During your period, the muscles of your womb contract and relax to help shed the built-up lining. When the wall of the womb contracts, it compresses the blood vessels lining your womb. This temporarily cuts off the blood and oxygen supply to your womb. Without oxygen, the tissues in your womb release chemicals that trigger pain. Apart from pain, it releases prostaglandins. These encourage the womb muscles to contract more, increasing the pain level. Those who have more period pain than others have a build-up of prostaglandins, which means they experience stronger contractions.

There are plenty of home remedies that can help relieve period cramps. Such as:


1. Applying heat to the abdomen

Placing a hot water bottle or a heating pad against the abdomen can relax the muscles and relieve cramps. How does heat help? The heat helps the uterine muscle and those around it relax, which may ease cramping and discomfort. You could also opt to place a heating pad on the lower back to get rid of back pain. If you don’t have a hot water bottle? Another option is to soak in a warm bath, which can help relax the abdomen, back, and leg muscles.


2. Taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications

This a go-to remedy for many women worldwide because it offers fast relief. The primary over-the-counter (OTC) form of pain relief recommended for menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding is Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They include ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) and help lower your body’s production of prostaglandin.


3. Try some exercise

We know that exercise might be the last thing that you want to do when you have period cramps but gentle stretching, going for a walk, or doing yoga may help. Exercise also releases endorphins, which are nature’s natural pain relievers. It may also eliminate or reduce the need for pain-relief medication.


4. Massage the abdomen

Getting a massage or performing a self-massage over the abdomen can also relax the pelvic muscles and alleviate cramping. Adding essential oils for an aromatherapy style of massage may have additional benefits. Try adding a few drops of rosemary, roman chamomile, clary sage or peppermint for an effective abdominal self-massage.


5. Make dietary changes

Changes to the diet may reduce menstrual cramping. First and foremost, increasing fluid intake will help the body stay hydrated. Dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps. Herbal teas are warm and soothing, and in some cases, can help with period cramps. To provide relief, you can try specific teas, such as chamomile, dandelion, red raspberry, and fennel teas. As always, eating a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and whole grains helps the body stay healthy.


6. Avoid eating certain foods

Along with dietary changes, it is also advisable to avoid certain foods during your period These foods are responsible for causing water retention and bloating that make you even more uncomfortable:

  • salty foods

  • fatty foods

  • caffeine

  • carbonated beverages

Instead, try soothing (caffeine-free) ginger, mint teas, or hot water flavoured with lemon. If you need a sugar fix, snack on fruits such as strawberries or raspberries.


7. Have an orgasm

An orgasm may help alleviate menstrual cramps. Vaginal orgasms involve your whole body. It can trigger your brain to release endorphins and oxytocin. Endorphins can decrease pain perception. So the next time you are having period cramps and an orgasm is an option for you, take it! You can learn all about female orgasms here!


When to see a doctor

You can speak to a doctor if home remedies do not help or if you are experiencing severe cramps coupled with heavy bleeding. A few other reasons to see a doctor include:

  • the pain consistently prevents you from doing day-to-day activities

  • the pain worsens or the bleeding gets heavier over time

  • you’re over 25 and severe cramps are a new development

  • OTC medication doesn’t work


Summary

Menstrual cramps are a common symptom both before and during your period. In most cases, it’s normal to have period cramps but when the pain is so severe and you tried a bunch of home remedies and still have no relief it is advisable to seek medical attention as it could be something serious.

Stay informed, stay in control How do you get relief from period cramps?



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