Most of us have experienced menstrual cramps at one time or another. For some women menstrual cramps are crippling, while others experience only some uneasiness during their period.
Severe menstrual cramps occur in young women who have just begun their menstrual cycles and often becomes less severe after a woman has given birth or when she reaches her mid-twenties. Sometimes menstrual cramps are caused by other conditions such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors, pelvic adhesions, and ovarian cysts or by the use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control.
Menstrual cramps are thought to be related to a naturally occurring substance, which causes the uterus to contract. If a woman does not ovulate it is unlikely that she will encounter cramps during her period, for this reason doctors often prescribe oral contraceptives to ease painful periods. There are ways however to ease the pain of the monthly nightmare without having to go to a doctor. If the pain is too severe and prevents you from getting on with your daily routine, it’s best to see a doctor.
Here are some ways to help you:
- Non-prescription painkillers such as ibuprofen used around the clock as soon as you notice the first sign of your period help to reduce the severity of cramps in many women.
- Even though you don’t feel like moving at the time of your period, force yourself to get active, it often reduces cramps in most women.
- Supplementing your diet with zinc and calcium has been found to reduce cramps, bloating, and related PMS symptoms.
- Herbal remedies help stop the spasms and the effect may reduce some menstrual cramps. Useful herbs include unicorn root, evening primrose oil, and camomile.
- Try taking a warm bath and using aromatherapy.
- Put a hot water bottle to your stomach. If you don’t have one, fill a regular bottle with warm water, wrap it in a towel and place it on your abdomen or lower back to relieve pain.
- Taking time for yourself, relaxing, and letting those around you know that you are not feeling yourself will help by reducing the stress of your everyday life that may contribute to your menstrual cramps.