Menstrual cramps, also called period pains or dysmenorrhea, refer to pain sensations that a woman feels in the lower abdomen. This may take placed either before or during her menstrual period. Since the pain varies from mild to severe, it may also interfere with the person’s activities of daily living, and it can also affect the person’s mood. The following are the causes, symptoms, and home remedies for menstrual cramps
Menstrual cramps have several causes. According to Mayo Clinic, these include endometriosis, in which the tissue that lines the uterus becomes displaced outside the uterus, usually on the fallopian tubes; uterine fibroids or noncancerous growths in the uterine wall; adenomyosis, a condition in which the tissue line of the uterus grows into the uterine walls; pelvic inflammatory disease or the infection of the female reproductive organs causes by sexually transmitted bacteria; and cervical stenosis, a condition characterized by a small cervical opening, which impedes menstrual flow and creates a painful increase of uterine pressure.
Signs and Symptoms
Aside from abdominal pain, menstrual cramps are associated with several symptoms. According to EMedicine Health, these include leg pain, lower back pain, hip pain, vomiting, nausea, bloating, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, irritability, and fainting spells. As per the publication, medical consult is advised if the cramps and pain persist than usual, if the pain becomes suddenly worse or different from previous episodes, if excessive bleeding is present, if signs of infection live fever, body aches, and chills take place during the period, if the cramps start for the first time in a female more than 25 years of age, and suspects of being pregnant.
While pain medications are present for menstrual cramps management, home remedies can also be used or done to relieve the pain.
Heat therapy is one of the known remedies for menstrual cramps, since the uterine muscles experience reduced oxygen supply in menstrual cramps. According to Medical Daily, the application of heat allows the contracting muscles in the uterus to relax, which reduces the pain. In physiology, this relaxation of the muscles promote blood supply to the uterine tissues, increase oxygen supply, and reduce ischemia; thus, reducing the pain. As per the publication, over-the-counter healing patches and pads are available, such as Bengay, ThermaCare, and reusable patches. As an alternative, the person may use a regular plastic bottle with hot water, wrapped with a cloth, and is then applied on the abdomen. Wrapping the bottle with cloth prevents burn on the abdominal area.
Diet also plays a role in the reduction of pain from menstrual cramps. According to UCLA Health ob/gyn and professor Aldo Palmieri, as cited by Everyday Health, reduction of fat and increase in vegetables in the diet helps alleviate a woman’s monthly cramps. As per the expert, a low-fat diet actually decreased the levels of inflammation in the body.This can be done by increase the intake of fish and chicken meat, instead of pork and beef. Also, the person can eat more fruits, and vegetables, than food choices like burger and chips. In other words, a balanced meal is also essential in the reduction of pain secondary to the condition.
A common ingredient in pastries, cinnamon stands as one of the known remedies for menstrual cramps. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, it has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, which help relieve the pain. As per the publication, the person prepares the tea by stirring cinnamon powder in hot water. Then, he allows it to stay for five minutes. Next, honey is added and then allowed to slowly. The person drinks two to three cups of tea a day or two prior to the start of the period to prevent the cramps.
Menstrual cramps stand as a painful condition for women, affecting their daily activities and social life. Thus, medical consult may be done for proper assessment, planning, intervention, health education, and evaluation.