Menstruation, also known as a period, is when every female undergoes and is the reproduction stage. Periods occur when the uterus sheds off the endometrium lining every month when the uterus doesn't get sperm for ovulation. This stage usually lasts for 5-7 days each month and repeats after 28 days, and varies from woman to woman.
This stage can sometimes be excruciating for females causing hindrance to accomplish their daily chores. Painful menstruation, also called dysmenorrhea, is of two types, primary and secondary. The painful period has various sorts of causes.
● Causes of period pain
PMS, known as premenstrual syndrome, is known to affect about 90% of menstruating females. It is known that this syndrome occurs due to low levels of progesterone and estrogen before the beginning of the menstrual cycle. PMS includes multiple symptoms such as pain, fatigue, irritability, and cramps.
PMDD, also known as a premenstrual dysphoric disorder, affects about 5% of menstruating females. Research has found that this disorder is caused by high-stress levels and depression, causing intense and painful cramps during the cycle.
Fibroids, commonly called uterine fibroids, are small benign growths that develop in the uterine lining in some cases and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Researches have proved that fibroids sometimes cause heavy bleeding and painful menstrual cramps in women and usually appear during childbearing years and shrink off automatically after menopause.
➢ Ovarian cysts
Ovarian cysts are the harmless sac of fluids that develop inside the ovaries in some females due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Usually, a single cyst is produced each month in every female, which sloughs off naturally. Still, there are significant and multiple cysts causing complications and PCOS in some females, making the menstrual cycle a painful one.
➢ Pelvic inflammatory disease
The infection of the uterus and ovaries is known as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It is known to occur due to the transfer of bacteria from sexually transmitted infection or sometimes through surgery. This disease sometimes causes painful cramps in the menstrual cycle.
Endometriosis is a condition when the uterus lining grows outside the uterus. When the body wants to shed off the lining during the menstrual cycle, the endometrium growing outside the uterus finds no place to shed off and eventually causes heavy bleeding, inflammation, and painful cramps.
● METHODS TO REDUCE PERIOD PAIN
Period pain, which most women face during their reproductive period, can be cured and reduced by using some home remedies and medical treatment in severe pain or when home remedies don't work well.
1. HOME REMEDIES
➔ Drinking water and herbal teas
Drinking lukewarm water is known to reduce menstrual cramps and bloat, which is the leading cause of cramps. Hot water relaxes the muscles and lessens uterine cramps. In the same way, herbal teas like fennel, chamomile, and ginger tea have many anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, which help in relieving uterine cramps and contraction pain.
➔ Consuming good food and skipping treats
Consuming good food during a menstrual cycle means intake of anti-inflammatory based foods such as citrus fruits, spices holding the anti-inflammatory properties like turmeric, black pepper, and garlic, leafy green vegetables providing folate and vitamin K, and fatty fish like salmon rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are highly recommended. Green vegetables and fruits are known to reduce the oxidation of cells in the body, reducing inflammation in the body, reducing cramps and muscle spasms.
In the same way, the consumption of cheat meals and fast food like meals rich in trans and saturated fat like bakery items, burgers, pizza are known to make menstrual cramps worse. Foods high in calories and low in nutrients are detrimental to overall health and cause the oxidation of cells, increasing inflammation, increasing muscle spasms, and uterine contractions. So, avoid such foods during the menstrual cycle to reduce pain.
➔ De-decaffeination and applying heat
It is a myth that drinking hot tea and coffee provides comfort during painful periods, but researches have shown that caffeine causes the uterus to contract and worsens the cramps. Caffeine is high in tannins, and fixed oil increases agitation, heartburn, and bloating in the body when consumed in excess—bloating further plays a role in increasing cramps during the period cycle. Consuming a high-protein diet and applying heat through heating pads can help to reduce cramps. Hot shower baths also provide calmness and soothe the body, lowering cramps during painful periods.
➔ Exercise and reduce stress
Stretching, exercising, and meditating increase endorphins release, making the mood fresh and happier, eventually reducing painful cramps. In the same way, meditation and exercise reduce stress and depression, which further reduces uterine contractions and painful kinks and inflammation. Many yoga postures are also available, which can be adopted to relieve menstrual cramps and help deal with such pain.
➔ Intake of dietary supplements
Consuming dietary supplements like vitamins and mineral supplements has also proven to reduce period pain and associated symptoms. Supplements like vitamin A, vitamin K, folic acid, B12, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and zinc supplements are helpful when their intake is not fulfilled through diet. Iron and vitamin B12 supplements help to compensate for the loss of blood during the menstrual cycle.
2. MEDICAL TREATMENT
If there are never-ending painful cramps or cramps due to SID or PID, it is advisable to approach a doctor for treatment. A doctor may prescribe certain medications to reduce the symptoms of painful periods:
● Nonsteroidal drugs or certain pain relievers have shown fruitful results in reducing period cramps.
● Intake of antidepressants, when prescribed by a doctor, is known to reduce mood swings associated with periods, eventually reducing cramps and other painful actions.
● Surgical options are also available when nothing treats well and includes specific surgical options such as removing fibroids and endometriosis implants outside the uterus. Hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus, is also a surgical treatment that removes the uterus forever, after which a woman cannot bear a child. A woman can adopt this method at the end of her childbearing years.
These are some of the beneficial tips to reduce period pain, maintaining proper hygiene is a must in this condition. So, we hope this blog post has helped you in gaining some knowledge and you will apply that in your life.