Do you dread those 3 days of your menstrual cycle? Are those days spent in bed, consuming sweet sweet calories, trying to take your mind off the pain? A lot of women describe their period as ‘pure torture’. The reason is menstrual cramps.
We all are well aware of the intensity of menstrual cramps, so let’s talk about the most common causes of period pain.
What Causes Period/Menstrual Cramps?
Having a family history of painful periods can be the root cause of your menstrual pain. Ask your mother about her experience. If you have painful periods, chances are you have inherited it from your mother or grandmother.
Women who have an irregular menstrual cycle often suffer from period pain. These yoga asanas for irregular periods are effective in regulating the menstrual cycle. A regular menstrual cycle happens every 28 to 31 days and lasts 3 to 5 days. If this varies for you, it can be the cause of menstrual pain.
Girls who hit puberty before the age of 11 and women that are younger than 20 tend to have painful period cramps. At adolescence, the body starts growing and adapting to an adult physic. But girls who are 11 or younger have bodies that haven’t started this change. This can be a cause of pain during periods.
Smoking puts you at a higher risk for period pain than those who don’t. Like caffeine, nicotine causes uterine blood vessels to constrict resulting in pain.
V. Heavy Periods
Women who generally have heavy bleeding during menstruation are most likely to have painful periods. Menstrual cramps are caused by vaginal contractions when the blood flows out. During heavy periods, these contractions multiply and cause pain.
The cause, intensity, and occurrence of period pain differs from woman to woman. But there are some tips and tricks that work amazingly well to eliminate menstrual pain. Let’s check out some effective home remedies for period pain.
10 Effective Home Remedies For Period Pain Relief
1. Apply Heat
Grab a heating pad, jump into bed and snuggle under the covers. Applying heat to the abdomen and pelvic area is the perfect answer to how to reduce period pain. A hot bath helps as well. So next time your uterus is in pain, draw a hot bath and soak in that warm goodness.
If you don’t have an electric heating pad, a good old-fashioned hot water bottle works just as well. A DIY option is using beans or rice. Grab a thick sock, fill it with rice and microwave it for a few seconds.
2. Choose Food Wisely
Certain foods, during periods, can cause bloating and water retention. This results in awful menstrual cramps. So will choosing the right food aid in period pain relief? The answer is yes and here are some food items you need to avoid:
- Sugary food like chocolate, mithai, and cupcakes
- Fatty food like cheese, crackers
- Sodas and carbonated beverages
- Salty food like chips, kachori, pakora, and samosa
3. Herbal Remedy
How to reduce period pain fast? The answer is simple; by adding herbs to your diet can significantly lower period pain. The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic compounds in some herbs reduce menstrual pain effectively.
- Drink two cups of chamomile tea per day a week before your period.
- When your period starts, take 30 mg of fennel extract four times a day for three days.
- Consuming cinnamon for the first three days of your period helps with menstrual cramps
- Hot ginger tea relieves period pain instantly
Exercise is the answer to how to reduce menstrual pain instantly. Certain exercises done during the periods relieve period cramps. Walking, running or swimming; all these activities are safe to participate in during menstruation. Yoga, the gentler alternative, is effective as well. Exercise releases endorphins, the happy hormones, which in turn reduce menstrual pain.
We all love massages and would never turn down one. And getting a massage during your period is heavenly. It encourages blood flow, soothes tired and sore muscles, and relieves menstrual cramps. So next time Aunt Flo pays a visit, head to the spa for a relaxing massage. Or a simple 15-minute abdomen massage will do the trick when you can’t go to the spa.
Science suggests that having an orgasm during menstruation can relieve pain. And why would we deny this simple pleasure? Vaginal orgasms are great at decreasing pain perception as it involves the whole body. So a little ‘special me time’ during periods can be the solution for how to reduce menstrual pain instantly.
Say goodbye to bloating and eliminate period pain with one single thing, increased water intake. Since bloating makes your symptoms worse, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Put in a slice of lemon or add a few sprigs of mint (pudina) and see the results yourself. Avoid alcohol as it promotes dehydration.
A lack of vitamin D, calcium and magnesium has been linked to increased menstrual pain. Include food that is rich in these and take supplements. For magnesium; include almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, and black beans into your diet. Low-fat dairy products and salmon are a great source of calcium.
9. Over The Counter Medication
While all the above remedies help the majority of women when it comes to menstrual pain, a few of us need a little extra help. Since everybody is different and so is every period, it is important to have alternate solutions. Painkillers cut inflammation and definitely ease period pain.
Acupuncturists around the world claim that acupuncture relieves period pain. It relaxes the nervous system leading to healthy blood flow. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. So pins and needles to eliminate pain during menstruation is not a bad idea at all!
The Dos & Don’ts Of Menstrual Cramps
- Do consume smaller and frequent meals to keep your blood sugar level in check.
- Don’t indulge in salty and sugary food, even though you may crave them.
- Do light exercises to combat soreness.
- Don’t opt for a heavy workout that will wear you out.
- Do rest your body and let it menstruate in peace.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How often should one change their sanitary pad or tampon?
A. Every three to four hours is ideally the time to change your pad to maintain hygiene during periods. While tampons need to be changed every two hours. This time period depends on your individual lifestyle, routine, blood flow and comfort.
Q. Can taking a bath stop your period?
A. No, your period doesn’t stop while you shower or bathe. It simply stops flowing while you do so because of the water pressure. The water surrounding your vagina counteracts the force of gravity that causes blood flow. It’s no magic, just physics.
Q. Is PMS real?
A. Yes, PMS is not a myth. 8 out of 10 women experience PMS before their period arrives. These are hormonal changes that cause bloating and breast tenderness. Apart from the physical symptoms, women experience a number of psychological symptoms. These include mood swings, anxiety, irritability, and lowered self-esteem.
Q. Can I have sex while I am menstruating?
A. Yes, you absolutely can. Period sex can be messy but as long as you are okay with it all, go ahead. Remember to use protection. A lot of women are misinformed that one can’t get pregnant during periods. That is not true so don’t skip protection.
Q. Why can I feel period pain in areas other than the abdomen?
A. In most cases, menstrual pain is caused by uterine contractions. This causes abdomen pain. Along with that, the nervous system induces referred pain in areas like the lower back and pelvis.
Q. My period is unusually heavy, should I consult my OB/GYN?
A. Abnormal bleeding is a common issue for women. It usually affects younger women who have just started their period and women approaching menopause. Consulting your gynaecologist when you notice changes in your flow is always a good idea. Track your period, jot down details so that you will be able to know when something is ‘off’.