Menstrual cramps happen because of contractions in the uterus, or womb, which is a muscle. If it contracts too strongly during your menstrual cycle, it can press against nearby blood vessels. This briefly cuts off the supply of oxygen to the uterus. It is this lack of oxygen that causes your pain and cramping. Menstrual cramping is one of the most common and annoying part of period.
Below are few tips that can reduce menstrual cramps:
1. TAKE OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen or naproxen are the first-line medicines for painful menstrual cramping. NSAIDs work by blocking the contractions that cause cramps. Ibuprofen is the most common of the two. You can take 400-600 mg of ibuprofen every 4-6 hours or 800 mg every 8 hours with a maximum dose of 2400 mg daily.
TRY BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
Birth control pills are an oral hormonal birth control that you take daily. Because you control when they are taken, they are easily stopped. They are widely used, readily available, and relatively inexpensive. However, they can be annoying because they must be taken daily at the same time.
TRY HORMONAL INJECTIONS
If you don’t like any other options, you might consider taking a hormonal injection. They are more convenient because they are given only every 3 months, but they must be injected every time. However, they have worse side effects than the other options. You may stop having periods and can continue to be infertile for up to one year after stopping.This option may result in weight gain.
Get a hormonal birth control implant. Implants are more permanent options for menstrual cramp control. Once they are implanted, they last for 3-5 years. Despite their longevity, they are easily reversible once you remove the implant. The insertion process can also be quite painful, though you only have to do it once every few years. The implants can cause regular bleeding.
TRY HEAT SOLUTION
One of the most common and easiest therapy for reducing cramps is to use heat. Heat can be just as or more effective than over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The heat aids in relaxing the contracting muscles that cause cramps. You should apply heat to your lower abdomen. You can also apply it to your lower back. Try a heating pad or a heat patch.
MASSAGE YOUR ABDOMEN AND LOWER BACK GENTLY
Sometimes, it helps to put gentle pressure on the affected areas. Lie down and prop your feet up. From your reclined position, gently massage your lower back and abdomen. Make sure you don’t press too hard. You don’t want to cause more pain instead of relief. This can help relax the muscles and relieve the pain.
Research has shown that certain vitamin and nutritional supplements can help lessen menstrual cramps when taken daily. The mechanisms for this are not well understood, but the many dietary supplements have been shown to reduce cramping. Take 500U of Vitamin E, 100 mg of Vitamin B1, 200 mg of Vitamin B6, and a doctor approved level of Vitamin D3 daily.
CHANGE YOUR DIET
One study showed that a diet low in fat and rich in vegetables helps decrease menstrual pain. You should eat green, leafy vegetables, which are rich in Vitamins A, C, E, B, K and folates. Much like with the supplements, these vitamins and minerals can help menstrual pain. These foods can also help prevent anemia from menstrual bleeding by providing nutrients necessary to create new red blood cells.
Different varieties of teas may help to soothe cramps. Make sure when choosing a tea variety that you choose decaffeinated versions so you don’t cancel out the soothing effects of the tea by increasing cramps with the caffeine. Raspberry, chamomile, and ginger tea may have anti-inflammatory capabilities to help relieve cramping.
Exercise can help relieve menstrual symptoms in general, include cramping. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural pain relievers. Endorphins also help counteract the prostaglandins in your body that cause contractions and pain. Because of this, physical activity may help relieve cramps. Try different kinds of aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, kayaking, hiking, or a class at the gym.
INCREASE YOUR SEXUAL ACTIVITY
Some women experience relief from menstrual cramping with orgasm. The reason behind this is not well understood, but may have something to do with endorphins released during sexual arousal. Much like with exercise, the endorphins released during orgasm can help relieve the menstrual cramps and inflammation.
See a doctor. If your cramps are more severe than usual, feel unusual for you, and if the timing or location of the cramps is different, you should contact your doctor. You should also consult your doctor if your cramps last more than 2-3 days. It is possible that you cramping may secondary dysmenorrhea, which is a more severe version of menstrual cramps that are usually caused by an underlying disease or disorder.