Why do menstrual cramps happen?
During your menstruation, it is common to feel discomfort around your abdomen, thighs, and lower back. When you have your period, the muscles in your womb contract and relax to help shed built-up lining. Sometimes you’ll experience cramps that cause severe pain, which indicates that your muscles are at work. Some women and girls may experience headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea.
Some factors that are associated with painful menstruation include:
- being under the age of 20, or just starting your period
- having your first child
- having a heavy blood flow
- having an overproduction of or sensitivity to prostaglandins, a hormone that influences your womb
Other factors include the use of birth control, growths in your womb, and endometriosis (abnormal uterine tissue growth).
Here Are Some Of The Tips For Your Mild To Temporary Cramps
Applying heat on your abdomen and lower back may relieve pain. You can take a warm bath or use a hot towel if you don’t have a hot water bottle or heating pad.
How To Make Your Own Heating Pad:
Cut and sew together two pieces of fabric, leaving a hole at the top. Fill with uncooked rice and sew up the hole. Microwave for a few minutes to the desired temperature. Let cool, if necessary. Or wrap your homemade pad in a towel to reduce heat transfer. Reuse as necessary.
Massaging With Essential Oils
Massage therapy for menstruation involves pressing specific points while the therapist’s hands move around your abdomen, side, and back. A 20-minute massage therapy can help reduce menstrual pain.
You may obtain additional benefits if you added essential oils for an aromatherapy style of massage. You can simply buy a scented massage oil or make your own.
Make sure to always dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil (vegetable or nut oils like sweet almond or grapeseed oil. For a safe concentration, it should be one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
Try Some Herbs
The following herbal remedies have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory compounds which according to experts can reduce the muscle contractions and swelling, associated with menstrual pain.
Ginger – Try grating a small piece of ginger into hot water for a warm cramp-relieving drink.
Fennel Seeds – When your period starts, take 30 mg of fennel extract four times a day for three days.
Chamomile Tea – Sip two cups of tea per day a week before your period. You may benefit more if you drink it every month.
Cinnamon – Take 420 mg of cinnamon capsules twice a day during the first three days of your period.
Avoid These Foods
If you are having your period, it would be a better idea if you avoid foods that cause bloating and water retention. Some of these foods are:
- Fatty foods
- Salty foods
- Carbonated beverages
By avoiding these foods, you can alleviate cramps and decrease tension.
Try to drink soothing ginger or mint teas or hot water flavored lemon. Snack on fruits like strawberries or raspberries if you need a sugar fix.
Drink More Water
Drinking water keeps you from retaining water and helps to avoid painful bloating during menstruation. Whether it’s warm or hot, water is usually better for cramps, as hot liquids increase blood flow to your skin and may relax cramped muscles.
Eat more of these water-based foods to increase your hydration:
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
Have a diet which includes foods that are minimally processed, such as:
- Walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds (rich in manganese, which eases cramps)
- Olive oil and broccoli (contain vitamin E)
- Brown rice (contains vitamin B-6, which may reduce bloating)
- Papaya (rich in vitamins)
- Leafy green vegetables, chicken, and fish (contain iron, which is lost during menstruation)