Most women have experienced some degree of menstrual cramps at some point. But while for the lucky ones the pain is mild and not very long lasting, others find themselves unable to perform their normal routine for one to three days each month because of the severe menstrual pain (also called dysmenorrheal) that they experience.
Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) can be:
- Primary – occurs most often in young women and often becomes less severe after a woman has given birth or when she reaches her mid-twenties.
- Secondary –when menstrual cramps are caused by other conditions, such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors, pelvic adhesions, ovarian cysts or by the use of and IUD (intrauterine device) for birth control.
Menstrual cramps are caused by the normal contractions of the uterus, which are, in their turn, caused by prostaglandis, a hormone-like naturally occurring substance.
Tips on how to relieve menstrual cramps:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen used at the first sign of your period help reduce the severity of the cramps by inhibiting the release of prostaglandis.
- Regular exercise helps prevent severe menstrual cramps.
- Zinc, calcium and B vitamins have been found to reduce cramps, bloating and other symptoms.
- Some herbal remedies that may reduce menstrual cramps due to their antispasmodic effect include Viburnum Prunifolium, Scutellaria Spp. And Cimicifuga Raemosa.
- Take a warm bath filled with aromatherapy or place a heating pad on your lower abdomen and back.