Almost every woman who menstruates suffers from menstrual cramps or painful periods. For some, it is just a minor discomfort, but for others, it can be annoying and unbearable. The pain can be so severe that sometimes women end up missing their work or fun social activities. And the worst thing about menstrual cramps is that they happen every single month and make women suffer for a day or two.
Why do menstrual cramps occur?
Each month, the lining of the uterus known as endometrium builds up for the preparation of a possible pregnancy. If a pregnancy occurs, the fertilized egg gets attached to the lining to be nourished as it develops into a baby. If the egg is not fertilized, there is no need of lining and hence it breaks down and hormones called prostaglandins are released. These hormones trigger the muscles of the uterus to contract so that the lining is squeezed out; this is what causes the cramping. Some women may have higher levels of prostaglandins, which unfortunately worsen the severity of menstrual cramps.
What can be done to get relief from menstrual cramps?
As mentioned earlier, some women may feel the menstrual cramps as a minor discomfort and some women may suffer a lot. If you are one among the women who find menstrual cramps so annoying, you need not bear them silently thinking they are common and spend most of your time by lying on the bed. It is better to know how menstrual cramps can be avoided or lessen their severity instead of suffering. Here are some tips and home remedies which help to ease the pain in a natural way.
- While suffering from menstrual cramps, applying a heating pad to the cramping areas of the stomach can relax the muscles and helps to get relieve the pain.
- Foods which contain caffeine and salt may worsen the menstrual cramps. So avoid coffee, other caffeinated drinks, and salty foods.
- A gentle massage on the abdomen can promote a smooth and even flow of blood. Hence, this can reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps.
- Being well-hydrated can make liver functioning better, keeping the hormones balanced. Drinking plenty of water during periods can help to get relief from pain, as dehydration can intensify menstrual cramps.
- Potassium deficiency can cause menstrual cramps. Taking foods which are rich in potassium such as bananas, prunes, leafy greens like spinach etc can reduce the cramps. Along with potassium, bananas are rich in vitamin K, which also balances the menstrual flow and reduces the pain.
- Aloe Vera can also be used to reduce the cramps. It makes the flow of menstruation constant which helps to decrease the pressure in the uterus and the pain goes away. For this, you have to cut the Aloe Vera into pieces and apply the gel on the affected area.
- Cinnamon is one of the best natural remedies for menstrual cramps. Consumption of cinnamon either in raw form or by adding a spice to food or tea can relieve you from menstrual cramps.
- Establishing an exercise routine can avoid menstrual cramps. Exercise releases endorphins into our system, which will reduce the amount of pain we feel. Light exercises can ease menstrual cramps, while intense exercises can worsen the pain.
- Basil is another very effective herb which helps in reducing menstrual pain and cramps. Add some basil leaves to a cup of boiling water and allow it to cool. Having this drink for every few hours can ease the cramps.
These tips are helpful to ease the menstrual cramps effectively. If anyone who can’t get relief from the pain even after trying these remedies, then there is a need to check with the doctor to rule out more serious health issues.