It is quite common to have a number of symptoms during menstruation that can become uncomfortable. From period pains to the inability to concentrate on a task, not to mention the lingering discomfort of bloating and irritability.
An excess of prostaglandins, substances that help the endometrium shed and leave the body, cause menstrual cramps. Prostaglandins stimulate the uterus to contract, allowing the uterine lining to shed through contractions, which feel like cramps. This is a natural physiological procedure and necessary for the menstrual cycle to be completed.
Why do menstrual cramps occur?
Menstrual cramps usually occur before or during the onset of menstruation. They can last for a single day or up to three days. These pains will be felt in a variety of ways, sometimes they will be quite severe and terrible, and at other times they will be almost undetectable.
According to a study published in 2016, one in ten women have severe menstrual pain that interferes with their daily activities for one to three days throughout each cycle. Menstrual discomfort, which can range from mild to severe, is most common two to three days after the onset of menstruation, according to the study, and may subside after turning 20 or following pregnancy and childbirth.
More acute or intense menstrual pain, on the other hand, is related to pelvic diseases such as endometriosis, adenomyosis or even hormonal imbalance.
Menstrual pain so intense that it prevents you from doing your daily activities is not normal. If this is the case, it is essential to consult with menstrual health professionals who take a holistic approach.
Tips to eliminate menstrual cramps
Menstrual health encompasses not only the proper use of sanitary products, but also the ability to have pain-free periods. For this reason, it is strongly advised to have healthy habits that help avoid menstrual pain. For example:
- Menstrual inflammation and pain can be reduced by using heat in the pelvic area.
- To relieve menstrual pain and minimize pelvic inflammation, use menstrual infusions.
- Use anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen if the pain is severe.
- Magnesium, vitamin B1 and zinc supplements can help relieve menstrual discomfort and reduce the use of anti-inflammatory drugs as a prophylactic measure.
- Use a cream for menstrual cramps in the morning and evening.
- The use of hormonal contraceptives to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce menstrual pain is only indicated by a menstrual health specialist for a very particular case of debilitating menstrual pain.
- Reduce salt and fat intake through dietary adjustments.
- Every day, go for a walk.
- If menstrual cramps make your life miserable, you should see a menstrual health specialist.