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13 ways you can treat menstrual cramps (and how to finally say ‘bye Felicia’ to it)

by Tina Sendin September 08, 2020

13 ways you can treat menstrual cramps (and how to finally say ‘bye Felicia’ to it)

Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “the only constant thing in the world is change.”

In many ways this rings true, and if we were to look at one concrete evidence, there’s 2020.

But for many women, another constant thing in life (a monthly occurrence to be exact) is menstrual cramps.

They are very common that according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, menstrual cramps – or dysmenorrhea – affects 20 percent of American women so severe it interferes with their daily activities. [1]

 

Causes of menstrual cramps: why period aches happen

Most of our women readers are all too familiar with that feeling – cramps around the pelvis, thighs, back, hips, and abdomen – all happening around that time of the month. They would usually feel throbbing ache days before or just at the start of bleeding.

The pain may start strong, which then eventually fades. Or it may come and go in a span of 1 to 3 days.

While the pain and discomfort may vary, menstrual cramps are caused by uterine contractions and excess in prostaglandins.

According to this research-based article from Clue, a menstrual pain-tracking app: [2]

Menstrual cramps are most likely caused by an excess of prostaglandins—hormone-like compounds that are released from the uterine lining (the endometrium) as it prepares to be shed. Prostaglandins help the uterus contract and relax so that the endometrium can detach and flow out of your body. They are a necessary part of the process, but in excess, they cause pain if the uterus contracts strongly, blood flow is reduced, and the supply of oxygen to the uterus muscle tissue decreases, causing pain.

On top of that, inflammation may also have a role at this regular nuisance. According to the same article, “the production of prostaglandins is related to inflammation, and inflamed tissue tends to produce more prostaglandins.” [2]

And if you’re wondering why some people suffer severe period cramps than others, research says that the following are more prone to have severe type:

  • Those with heavier or longer periods of bleeding
  • Those who started menstruating earlier
  • Those with irregular periods
  • Smokers
  • Thin women
  • Younger than 30
  • Those with pelvic infection
  • Those who have been sterilized
  • Those who have had their first child
  • Those suffering from endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterine cavity. It occurs when endometrial tissue grows on your ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining your pelvis. [3]

 

How to manage and relieve menstrual cramps

The good news is there’s always ways to manage and even treat this regular throbbing, aching pain. These remedies could range from mild temporary relief to successfully getting rid of them.

 

Over-the-counter pain medicines, like ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain. Don’t forget to read the labels, follow instructions and consult your doctor before taking these!

Exercise and regular work out. According to a 2015 study, a 30-minute aerobic exercise done thrice weekly significantly improved the severity of dysmenorrhea in a span of 8 weeks. [4] Also, exercise releases those happy hormones called endorphins which could instantly lighten up your mood, ease pain, increase blood flow, and relax your muscles.  

Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamins B1 and B6 could help ease the severity of cramps. For best results, take supplements everyday, and not just when you experinstrual cramps.  

VALI Renew PMS Support is a PMS relief supplement for women that helps you normalize your hormones, relieve painful premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and support women's period health. It contains Vitamins C & B6, Magnesium, L-Theanine, Schizandra Berry, Passion Flower Powder, Chamomile, Ashwagandha Root, Licorice Root, and Chaste Tree Berry.

Heating could also help ease the discomfort. Evidence suggests that using heat to relieve menstrual cramps is as effective as taking painkillers. [5] So why don’t you try placing a heating pad just over your lower abdomen or lower back and see the throbbing fade. Similarly, try some self-care rituals by making a hot bath for yourself to relieve the cramps. It’s also a great way to de-stress.

Don’t stress too much. It may be easier said than done especially this year but it’s so important to manage stress as it’s linked to menstrual cramps. Don’t take your work personally and keep a healthy work-life balance. Do some breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and even spend more time with people and things that give you joy.

Hormonal birth control can remedy hormonal imbalance. By taking birth control like the pill, patch, ring, implant and hormonal IUD, your estrogen and progesterone levels become balanced. This causes the uterine lining to become thin and go through easier shedding. Birth control also regulates your period – how much and how long it takes. When taking this course, make sure that you talk to your OB-GYN for options and which brand to take. Some OB-GYN will require you to undergo some tests to make sure that everything is a green light before you take one.

Eat healthy. This applies not just for relieving menstrual cramps but for your overall wellness as well. Avoid those inflammatory foods and stick to those that will increase your blood flow and relax your muscles. An anti-inflammatory diet can be your natural relief and usually consists of berries, tomatoes, pineapples, green leafy vegetables, almonds, walnuts, salmon and other fatty fish, and spices like garlic and ginger. Veer away from sugar, trans-fat, salt and caffeine.

Hydrate. Drink more water to reduce bloating when you’re on your period, ease those aching sensations, increase blood flow and relax your muscles.

Other ways you can relieve your menstrual cramps include:

  • Acupuncture and acupressure
  • Drinking herbal teas
  • Having an orgasm
  • Massage therapy

Changes in hormones during the menstrual cycle can cause PMS problems. Renew is specifically made for women’s physiology, to support period cycles, promote wellbeing, boost mood, and relieve pain through a safe and effective herbal natural remedy

 

Sources

[1] https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0215/p386.html

[2] https://helloclue.com/articles/cycle-a-z/period-cramps-101-why-menstrual-cramps-and-pain-occur-and-how-to-relieve

[3] https://www.healthline.com/health/endometriosis#

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5791467/

[5] https://bmcwomenshealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6874-12-25

 




Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin

Author




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