Your menstrual cycle is a very important part of your regular bodily process. Many people bleed normally and have a pain-free period. However, in some cases, one can experience severe period cramps. These cramps often consist of intense pain in the lower back, abdomen, and pelvic region. Some people can even feel pain in the leg, arms, and back area before the beginning of their cycle. Period cramps can make you feel uncomfortable or restless and can stop you from doing your daily activities. There are many home remedies for severe period cramps that can lessen your pain and are completely safe to try out. Before learning about the remedies for menstrual cramp relief, let us understand why cramps occur in the first place.
What are menstrual cramps?
During menstruation, the rhythm in which the womb muscles contract and relax is irregular or different. This particular contraction motion helps the uterus expel unwanted blood and tissue. While some people can barely feel it, for others it might result in a very painful period. Apart from severe period cramps, some people also feel nauseous, tired, have diarrhea, etc. Period cramps can occur due to various lifestyle and environmental factors. Not drinking enough water or alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, which may lead to a very painful period. Lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, etc can also be factors. Other than these reasons, mental stress, depression, heavy bleeding, or starting puberty early also cause heavy cramps.
When should you see a doctor for very painful periods?
If you do not have the strength to do your daily chores and if you continue to have severe period cramps after or at the age of 25, then it’s recommended that you visit a doctor. Severe period cramps can be a symptom of endometriosis, STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), infections, cervical stenosis, uterine fibroids, etc. These conditions need to be attended to immediately.
Home remedies for menstrual cramp relief:
There are many natural ways you can reduce cramps during a very painful period.
1. Applying heat: When you are feeling a lot of pain, you can apply heat on the areas that are hurting such as the lower abdomen, lower back, legs, thighs, etc. Applying heat helps to relax the muscles and this soothes your pain. You can use a warm cloth, heating pad, or a water bottle with warm water. A long hot shower can also help in menstrual cramp relief.
2. Chamomile/Ginger tea: Chamomile is a popular flower used in home remedies for a very painful period. Chamomile tea can help in reducing stress and improving sleep. Other than these benefits, it can also free muscle spasms while relaxing the uterus. Ginger tea is also used to reduce severe period cramps because of its inflammatory properties. It aids in providing relief for nausea, sickness, stomach ache, etc.
3. Exercising: According to studies, women who work out more observed a reduction in the intensity of period cramps. You can opt for a low-intensity workout thrice a week for 80 minutes in total. This helps in strengthening your muscles and stretching them which provides menstrual cramp relief.
4. Yoga: Yoga is a great home remedy for severe period cramps. Not only does it help you relax mentally but it also helps in strengthening and calming your muscles. There are specific poses for developing resistance in the pelvic region. Studies indicate that women who participate in 60-minute yoga classes once a week experienced a more gentle period.
5. Massaging: Massaging is a great technique for menstrual cramp relief. Massaging can relax your muscles and increase blood flow in your body. Spending 5-10 minutes to massage your abdomen with essential oils like lavender, sage, eucalyptus helps in removing tension from the body. These oils also reduce insomnia and induce sleep. Getting adequate sleep is a key factor in maintaining a healthy uterus. Having a proper sleep cycle can create generic signatures that help in regulating the secretion and metabolism of hormones necessary for reproduction. Sleep deprivation can even lead to irregularity and painful periods.
6. Maintaining a healthy diet: A great way to avoid severe period cramps is by managing your cravings. During periods, some women have high cravings for fatty, sugary, or salty foods. Avoid tobacco and alcohol. These foods can cause inflammation and dehydration which may cause period pains. Replace caffeine with chamomile or ginger tea. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, pomegranate, dates, fish, chicken replenish iron levels in the body, which is lost during the period. The anti-inflammatory properties in these foods provide menstrual cramp relief. Making conscious diet choices provides the right nutrients to produce healthy blood and reduces the risk of anemia in case of heavy bleeding.
These are healthy habits that can help you maintain not just at the time of your period but for the whole year. However, if your pain is causing large amounts of discomfort, then please do consult a doctor first. Consulting your doctor can help you identify any underlying problems like PCOS, endometriosis. Infertility issues caused by endometriosis can cause complications in the future if you are trying to get pregnant. Only after your doctors rule out any serious health conditions, should you try to reduce severe period cramps through home remedies. If you would like to read more such useful blogs by Dr. Manish Banker and the team, you can visit our blog page.
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