While not every woman has to deal with painful cramps at period time, most women will suffer some form of cramping just prior to, and during, a menstrual cycle. For many women this cramping can be quite severe and debilitating for several days at least. In this post we’ll be looking at the best cures for period pain and how to stop period cramps fast!
What Exactly Causes Period Pain?
The medical term for painful menstruation is Dysmenorrhea. Pain and cramping during a period is normal, but severe pain and cramping is not. Unfortunately some women do suffer extreme pain during a menstrual cycle.
So what causes the pain in the first place?
Hormones in the body trigger muscle contractions in both the pelvis and abdomen in a bid to help the uterus expel the build up lining the uterine wall. Women with higher levels of the hormone Prostaglandin are at greater risk of severe muscle contractions and subsequent pain just before and during a period; especially if the period is a particularly heavy one.
In some cases – particularly if a woman suddenly develops painful menstruation – a very painful menstrual cycle can be an indication of another underlying medical condition such as one of the following:
- Inflamed pelvis or uterus
- Cervical stenosis
However, to reiterate, experiencing some pain and cramping during a period is perfectly normal for most women and doesn’t indicate that they are unhealthy in any way.
There are a few ways you can apply heat to the stomach to relieve and relax cramping muscles. One common method is the use of a hot water bottle. Another is to use one of those wheat bags that you toss in the microwave for a minute or two. The hot water bottle is probably a bit more effective because it can cover a larger area of the stomach at once. There are even some heat patches you can buy that offer up to 8 hours of relief. You can use these at home, or wear them under your clothing.
Oral Contraceptive Pill
Even if you’re not sexually active and trying to avoid getting pregnant, the pill can also help alleviate the symptoms of period pain by stopping ovulation, regulating the cycles and lowering the levels of the Prostaglandin hormone. Hormone injections for stopping conception can also have the same positive benefits.
Water is good for just about everything and when it comes to period pain it helps flush out excess fluids from the uterus. Warm water is best for menstrual cramps, the hotter you can handle the better. The heat of warm water increases blood flow, which in turn will also speed up the period process so the cramps don’t linger.
Calcium and Vitamin D
A woman’s body loses a lot of calcium during a menstrual cycle. Calcium is not only good for the bones, but it also helps maintain strong muscle tone. This sudden loss of calcium during a period can lead to stomach cramps. Calcium blended with Vitamin D helps replace the lost calcium, and Vitamin D also helps with mood swings during this hormonal stage. Vitamin D enables the body to absorb more calcium, so something simple like popping some calcium and Vitamin D tablets at period time can greatly reduce symptoms.
Anti-Inflammatories and Other Remedies
If taken early enough before the onset of period cramps, anti-inflammatories can help prevent the cramps from happening in the first place. These medications will actually block the effects of prostaglandins. Manganese, magnesium, krill oil and evening primrose oil have long been touted as supplements that relieve period symptoms.
Cinnamon and Ginger
Both of these have similar effects when treating period pain. For the ginger it’s best to drink a little with hot water. Drinking the cinnamon with warm milk is a great way of administering it to the body as the milk will be an added source of calcium and Vitamin D.
Foods To Avoid
The following list are foods you should really avoid while on a period, as they will only add to the symptoms:
- Greasy, fatty foods
- Caffeine (this includes chocolate)
- Carbonated beverages like Coke
- Foods high in sugar
- Foods high in salt
- Highly processed foods
MN8 Discreet Period Pain Relief
The MN8 is a small and very discreet magnetic button that has been especially designed for relieving both period cramps and tender breasts. For period pain simply attach it to the pelvic area under your clothing to bring relief, or place it inside the bra cups for tender breasts.
The device is not all that costly and gets very positive reviews on Amazon. Definitely worth checking out.