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Cramps & Pains

How to Reduce Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual periods have always been a tough time for women. The most prominent thing that a woman has to deal with during her menstrual period is cramps. When uterus contracts during the menstrual period it causes cramps. Cramps can be very painful and hard to deal with. However, cramps can vary in severity as they can be mild, moderate or severe in nature. Cramps can occur in your abdomen, back or even in your legs.

Period cramping is a common phenomenon as a reports say that almost half of the total women experience cramps medically called dysmenorrhea. Out of them about 15 percent of women complaints that they have severe cramps that affect their daily lives. There are secondary dysmenorrhea and primary dysmenorrhea. In secondary dysmenorrhea, cramps usually occur in adulthood as a reaction to some medical condition like endometriosis. The primary dysmenorrhea occurs six months to a year after first menstrual period.

The primary type usually occurs because of the contraction of the uterine muscle which is vital for pressing the menstrual fluid out of the women body. Another important point which is worth mentioning is that the menstrual cramps starts decline with an older age. Even it has been seen that after giving birth the menstrual cramps disappear completely. However, for young women it is still a painful experience and to help them relieve their pain following are given some useful tips.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These are considered as most successful drugs in the treatment of menstrual cramps. There are certain hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins which are accountable for causing menstrual cramps. The more the numbers of prostaglandins, more severe will be the cramps. These hormone-like substances are responsible for causing muscle contractions required to drive out the menstrual fluid out of the body. However, these prostaglandins also related to pain and inflammation. NSAIDs are prescribed by the doctors depending upon the severity of your menstrual cramps. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Naproxen (Aleve, Midol) are the two over-the-counter NSAIDs which can be used as well.

Applied Heat: Women can opt for applied heat to get rid of menstrual cramps. You know that contraction of uterine muscle causes this menstrual pain. Many experts are of the view that the contraction of muscle can often reach to an extent affecting the blood supply that causes the pain resembling to the angina. Applying heat has always been a great source to relive muscular pains. Here too, many women opt for applying heat on their lower abdomen to get rid of pain caused by menstrual cramps. You can find hot compresses or electric heating pads easily in the market that can best serve the purpose for you.

Exercise: Exercise is another effective way to ease your menstrual cramps pain. Aerobic exercises are extremely effective to reduce menstrual cramps pain like walking, running, or even swimming. These exercises become handy by increasing blood circulation and causing your abdominal muscles to stretch eventually easing the pain. Exercise also excites the development of endorphins which are natural painkillers. Regular exercise is always good for your body; it will not only reduce your cramps pain but also effective keeping your body healthy.

Reducing Stress: Menstrual cramps pain is also often associated with stress factor. One can alleviate the menstrual cramps pain by reducing stress. It has been proved medically that psychological stress does have an effect on your body. For instance, in this case stress can cause an excessive production of prostaglandins in your body and prostaglandins mean pain. Stress reduction is not same for everyone. Every person takes it differently, however, there are some standards regarding stress reduction including ample rest and limiting your day to day chores. Apart from these, yoga, massage and meditation can also play a significant role in stress reduction.

Stretching the Abdominal Muscles: Another way to alleviate menstrual cramps pain is through stretching the abdominal muscles. There are a class of experts who really don’t agree with the idea of stretching away your cramps, but still doctors and many yoga instructors believe that there are a row of useful stretches that are gentle and cause the abdominal muscles to react such as pelvis and lower back and sides. One such most effective stretch for easing menstrual cramps is a yoga pose known as sphinx. This pose is called sphinx because in this the posture is pretty much like a sphinx, i.e. lie on a flat surface with your abdomen facing the floor, ankles are apart by slight distance, feet are flat on the floor, your elbows are just under your shoulders with your forearms and palms flat on the floor in front you.

How Your Doctor Can Help with Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps are generally a matter between a woman and her uterus. She can alleviate them by simply employing any of the techniques which we have mentioned above. But these techniques are not always effective and in that case you need to consult your doctor to get rid of menstrual cramps.

There are several situations arise during your menstrual period when getting a help from your doctor become inevitable. For instance, if your cramps get severe enough to disrupt your normal activities, a doctor may suggest you some sort of contraceptives for hormonal birth control in the form of a pill or Intrauterine Device (IUD). These are known to produce hormones which in turn lessen the amount of menstrual tissue gathered in uterus. Your doctor may suggest stopping the use of any copper IUD, if you are taking already to alleviate the menstrual cramps.

Another situation where your doctor can play a role is when you are having your menstrual for a long time and now getting cramps at this stage of life. This may be a form of secondary dysmenorrhea that is caused due to medical conditions including endometriosis, uterine fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease. Your doctor will diagnose the problem and prescribe you treatment accordingly.

In case you are having cramps without any sign of bleeding, your doctor will examine either if you are pregnant or having any complication regarding pregnancy.



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