Menstrual cramps are common among menstruating women. Medically known as dysmenorrhea, this can occur as pain which may be little or much around the lower back, hips, thighs or abdomen, and when severe can cause stomach upset, loose stool, headache, and even dizziness.
They usually occur before and during the menstrual period. When menstrual cramps occur slightly, it may just be a little discomfort, but when severe, it can stop the person from carrying out daily activities.
Menstrual cramps are more common in women less than 30 years, had early puberty, bleed heavily, smoke or with family members with menstrual cramps.
This gives some women a lot of concern and has led them to look for various ways to stop menstrual pain but unfortunately, many of them don’t know how to stop menstrual pain.
Here are 8 ways to get rid of menstrual cramps.
1. Adequate physical exercise.
To stop menstrual pain, physical exercise is very important. During exercise, endorphins which are chemicals from the brain are released, which causes stop or decreased intensity of the menstrual pain.
Even though many women may not love to engage in exercise during the menstrual period, but it has proved to be helpful in easing menstrual cramps.
Exercises such as sex especially with orgasm, stretching, walking, and yoga can be helpful in getting rid of menstrual cramps.
2. Dietary modification.
Eating proper food can help to stop menstrual pain. Food with high fibre level and low fat like vegetables, fruits, and grains has been shown to decrease the level of estrogen in the blood while high-fat diets are implicated in the increase of estrogen level.
Dietary supplements can also stop menstrual cramps in women, with examples like vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, boron, calcium.
However, women are encouraged to eat healthy diets regularly and not to wait until their menstrual period to start having them.
3. Taking of painkillers.
Painkillers can be used to stop menstrual cramps. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can be taken as it reduces the level of prostaglandins by blocking its production.
Even though many women will not want to take medications to stop menstrual pain, but in the case of severe pains, it may be considered.
It is advisable to keep some pain relievers in your bag, office or car in case you need it. However, care must be taken while considering the option of taking pain relievers by those with peptic ulcer, kidney diseases or bleeding conditions.
4. Application of heat therapy.
Heat can be applied by women with menstrual cramp as it helps to stop menstrual pain. This can be by taking a hot shower or by using a heating pad and applying it to the lower abdomen, back or thighs.
It is said that this works by hindering the transmission of pain and relaxation of the womb muscles. This has been shown to have a great effect on the relieving and stoppage of menstrual pain.
5. Hydration with water.
Bloating or retention of water during menstruation can lead to an increase of menstrual cramp.
This can be prevented by making it a habit of drinking adequate water at different intervals of the day as it helps in proper hydration of the body tissues and prevention of bloating.
Drinking water may not be a habit in some individuals, and as such, they may find it difficult to be drinking water regularly, which necessitate the need for other ways to make taking water pleasurable.
An example includes adding mints, sweeteners to water or consumption of water-based foods like watermelon or cucumbers.
Water can also relieve the uterine muscles as it stimulates an increase in the flow of blood to the uterine muscles.
Water is also needed in cases where diarrhoea occurs in severe menstrual cramp for the replacement of body fluid and avoidance of dehydration.
6. Taking birth control medications.
These are hormone-containing medications which work by preventing ovulation and as such, prevent menstrual cramps. This can be prescribed by the doctor.
It is usually prescribed for women with an ailment that causes the menstrual cramp-like endometriosis or other reproductive organ disorders but has been shown to also be helpful in women whose menstrual cramp is only caused by menstruation.
These hormones can be administered in various forms as oral birth pills, implant, intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD), injectables, or skin patch.
However, birth control medications are associated with side effects like decreased libido, vomiting sensation and so on.
7. Stress level reduction.
Stress is one of the factors that increase menstrual cramp. Many women engage in strenuous work and activities that they barely get enough rest, some women don’t even get enough quality sleep, and this has effects on the reproductive system.
The practice of getting enough quality sleep and rest has been important in helping to stop menstrual cramps.
If your work schedule is tight, you can seek permission to get some time off and make sure you don’t involve yourself in muscle straining activities during this period.
8. Massage using Oils.
This is usually done using essential oils. Examples of essential oils include lavender, marjoram, clary sage.
These aromatic oils, according to some researches get rid of menstrual pains with some minutes of massage.
This follows the normal pattern of muscle massage, but in this case, may focus on the lower back, thighs, and abdomen.
And they also offer soothing effects from their sweet aromatic smells, which might send you into a relaxing mood and ward your mind off the pain.
With an increase in the occurrence of menstrual cramps due to many factors including lack of sleep, stress or ailments.
As it has an effect on the woman, starting from a reduction in functionality at work to even weakness and unproductivity.
It is necessary to find ways in which to get rid of the menstrual cramp. Hence the need for 8 ways to get rid of menstrual cramps.