“More than 70% women experience menstrual cramps across the world”
Menstrual cramps are the painful sensations in the lower abdomen, lower back, and thighs before and during menstruation. Menstrual cramps usually begin 1-2 days before the period and last for 2-4 days.
What causes menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps start after ovulation when the egg is released from the ovaries and travels down to the uterus, where it waits to get fertilized. If the egg doesn’t get fertilized then the uterus contracts and expels its lining, Prostaglandins are hormones that help the uterus to contract and induce pain.
Menstrual pain in the abdomen is known as dysmenorrhea.
Types of Dysmerohea
Dysmenorrhea is a scientific term used to describe pain mainly pain in the abdomen. Dysmenorrhea is of two types
- Primary Dysmenorrhea
- Secondary Dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea is very common and may occur before menstruation or during menstruation, nearly 84.1% of women experience primary dysmenorrhea. The intensity of the pain decreases from women to women.
It is caused due to the hormone prostaglandins that help the uterus to contract and expel the unfertilized egg, Another important function of prostaglandin is to mediate inflammation, which results in dysmenorrhea
The pain reduces once menstruation starts or during 1-2 days of menstruation
- Applying heat to your abdomen can reduce menstrual pain, use a hot water bag or take hot water bath, which gives instant relief
- Essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, have anti-inflammatory properties which help to calm the pain, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it on the lower abdomen.
- Drink herbal teas like ginger tea, chamomile tea, turmeric tea, cinnamon tea, these herbs have compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties.
- Add foods that are rich in magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins to your diet.
The intensity of the pain increases and becomes unbearable, this condition usually lasts throughout the menstruation and even after menstruation.
The pain is caused due to a disorder in women’s reproductive system.
The reasons for Secondary Dysmenorrhea are:
- Endometriosis: It is a condition when the lining of the uterus starts to grow outside the uterus on the ovaries or fallopian tubes which induces severe pain.
- Uterine fibroids: These are non-cancerous growth in or on the uterus which causes intense abdominal pain.
- Adenomyosis: It is a condition when the tissue lining the uterus enters into the muscle of the uterus and causes pain during menstruation.
- Ovarian cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that are formed in or on the ovaries which causes pain in the abdomen during menstruation.
- If the menstrual pain continues even after menstruation then it is recommended to consult a doctor.