Do you often feel cramps or lower back pain during your period? Does the pain vary between being just uncomfortable and severely painful?
Around 84.1% women report experiencing menstrual pain at some point in their life. While it happens every month for some, others only have to go through the discomfort once in a while.
Although period cramps are pretty normal, but when the pain starts to become unbearable or stops you from carrying out your daily tasks, it could become a cause of concern.
So, why does cramping happen during your period and what can you do to stop the pain?
Let’s find out!
What Causes Period Cramps?
Severe period cramps are usually caused by adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, a pelvic inflammatory disease, or other conditions. Since you probably don’t have time to understand the medical jargon, let’s look at what they mean in simple terms.
Simply put, period cramps can be caused by:
Higher Levels of Hormones
During your period, you’ll experience hormonal fluctuations. These fluctuations are a natural part of the mensuration process, but some of them may cause pain and inflammation. Women with higher levels of pain hormones will experience more severe cramps.
But that’s nothing to worry about, you’re totally fine and the pain will soon pass!
Uterus Tissue Problems
Inconsistent growth or contractions in the tissues of your uterus can also cause period cramps. This is a medical condition and usually results in more frequent cramps. If the pain is unbearable to a level that it makes you sick aur prevents you from doing basic daily tasks, it’s best to consult a doctor.
Sometimes sever cramps also result from pelvic inflammation caused by bacteria. In such cases, the pain is accompanied by fever, bad vaginal odor and unusual discharge, bleeding between periods, or a burning sensation while urinating.
However, your doctor can prescribe anti-biotics that will make the pain and inflammation go away in a matter of days.
Should You See a Doctor?
If the cramping is mild and isn’t disrupting your daily routine, then home remedies will work. On the other hand, if it’s more severe, consulting a doctor would be the best option.
You should visit a doctor if:
- The cramps last more than 3-4 days
- The pain is severe and gets worse every day
- You experience abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding between periods
A doctor will conduct a pelvic exam and diagnose the cause of your cramps. If there’s a medical condition behind your severe cramps, you may have to take medication to treat it.
Home Remedies for Period Cramps
If you don’t experience consistent, severe cramps, or pain that’s unbearable, there’s no need to worry. But how can you deal with the cramps irritation and slight pain that mensuration cramps cause you?
Here are some home remedies to reduce the pain of period cramps:
Take a Warm Bath
Warm water can help reduce pain and improve blood flow. Better blood flow will also reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar levels and even help clear your mind. Try bathing with Epsom salts to relax your body.
Do Stretching Exercises and Yoga
Stretching can relieve muscle tension and help you relax. It also activates your parasympathetic nervous system, producing endorphins that are your body’s natural painkillers. Use the best sanitary pads for heavy flow to stay comfortable and confident while exercising during your periods.
Eat Foods Rich in Essential Nutrients
Studies have shown that many essential vitamins such as Vitamin B, D, and C can help you relax and recover better. If you’re struggling with hormonal imbalances, improving your vitamin intake can be helpful.
Apply a Heat Pad to Your Lower Back
If your cramps are causing lower back pain, you can treat it with a heating pad. Wear warm and comfortable clothes and snuggle in bed with your cat and a cup of your favorite beverage.
Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication
One of the main causes of period cramps is inflammation in your uterus. Taking anti-inflammatory medication may help, although you shouldn’t do this without a doctor’s recommendation first.
Drink Herbal Tea
Many types of herbal tea can help with period cramps by balancing your hormone levels, reducing inflammation, and giving you mental peace. Herbal tea also contains many natural painkillers, which is why you may feel relaxed and calm after drinking a cup of hot tea.
Ginger May Help
Did you know that ginger can help reduce the pain caused by mensuration cramps? Drink ginger tea or use more ginger in your food to cope up with period cramps.
Should You Be Concerned About Period Cramps?
Unless you’re experiencing severe pain that makes you feel faint or sick, cramps aren’t a sign that there’s something wrong with you.
So, unless you’re suffering from a medical condition, you can cope up with the regular period pain by following the tips above, and choosing the most comfortable sanitary pads.
Also, don’t forget to sit back and take things easy during this time of the month.
Do Period Cramps Get Worse with Age?
Some studies have shown that pain is more severe in women over the age of 40 and under 20, but this is still limited to a small percentage of women. So, if you’re experiencing an increase in period pain caused by cramps during your period as you get older, there’s no need to worry.
However, if it gets worse daily or monthly, you’ll need to visit a doctor.