Periods can be a tough time for women of all ages. From mood swings to pains and appetite changes, we experience it all. So to make menstruation a bit comfortable, let's discuss gynecologist-approved ways of easing out these health problems. From diet to meditation to lifestyle changes, here are things we can do to make sure we can breeze through our periods.
Menstrual pain is a very common condition that affects most women; Some women experience severe pain in the abdomen before or during their periods. Though it is not a serious medical condition, it can hamper your day-to-day activities. In this article, you will know the cause of painful periods and gynecologist treatment for periods.
A ‘Period’ describes normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of each woman's monthly cycle. Most women experience mild menstrual cramps. However, at times, it can be very severe. It can be as sharp as a stabbing pain or persistent pain that spreads throughout your lower abdomen and the lower back. Some women may experience dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Severe menstrual pain is known as dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is an indication that your body is about to undergo another healthy cycle. It helps to know exactly what's happening in your body.
Types Of Period Pain?
Gynecologists have classified painful periods into 2 types:
This refers to common menstrual cramps that are caused by your menstrual cycle. It is possible to feel mild to severe pain in the lower abdomen, back, and thighs. The pain usually starts just before your period and lasts for 1-3 days. Women in their twenties tend to experience this type of dysmenorrhea more often. It usually gets less severe after having children.
Women may experience this type of dysmenorrhea due to an abnormality in their reproductive system. Cysts or infection, endometriosis and fibroids are some of the possible causes. Another reason for secondary dysmenorrhea is using intrauterine devices (IUD), which are a type of contraceptive. Primarily, it occurs at the start of the menstrual cycle and lasts for longer than primary dysmenorrhea.
What Are The Causes Of Painful Periods?
Scientists believe that primary dysmenorrhea could be caused by the high level of prostaglandins. This substance is made in the uterus and it helps with the contraction of the walls. Your uterus contracts during cramping. Prostaglandin levels can be highest at the beginning of your period .ie. the first day of your period. As the lining of the uterus is shed, the level of prostaglandin begin to decrease and your pain gets better.
Secondary dysmenorrhea could be due to some abnormalities in your reproduction system. Some of the common reproductive system disorders are
- Ovarian Cyst
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
How To Reduce Period Pain At Home?
Many women seek at-home treatment to reduce period pains. If you have primary dysmenorrhea, you can get relief from at-home treatments. For secondary dysmenorrhea, you need to seek gynaecologist treatment for period pain.
Dealing with period pain every month can be painful and frustrating. Lets have a look at how to relieve period cramps at home
1. Drink More Water
Bloating can make cramps more severe, causing pain and distress. Water can help reduce bloating and relieve pain. Hot water can also increase blood flow and relax muscles. This can reduce cramps due to uterine contractions.
2. Take Advantage Of Herbal Teas
Herbal tea contains active ingredients which exhibit anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing period pain. It is easy to get rid of cramps by drinking ginger, chamomile, and fennel teas. Herbal teas may also have stress relief and insomnia-fighting benefits.
3. Try Essential Oil For Pain Relief
Menstrual pain can be relieved by massaging your abdomen with essential oils. Essential oils like lavender oil, marjoram, and clary sage oil contain anti-inflammatory properties which provide relief from pain and also boosts blood circulation, placing you in a more comfortable position during periods.
4. Include Anti-inflammatory Foods In Your Diet
Certain food items can help in relieving cramps, while being a treat for your taste buds. Certain foods can reduce inflammation and relax the uterus. Consume pineapples, berries, tomatoes, as well as spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric. Other anti-inflammatory food include leafy greens, almonds, walnuts, as well as fatty fish like salmon.
5. Decaf Is Your Best Bet
Your blood vessels constrict when you take caffeine which can worsen the situation. You can skip coffee from your breakfast and snack schedule, instead include a high-protein snack.
6. Consider Dietary Supplements
Supplements such as Omega-3, Vitamin E, and Magnesium can also help to reduce inflammation, making your periods more comfortable. Start taking supplements daily and not just during your period for optimum results. An obstetrics and gynaecology specialist can guide you on which dietary supplements you need along with the appropriate dosage.
7. Heat Compress
Some heat can relax your muscles, improve blood flow, and reduce tension. You can relax by keeping a heating pad on the lower abdomen, as it helps in alleviating the pain. A hot water bath can also help relieve muscle cramps.
8. Reduce Stress
Period pain can be exacerbated by stress. Stress relief methods such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or other techniques can be used to reduce stress.
9. OTC Medicines
The prostaglandin hormone is responsible for contraction and muscle pain. OTC pain killers or anti-inflammatory medicine that reduces the body's prostaglandin levels can provide quick relief. Your gynecologist will suggest to you take OTC medications only if you have severe cramps.
10. Alternative Treatments
Acupuncture or acupressure are alternative treatment methods that can provide relief for some people. Needles are used in acupuncture to stimulate the body.
Acupressure stimulates your body by applying pressure to certain points. Both these treatments are used to relax, increase blood flow, relieve muscle tension throughout the body.
11. Hormonal Birth Control is Possible
According to a report published in a Journal on Obsterics and Gynecology, contraceptive pills can be used when cramps are caused because of hormonal imbalance. The uterine lining can be thinned by balancing its levels of estrogen or progesterone so that it sheds easily. You can control your period length and frequency with hormonal birth control. In some cases, hormonal birth control can completely remove cramps and stop your period. The best gynaecologist treatment for period pain might include the birth control options available, including the pill or hormonal IUD.
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