We won’t deny that we’re proud of being independent women, but the worst thing about having a uterus is definitely those dreaded cramps. We’ve been dealing with them for as long as we can remember by simply popping a pain reliever, but there are so many other remedies to curb those cramps that we don’t know about. We tell you how to deal with those period cramps and when you should know if they’re not normal and take them more seriously.
When There Could Be A Deeper Problem
Do you feel like your cramps are more severe than your friends? If the pain is pretty unbearable and interferes with your daily life- like preventing you from going out or even calling in sick at work, then they could be caused by a serious underlying problem. If your cramps aren’t relieved by over-the-counter pain killers, then it’s best you visit your doctor for any of these underlying medical conditions:
A disorder wherein the lining of the uterus (also known as the endometrial tissue) grows outside of the uterus and can cause acute pain in the pelvic area as well as problems in fertility. Sometimes, pain can be felt even when you aren’t menstruating. Don’t worry, once detected it can be managed with pain medication, hormone therapy and surgery in extreme cases.
Uterine Fibroids are super tiny, non-serious growths in the uterus and are super common. In fact, a majority of women experience them at some point of time. They are non-cancerous but can make your cramps more intense and cause your period to last longer and your flow become heavier. These fibroids can be detected in an ultrasound and can be treated with medication or can be surgically removed.
3. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID is when your reproductive organs get infected thanks to bacteria spreading or STDs like gonorrhea or chlamydia. It can cause It pain in the pelvis and abdominal area, irregular periods, painful sex and heavy discharge, or it can cause no symptoms at all. It can lead to serious issues if left untreated so the sooner you catch it the better. Luckily, your doctor will be able to treat it easily with antibiotics.
Easy Remedies for Period Cramps
Even if you have no deeper health issues, menstrual cramps can still occur and seriously cramp your style.
1. Curb Caffeine
Caffeine is known to constrict blood vessels, which cause cramps so stay clear of caffeinated drinks like colas and energy drinks, tea and coffee. This can help reduce PMS and cramps so remember that this isn’t the best time for a trip to Starbucks.
2. Turn Up The Heat
Sooth your muscles with a steamy shower or cuddle up with a heating pad on your lower belly. Heat helps lower pain by opening blood vessels and allowing more blood flow so keep that in mind the next time your cramps are driving you crazy.
3. Go Herbal
Bring out the herbal tea collection when you feel the pain coming on. It’s a natural way of dealing with those cramps instead of popping pills every single time.
4. Tweak Your Diet
Now is probably when you need some comfort food more than ever but bread and processed foods can actually worsen those aches. Refrain from dialing McDonald’s delivery and instead stick to foods that are high in antioxidants, zinc, iron and calcium.
5. Get Exercising
Flopping on your couch isn’t going to do you any good. Being active, exercising and yoga stretches help curb the pain as it gets your heart rate up and releases endorphins. The better shape you are in, the less acute your pain will be.
6. Sexy Time
Yes, you may not feel at your sexiest best right now, but getting naughty between the sheets can actually help reduce the pain. Orgasms release “feel-good” endorphins, as well as the hormone oxytocin, which is a chemical that induces peace and relaxation. So go on and get closer to the Big O.
A Few Facts About Menstrual Cramps
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- They are caused by uterine contractions as well as high levels of a chemical called prostaglandins, which is released by the lining of the uterus.
- There is a medical term for painful/difficult periods – “Dysmenorrhea”.
- There are 2 types of dysmenorrhea- primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common and is characterized by the usual cramps most women face that last upto 2 to 4 days. Secondary dysmenorrhea is when painful cramps and even back pain are caused by underlying medical issues.