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What If You Suffer From Period Cramps?

Why Do You Have Menstrual Cramping?

Practically all girls and women experience unpleasant and often painful sensations in the lower abdomen shortly before or during period. There’s no need to worry about that, since it’s absolutely normal. If a woman isn’t pregnant, the top layer of her uterine lining (endometrium) tears away every month during period. The womb begins to contract, trying to get rid of the unnecessary substance, causing unpleasant abdominal sensations.

Are Cramps During Period Ok?

They are if they are not too intense and/or long-term. Normally they don’t interfere much with your daily activities.

If you can’t work or study properly during period, this is not normal. Gynecologists use a term “dysmenorrhea” to refer to intense pain during period. Dysmenorrhea may be a symptom of gynecological conditions, and the severe cramps won’t pass until you fix the underlying cause.

What Triggers Dysmenorrhea?

Dysmenorrhea or painful periods may be triggered by a whole range of causes. Sometimes it’s a hormonal disorder, other times it’s because of diseases, affecting ovaries or womb.

If you have been suffering from severe menstrual cramps since puberty, you deal with primary dysmenorrhea. An increase of the prostaglandin’s level in the womb causes primary dysmenorrhea.  Prostaglandin boosts intense uterine contractions which lead to pronounced lower abdominal cramps.

If menstrual cramps have started or intensified in your life recently, you have secondary dysmenorrhea that often accompanies certain diseases.

Which Conditions May Cause Period Cramps?

Severe menstrual cramps are typical for the following diseases:

Can Stress Be A Culprit Of Period Cramps?

Yes, it can. Your psychological condition impacts not only the whole menstrual cycle but also the way you feel during period. That’s why if you are going through a long-term emotional stress, you may begin to experience severe menstrual cramps.

When Should I Make An Appointment With A Gynecologist?

Lower abdominal pains may suggest serious health issues. Thus, any delay in treatment may threat your health and even life. Contact your gynecologist immediately if:

  • Your period and cramps last longer that a week
  • Period cramps are unbearable
  • Your cramps are accompanied by profuse menstrual bleeding
  • Your body temperature is raised
  • You haven’t had menstrual cramps before
  • You suspect you may be pregnant

How To Get Rid Of Menstrual Cramps?

Pain during period can be treated not only with medications, but also with numerous procedures, relaxing the womb and eliminating the cramps.

Tip #1: Heat

Heat relaxes your womb and decreases its contractions. A regular heating pad or a simple bottle with hot water often helps to get rid of period cramps. Just place the source of heat on your stomach and lie down quietly for a while.

Tip #2: Baths

A warm relaxing bath is very effective when it comes to elimination of menstrual pain. Warm water relaxes uterine muscles and comforts your nerves. However, there’s a problem with taking a bath when your menstrual bleeding is profuse. A warm shower is a great alternative.

Tip#3: Painkillers

Painkillers provide a quick effect, helping to combat lower abdominal cramping. If you have severe pains during period, it’s recommended to take such medications as Analgin, Ibuprofene, Naproxen or Ketoprofen (Ketonal). These painkillers decrease the level of prostaglandin in the womb, curbing intense uterine contractions and cramping. You may take these medications a few days in a row if you need. Some doctors recommend taking painkillers a few days prior to period onset. Before taking any medications, make sure you study the instruction carefully.

Tip#4: Sedatives

If you get agitated easily and keep being nervous during period, menstrual cramping can originate from the state of your nervous system. In this case even such a simple remedy as extract of valerian root will help to soothe lower abdominal pain.

Tip#5: Oral Contraceptives

Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) help to relieve considerably or get rid completely of menstrual cramps. These pills contain hormones which normalize your organism’s raged hormones. Many women forget of lower abdominal pains after a few months of usage of oral contraception. Birth control pills also eliminate other unpleasant side-effects of period, such as oily skin and hair, acne, etc. Consult your gynecologist before you begin to use any product of oral contraception.

Tip#6: Treatment Of The Underlying Cause

You don’t have to live with pain. If home solutions fail to soothe cramps during period, resort to professional help of a gynecologist. If your cramps are triggered by diseases of reproductive tract, they won’t cease until you fix the initial cause of your condition.