If like me, your monthly red friend shows up with a lot of pain, then how to reduce menstrual cramps is a question that bugs you at that time of the month. Let’s face it, the womb lining can be shed without throwing all that unnecessary tantrum, so why does it insist on making those few days a chore? Honestly, I don’t know.
Could it be that it is mad that we didn’t utilize the eggs? But how about how we feel? What if we don’t want any form of fertilization? What if our period handled rejection a little better and just exited nobly without tugging at our lower abdomen? I bet every woman can relate. This is a struggle every woman with menstrual cramps knows all too well, and if you’ve never experienced it, luck is an understatement.
Why do we experience menstrual cramps?
There are various causes of menstrual cramps, including:
- Endometriosis: This condition occurs when the tissue that lines your uterus becomes implanted outside your uterus, most commonly on your fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the tissue lining your pelvis.
- Uterine fibroids: are noncancerous growths in the wall of the uterus that can cause pain.
- Adenomyosis: a condition where the tissue that lines your uterus begins to grow into the uterus’ muscular walls.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: this infection of the female reproductive organs is usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.
- Cervical stenosis: in some women, the cervix’s opening is small enough to impede menstrual flow, causing a painful increase of pressure within the uterus.
Other causes include:
- Hormonal imbalance, deficient progesterone
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual flow
- No pregnancies
Irrespective of these triggers/underlying conditions, there are natural and non-natural ways you could reduce menstrual cramps because life can’t always be on hold and smiles at bay just because your period showed up.
All cramp relief methods do at least one of the following: reduce inflammation, limit prostaglandin production, block pain, increase uterine blood flow, or treat an underlying condition, like endometriosis.
Check out 5 practical ways on how to reduce menstrual cramps…
#1. Hot water bottle
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Blood clots that form within make the outflow of menstrual blood harder. Applying heat via a hot water bottle could help reduce menstrual cramps. Hold the hot water bottle to your lower abdomen and lower back for almost instant relief.
#2. Be conscious about what you eat
It isn’t really the right time to nibble on fatty foods while guzzling your favorite alcohol when on your period. If possible, avoid them totally and replace them with drinks like a warm ginger drink or chamomile tea. Other foods to avoid during your period include added sugars, refined and processed foods, fried foods, dairy, carbonated drinks, red meat, coffee, and salt.
#3. Have great sex
When you have a vaginal orgasm, it automatically releases feel-good hormones such as endorphins and oxytocin, which serve as natural pain relief. If you’re not sure about how to have sex while on your period, check this article out. To address the elephant in the room, no, having sex while on your period is no taboo.
#4. Relax and take care of yourself
If you can afford to stay home, then spend the time pampering yourself a little. Take a warm bath, get a massage with essential oils such as lavender oil and then cozy up under the duvet for a good sleep while listening to good music. These simple self-care acts could bring the relief you need as insomnia and/or stress could also be the culprit.
#5. Try painkillers
Over-the-counter painkillers like Midol, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin, and Aspirin are a sure bet, especially if you have to go to work or have physical activities to carry out during the day and can’t afford the luxury of lying down on your bed to feel better.
It’s good to note that physical activities also help reduce menstrual cramps, so get moving.
Featured image: Sora Shimazaki | Pexels
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