Menstrual cramps are routine for many women. They vary in severity, but are usually a noticeable inconvenience. Menstrual cramps can be anticipated and treated in a variety of ways, and certain natural remedies can be of help.
The Causes of Menstrual Cramps
Some mild pain before or during menstruation is normal. Cramps occur as a result of the uterus contracting to shed its uterine lining. This is, of course, a normal process for a woman’s reproductive system.
Typical symptoms are throbbing or cramping in the lower abdomen, continuous ache, and some radiating pain. Some women also experience nausea, headache, dizziness, and other symptoms.
If a woman’s menstrual cramps are severe, unusual, or occurring later in life or with what could be considered odd timing, there might be an underlying condition at work. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the most common. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is basically a worse form of PMS, accompanied by severe pain. Fibroids, ovarian cysts, and other complications can also contribute to increased pain around the time of menstruation. If this pertains to you, talk to your doctor. These might require medical treatment.
Remedying Menstrual Cramps
Lifestyle factors can almost certainly be a significant influence in the occurrence of menstrual pain. Reducing stress and regular exercise, which often go hand-in-hand, are two ways to help reduce the chances of more-than-mild menstrual pain. A hot bath or applying a heating pad to the painful area can also help.
Alternative treatment methods such as acupuncture can be used to treat menstrual cramps as well. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is another medical treatment that can potentially bring relief.
Herbal remedies can also work to mitigate and relieve menstrual cramps. While these are not all supported by strong scientific evidence, they are recognized for their potential to help reduce or relieve menstrual cramps. Speak with your doctor before trying any new supplements or herbal remedies.
Boron is a mineral that has been shown to reduce the intensity and length of time spent in pain due to menstrual cramps in at least one study. This mineral helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. Boron is present in some foods, but is easily accessible in oral supplement form as well.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are derived from fish oil, can be effective in reducing menstrual cramps. A number of studies have shown omega-3s to be effective in reducing pain in women, as compared to a placebo. It’s best to take this supplement just before eating a meal.
Chamomile tea is a pleasant addition to your routine that can help relieve menstrual cramps. It is best to drink 1 or 2 cups of chamomile tea per day in the week leading up to menstruation. This might help reduce cramps by relaxing the muscles and nerves in the reproductive system.
Magnesium is a critical mineral for many bodily processes. It might reduce the pain due to menstruation, as well cut back on the need for additional medication to treat said pain. Be aware of the dosage, as taking too much magnesium can have negative side effects. Talk to your doctor before trying.
Ginger in its raw form, grated and added to warm water, can be a useful remedy for menstrual cramps. One study showed that 250mg of ginger four times a day around menstruation brought relief.
Almost all women at one time or another in their life have to deal with the painful and annoying symptoms of menstrual cramps, but help is available in a number of forms, to include over-the-counter supplements available at most groceries and pharmacy stores.