Every woman faces pain before or during menstruation to one degree or another. In order not to suffer from pain, you need to take timely measures. We have collected for you the most effective ways to get rid of pain during menstruation.
Causes of menstrual pain
In most cases, menstrual pain is explained quite simply. If pregnancy does not occur, the endometrium (uterine mucosa) is rejected from the uterine walls, while prostaglandins are released, which contributes to a better exit of the remnants of the uterine mucosa to the outside. If a lot of prostaglandins are formed, the muscles contract more actively, which causes menstrual pain.
Specialists for painful periods have their own name — dysmenorrhea (previously it was called algodismenorrhea). In addition, doctors divide it into primary and secondary.
- Primary dysmenorrhea is common in young girls and women (aged approximately 14 to 25 years) and is characterized by contractile activity of the uterus. In addition to the characteristic lower abdominal pain, symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea may include nausea, headaches, and upset stools. They usually appear the day before and a couple of days after the onset of menstruation. Dysmenorrhea is successfully treated and if you are concerned about painful menstruation, it is better to see a doctor who will prescribe treatment.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea is usually associated with organic changes in the pelvic organs (for example, endometriosis, chronic inflammatory processes with the formation of adhesions). In this case, only your attending gynecologist can choose the right treatment.
Causes of menstrual pain that are not related to diseases of the female reproductive system include::
- intrauterine device
- lack of physical activity
- lack of magnesium and calcium in the body
- improper nutrition
- stress and lack of sleep
- low pain threshold
How to get rid of menstrual pain
If the pain before or during menstruation passes quickly and does not cause you much inconvenience, you practically do not pay attention to the onset of menstruation and lead a habitual lifestyle, then it is enough just to take care of yourself, avoiding excessive physical exertion on these days. But if the first day of your period turns into a nightmare for you, you should take action.
How to reduce pain during menstruation
The easiest and most popular way is to take a pill that relieves pain and cramps. Just be sure to check with your doctor which drug is right for you. But don’t make taking painkillers a habit. If you can’t live without pills every month and take them several times a day, this is a wake-up call, meaning that you need to see a doctor immediately.
Birth control pills contain hormones that inhibit ovulation. No ovulation — no painful menstruation. Among other things, they will save you from the manifestations of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). But keep in mind that you need to select such pills individually and only your gynecologist can do this based on the results of examinations and tests.
Some women mistakenly believe that sports are contraindicated during menstruation, although in reality the opposite is true. Sports provide good blood circulation to the muscles and make them more elastic. The uterus consists of several types of muscles, so regular exercise and good constant stretching make it much easier to tolerate pain during menstruation caused by uterine contraction.
So if you don’t have any special instructions from your doctors, try doing some light exercise.:
- Stand up straight, put your feet shoulder-width apart, and do 15-20 regular squats. Keep your weight on your heels and your back straight.
- Sit cross-legged and start slowly bringing your knees together and apart. Repeat 15-20 times.
- Stand on all fours, arch your back like a cat, and then return to the starting position. Repeat 15-20 times.
But here it is better to refuse serious power loads in the first days of menstruation.
Swimming should be highlighted separately. This is the safest and least traumatic type of sport that relieves pain. It helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension. Just do not forget to use a tampon while swimming, and immediately after the pool — to change it.
Vitamin B6 and magnesium are friends and main helpers of a woman suffering from menstrual pain. Taking these vitamins and trace elements will help reduce unpleasant sensations. In addition, today for women there are many vitamin complexes that can facilitate the course of menstruation. But it is best to choose them together with your doctor.
Take a warm, comfortable shower or put a warm (!) hot water bottle on your lower abdomen to ease the pain. And if there is no special heating pad, you can pour warm water into a regular plastic bottle. This method is best suited for relieving menstrual pain before going to bed, as after a shower, it is best to immediately go to a warm bed.
Herbal teas, decoctions and infusions
Tea with chamomile or mint also helps to relax the abdominal muscles and reduce menstrual pain. Herbal infusions of nettle, horsetail, wild strawberries and calendula are also good.
Lie down, or rather get some sleep in the fetal position. To do this, lie down on the floor and pull your legs up to your stomach. This position will help you relax and reduce pain.
On the eve and during menstruation, doctors recommend reducing the consumption of coffee, strong tea, as well as fried and spicy. But foods rich in calcium should be eaten more actively. Include more cottage cheese, milk porridge, fish, cheese, and bananas in your diet. By the way, bananas, among other things, will also help to improve the mood, which in the first days of menstruation will definitely not hurt.
Abdominal and lower back massage
- Massage of the lower back will help relieve cramps and soothe pain. Ideally, it should be made by someone close to you. But if such a person is not around at the right moment, you can make one for yourself. Put a tennis ball in two bags or socks and lie on them with your lower back (the balls should be on both sides of the spine at the level of the lower ribs). Gently roll on the balls, massaging the muscles.
- A tummy massage will help reduce tension in the abdominal area. To do this, massage your stomach with a warm hand in a clockwise circular motion.
Prevention of pain during menstruation
So that menstrual pain does not cause you any inconvenience:
- Lead an active lifestyle and play sports. According to statistics, athletes are much less likely to complain of pain during menstruation. Moreover, the sport can be anything-from yoga, pilates and swimming to martial arts and dance.
- Spend more time in the fresh air and get enough sleep.
- Include in your diet foods rich in calcium (cottage cheese, cheese, seafood) and magnesium (buckwheat, parsley, spinach, bitter chocolate).
- Try to eat less spicy and fried foods and avoid coffee and strong tea.
- Give up bad habits.
- Do not overcool, avoid stressful situations. Visit your gynecologist every six months, even if nothing bothers you. Any disease is much easier to prevent than to treat. Not to mention that many processes in the female body can be asymptomatic for a long time.
In what cases should you immediately consult a doctor?:
- The pain is so bad that you have to take a sick day off and stay in bed all day.
- The pain lasts for more than two days.
- Menstrual pain has started to torment you recently, although earlier periods were painless.
- Monthly periods have become more plentiful than usual or last much longer.
- You are taking oral contraceptives, but severe pain still bothers you.
- painkillers don’t help you.
In all these cases, you should not self-medicate or heroically endure unpleasant sensations. It is better to go to the gynecologist as soon as possible to establish and eliminate the cause of these symptoms and quickly return to your usual lifestyle.