This condition only occurs among females with regular or irregular menstruation cycles.
A period cramp is also known as dysmenorrhea — a throbbing and cramping pain in the lower abdomen which occurs before and during their period.
For some women, the pain from period cramps can be annoying, However, for some with severe pain symptoms, it usually interferes with their everyday activities.
If you ask a woman, having period cramps is one of the most annoying parts of having your monthly period.
But, period cramp severity usually varies from person to person. There are actually some women that don’t experience period cramps, while others experience it on a monthly basis.
These cramps can range from mild to severe. And this usually becomes less painful or may entirely stop after having your first child.
Your period occurs when your uterus sheds its lining. This may cause pain such as cramping and discomfort during periods. A painful type of menstruation is called dysmenorrhea or period cramps.
The usual symptoms for period cramps include:
Throbbing or cramping pain in the lower abdomen that can range from mild to severe.
Lower abdomen pain which starts 1 to 3 days before your period.
Dull, continuous ache
Pain that radiates to your lower back and thighs
Pressure in your belly
Some women also have:
Here are some risks of having painful periods:
Younger than 20
Reaching puberty before the age of 11
Never having a baby
Having irregular periods
Having heavy bleeding during their period
Having a family history of painful periods
Having period cramps may be symptoms of an underlying condition, such as:
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
This is a common condition caused by hormonal changes in the body which occurs 1 to 2 weeks before menstruation begins.
This on the other hand, is a painful condition wherein cells from the uterus lining grow in other parts of the body, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or tissue lining in the pelvis.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
This is an infection of the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes that are often caused by sexually transmitted bacteria that causes inflammation and pain of the reproductive organs.
This is a rare condition wherein the cervix is too narrow or small that it slows down menstrual flow, causing pressure increase inside the uterus,which will then cause pain.
Fibroids In The Uterus
This is a condition of having fibroids in the uterus. Fibroids are noncancerous tumors which can put pressure on the uterus or cause abnormal menstruation and pain.
It is a rare condition wherein the uterine lining grows into the muscular wall of the uterus which causes inflammation,pain, and pressure. This may also cause longer and heavier periods.
Dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps can usually be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, it is not advisable in large and continuous consumptions.
For a more natural treatment with less to no side effects, try natural remedies for period cramps because it can also work like your usual over-the-counter drugs.
Ginger has been a very popular remedy for a variety of conditions. This is because ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
A study found that ginger capsules help relieve symptoms of dysmenorrhea including painful periods.
The women included in the ginger group took 250 milligrams of ginger capsules for 4 times a day for the first 3 days of their periods.
The women in the mefenamic group also took 250 milligrams of mefenamic acid capsules for 4 times a day while those in the ibuprofen group took 400 milligrams per day for 4 times a day.
The women in each 3 groups reported similar pain relief and reduction in the severity of dysmenorrhea. Thus, ginger can work as good as the painkiller you’re using. No one reported severe side effects with any treatment.
This spice works to relax the cramping uterine muscles and block the production of prostaglandins — inflammatory compounds which stimulate the uterine contractions.
This is similar to the role of Ibuprofen. Cinnamon has a long history in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Western herbalists have traditionally used this spice to alleviate menstrual cramps and slow heavy menstrual bleeding.
Herbal medicines typically have milder effectiveness with minimal or no side effects. Since cinnamon has been found to be safe with a limited dosage.
Cinnamon is a simple and convenient natural remedy for alleviating period cramps.
Chamomile is a very popular tea for its mild and relaxing properties. It is full of anti-inflammatory substances that inhibit prostaglandins.
The cells in the endometrium release prostaglandins during a woman’s menstrual cycle, which causes pain and cramps.
Prostaglandins in the bloodstream are the main culprit in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, and diarrhea during your period.
You can find chamomile tea in groceries or convenient stores.
Sipping some chamomile tea will slow down pain-causing prostaglandins and enhance menstrual flow for easing painful periods.
This mineral is essential for one’s body inorder to build muscles, protein, and healthy bones.
This also helps muscles and nerves to function properly, regulate blood pressure, as well as, control blood sugar levels.
Magnesium helps in creating DNA and RNA, and to manufacture glutathione in the body.
One study found that those who took 250 milligrams of magnesium along with 40 milligrams of Vitamin B6 per day experienced a drastic reduction in dysmenorrhea symptoms.
Just be careful with taking magnesium along with other medications such as antibiotics, diuretics, proton pump inhibitors, and bisphosphonates.
Having a proper amount of magnesium is also associated with a lower chance of getting endometriosis.
Great sources for magnesium include spinach, cashews, peanuts, black beans, and almonds. An adult woman should get 310-400 milligrams of magnesium per day.
A good example for this is a heating pad, hot water bottle, or heat wrap which are already very popular natural remedies for a cramping abdomen.
It helps relax the muscles therefore reducing muscle cramping in the abdomen.
A study between women who already had dysmenorrhea found that those who applied a heating pad experienced similar pain relief benefits from the pad as those who took ibuprofen for cramps.