Most females experience pain, cramps, discomfort, and ache around the lower back, abdomen, and thighs during menstruation.
Your monthly menstrual flow is usually accompanied by pains due to the contraction and relaxation of the muscles of your womb. This muscular movement is to help get rid of built-up lining. Other accompanying symptoms of menstrual pains include headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
While some women experience intense menstrual pains monthly, others barely feel any pains. Some factors that may cause some women to experience pains and others to have painless free periods include heavy menstrual flow, being under age 20, excess production of prostaglandins, endometriosis, having your first child, and growths in your womb.
In this article, we examined some effective natural remedies for menstrual pains which can be used to ease mild to moderate cramps.
10 Effective Natural Remedies for Menstrual Pain
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven to restrain prostaglandins, thus helping to provide relieve from menstrual pains and cramps. Prostaglandins are formed in the endometrium of the uterus and are released during a woman’s period thus leading to muscle contractions, pain, and cramps. Prostaglandins are also responsible for vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and headache during menstrual flow. Sipping on chamomile tea inhibits prostaglandins and aids painless menstrual flow.
Several studies have proven that ginger capsules ease symptoms of painful periods. Women who take ginger capsules report feeling relieved and having no need for pain-killers.
Turmeric root contains a potent compound called curcumin, which is effective in relieving menstrual pain. Women who took curcumin reported relieve in the mood and behavioral symptoms attributed to premenstrual syndrome.
Keeping yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water is an effective natural remedy for menstrual pain. Dehydration leads to bloating, which aggravates period pains and other accompanying symptoms. Ensure you drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water on daily basis, you can even increase the intake during your period.
A study showed that 80 percent of young women who took capsules containing 30 milligrams of fennel extract 4 times daily for 3 days before the start of their menstrual period experienced less pain during their period compared to those who took a placebo. Experts have established that fennel stalls uterine contractions that are fueled by prostaglandins.
6. Heating Pad
Heat helps to relax muscles. Since the uterus is muscular in nature, applying heating pad can help it to relax thereby reducing menstrual pains. A study published in Evidence-Based Nursing found that topical application of heat is equally as potent as ibuprofen for period cramps. The research showed that for faster relieve, it is best to combine the use of heating pad with ibuprofen.
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7. Yoga Poses
There are effective yoga poses that helps in stretching your muscles and calming the effect of painful periods. Yoga poses can be done during your menstrual flow but avoid doing some inverted poses like shoulder stand as it can meddle with the natural blood flow.
8. Herbal Tea
Though the use of herbal teas for menstrual pain has been in use for so many years, but there are anecdotal evidences to support its efficacy. Research on herbal teas for menstrual pain relief is scarce, but teas have been used by menstruating women in numerous cultures for centuries.
Herbal teas like peppermint tea, ginger tea, cramp bark, and fennel tea, are usually recommended for menstrual pain as they contain properties that help to calm the body.
Experts claim Dietary magnesium appears to help relieve the pain of cramps. Foods like peanut butter, almonds, spinach, black beans, and yogurt contains magnesium making it an effective natural remedy for menstrual pain.
Magnesium supplements also help to ease menstrual pains but ensure you take it under the supervision of a medical expert for proper prescription because the dose you need depends on the severity of your symptoms.
10. Essential Oils
There are some aromatic essential oils like clary sage, marjoram, and lavender essential oils, can provide relieve from menstrual cramp pain, according to research published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. For the study, the research team asked 48 participants with menstrual cramps and other symptoms to massage with essential oils or a synthetic fragrance into their lower abdomen between periods.
At the end of the study, women in both groups experienced less pain, but participants in the essential oils group did better. Based on the women’s reports, researchers found that the duration of pain was reduced by almost a half a day after self-massaging with the essential oils.
You must exercise caution when using essential oils for menstrual pain. Go for high-quality oils that are tested for purity and ensure the oils are diluted with carrier oils to prevent it from burning your skin.
Signs to Show Your Period Pain Is Normal
Monthly menstrual flow can be excruciating for some women, while for others it goes unnoticed. Painful period don’t usually point to a poor health condition, but may also mean you have an underlying medical condition that needs proper diagnosis and treatment.
A normal menstrual cycle starts on the first day of a period and the average cycle is 28 days long. However, a cycle can range in length from 21 days to about 35 days. The steps in the normal menstrual cycle are triggered by the rise and fall of hormones. Some symptoms of normal menstrual period includes:
- Food cravings
- Breast tenderness
- Trouble sleeping
- Cramps in the lower abdomen and back
Some medical conditions that may be causing your painful period include:
- Uterine Fibroids. Fibroids are noncancerous growths that grow inside the walls of the uterus. The sizes of uterine fibroid can varies ranging from small tiny speck to large masses.
- Endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus grows outside the uterus.
- Adenomyosis. This occurs when tissues that usually lines the uterus starts to grow inside the organ’s muscle wall.
The foods you eat and lifestyle habits can either help or aggravate your menstrual cramps. There are some foods you need to steer clear from if you experience monthly menstrual pains. Some of these foods include pasta, bread, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, trans-fatty foods such as cookies, French fries, crackers, onion rings, and magarine. Consuming these foods worsens inflammation and may promote period pain.
If your monthly menstrual period becomes extremely unbearable, it is best for you confer with your medical doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.