5 Ways to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Period pains are common and a normal part of your menstrual cycle, however period pains can become so bad/painful that even doctors have given it a medical name: dysmenorrhea.
More than half of women who menstruate report some form of pain from period cramps each month, according to several different obstetricians and gynaecologists’ groups.
Those who are reading this are probably familiar with period cramps, especially uterine cramps that happen around the time before your period begins. These cramps are typically felt around the abdomen, thighs or your back – there’s a chance you may also experience pain in the middle of your cycle or perhaps during ovulation.
Most menstrual cramps are usually nothing to worry about, however if menstrual cramps become severe or incredibly painful it may be associated with medical conditions like endometriosis or adenomyosis. Unfortunately severe period pains are usually overlooked or undertreated compared to male pain issues, however it is very common for a young woman to suffer from severe menstrual pains, but may never talk about this to their doctor.
Why are Periods Painful?
Prostaglandins are thought to be the compound that causes Dysmenorrhea – once a menstrual cycle starts every month the levels of this specific compound in the lining of your uterus increases.
The compound levels are usually at their highest around the first day of the menstrual period, which is mostly likely the reason why it is usually at its worse around this period of time.
The reason the focus is heavily around Prostaglandins is: asyour period progresses, your levels of this compound begin to drop and in return the level of pain decreases also.
Can Painful Period Cramps be a sign of something else?
Period pains or cramps aren't always something to be worried about as it is quite normal when they occur during your menstrual cycle, however some symptoms could be possibly linked with some medical conditions in women.
Each woman will usually have typical experiences or similar levels of cramps from one month to the next and month following that. For some women the pain will be fairly normal and easily bearable, however for others it can be incredibly painful. The usual question would be to ask yourself – is this normal?
Some women do suffer from:
- Uterine Fibroids – this medical condition is a noncancerous growth that emerges inside the uterine walls. This growth can range in size from one tiny speck to several masses.
- Endometriosis – This type of condition is quite regular in women of younger ages. This usually occurs when tissue that normally line the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus, often sticking to the ovaries, bowels and bladder.
- Adenomyosis – This condition is when the tissue that usually lines the uterus begins to grow within the organs muscle walls.
- PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is also very regular amongst younger women. This happens when you have heavy bleeding and clotting along with severe period pain, not the best of mixes. Other symptoms of PCOS can be even more specific, such as: Fertility problems, excess facial hair, oily skin, acne, weight gain and irregular periods.
- Other Things – Secondary Dysmenorrhoea include ovarian cysts, endometrial polyps, STI’s and tumours. Secondary Dysmenorrhoea can be in fact caused by PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
How do I relieve my Period Cramps?
If your periods become irregular, extremely painful and heavy – trying to find some form of pain relief or treatment may be important to your health, but sometimes some treatments may not always help relieve your pain.
Most methods of cramp or period pain relief do at least one of the following, or most of them at once:
- Block Pain
- Reduce Inflammation
- Treating underlying health conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS
- Limit Prostaglandin Production
Methods you may like to try:
- Tens Machines – Depending on the machine, they can help reduce inflammation, block pain and come with many more added benefits.
Types of Tens Machines we recommend, 2 of our most popular products:
1. Wireless Tens Machines - £125.95
2. Premier Tens Machines - £47.99
- Medication (subscribed by your doctor)
- Diet Changes
- Regular Exercising
TENS and Period Cramps
Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation Machines (TENS) is a regularly used and approved treatment for menstrual cramps. Tens machines are wired or wireless devices that deliver low-voltage electrical currents created by the TENS unit that is specifically designed to help relieve pain through the use of mild electrical currents.
The electrical current created by the machine is then passed through the body using specifically designed electrodes (sticky pads) that are attached to the skin. These electrodes are connected to the Tens Machines via wires, with some units using Bluetooth connections (wireless tens machines).
Further information can be found here – Tens and effective Period Pain Relief.