That time of the month is never fun; always unpleasant.
Apart from changing your bathroom routine, you encounter a few more troubling period symptoms; food cravings, sleep issues, bloating, mood swings, anger, exhaustion, sensitive breasts, etc. Symptoms like these are warning indications that your period is about to start. Most of these symptoms may even appear a week before your actual period.
Then, there are the cramps. If you are one of the eight women who get menstrual cramps, your period is probably the worst time of the month. We need to understand why period cramps happen and what we can do to ease the pain.
What Causes Period Cramps?
During menstruation, the uterus must contract to help expel the lining that has built up in preparation for a potential pregnancy. The contractions happen due to the release of prostaglandins, hormone-like secretions produced by the uterus.
Prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract, which helps expel the lining. However, they can also cause pain and discomfort. The more prostaglandins produced, the stronger and more painful the contractions can be.
Home Remedies to Lessen the Period Cramps!
So, what to do for these painful cramps? While there are over-the-counter medications available to alleviate the pain, there are also some home remedies that may help:
1- Employ Heat Therapy!
Heat therapy can help alleviate period cramps by relaxing the muscles in the lower abdomen and increasing blood flow to the area.
When heat is applied, it helps to reduce muscle tension, which can decrease the intensity of the cramps. Heat also improves blood circulation, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the area and promotes healing.
You can apply heat therapy in different ways, such as using a heating pad, a hot water bottle, a hot shower, etc. Apply the heat to the lower abdomen for almost 15-20 minutes several times a day as you need.
Research has shown that heat therapy is an effective home remedy for period cramps and can be just as effective as over-the-counter pain medications. It’s a safe and natural option, and you can use it alone or with other remedies to help relieve menstrual pain.
2- Do an Exercise Regimen!
Exercise can help reduce period cramps in several ways:
- Increases endorphins: Exercise releases endorphins, natural painkillers that can help to alleviate menstrual pain.
- Improves blood flow: Physical activity increases blood flow, including the uterus. This increased blood flow can help to reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps.
- Reduces stress: Stress can worsen period cramps, so engaging in physical activity can help reduce stress levels and improve overall mood.
- Improves muscle tone: Regular exercise can help improve muscle tone in the pelvic region, which reduces the severity of menstrual cramps.
It’s important to note that not all types of exercise are suitable for period cramps. High-intensity exercise like running or weightlifting may worsen cramps, while gentle ones like walking, yoga, or stretching are more beneficial. These can help increase blood flow and reduce muscle tension without putting too much strain on the body.
3- Add More Vitamins and Minerals to Your Food
Many vitamins and minerals help ease period cramps. Eating a healthy diet is another strategy to relieve period discomfort.
Magnesium and vitamin B1, often known as thiamin, may help lessen period cramps. Most adults get these two vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet.
You can get magnesium and vitamin B1 from foods like seeds, nuts, whole grains, and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, beans, spinach, cauliflower, kale, avocado, asparagus, oranges, etc.
4- Try Some Yoga for Pain Relief!
Yoga can be a great way to help relieve period cramps. Here are some yoga poses that may be particularly helpful:
- Child’s pose (Balasana): This pose can help to relieve tension in the lower back and abdominal muscles. To do this pose, kneel on the floor with your toes touching and your knees spread apart. Sit back on your heels and stretch your arms, resting your forehead on the floor.
- Supine twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): This pose can help release tension in the back and hips. Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides, then bring your right knee up to your chest and cross it over your body to the left side. Turn your head to the right holding for several breaths, then switch sides.
- Cobra pose (Bhujangasana): This pose can help to stretch the abdominal muscles and relieve cramps. Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Lift your upper body off the ground while keeping your pelvis on the floor. Hold for several breaths, then release.
A Final Thought!
Using these home remedies when you experience period pain can help immensely. Although, before doing a new exercise, yoga, or eating something new, it’s better to consult a gynecologist doctor to get a better idea of what you should do.