This topic is one that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is something that most, if not all, women have struggled with at some point in their life…cramps...dreadful menstrual cramps that come along with our monthly cycle. Have you ever wondered why this happens?
Let us first look at what exactly is menstrual pain. These pains are excruciating sensations that affect a woman before (as part of PMS) or during her menstrual cycle. Period pains, also known as dysmenorrhea, range from being an annoying ache to completely severe. The severe pains can cripple a woman on her worst days. These cramps usually begin when the egg is released into the fallopian tube which occurs after ovulation.
The pain occurs in both the lower abdomen and lower back and can start two to four days before your period and last two to four days during your period. So let us break it down.
Approximately every 28 days, an egg is released and if there is no sperm to fertilise the egg, the uterus contracts to shed its lining due to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins. In an article from everydayhealth.com, Cathy Cassata states, “During your period, prostaglandins trigger muscles in your uterus to contract. These contractions help expel the uterus lining. Higher levels of prostaglandins can cause more severe menstrual cramps, and severe contractions may constrict the blood vessels around the uterus.”
Here are some home remedies which you can try to help ease the pain:
Soaking in a hot tub or using a heating pad on your lower abdomen are great options that can ease your menstrual cramps.
Studies have shown that some women benefit from exercise as a way to ease their cramps. If a rigorous workout doesn’t do it, try opting for a good stretch.
Some women saw eliminating caffeine as a helpful way to ease menstrual cramps.
Orgasms may help, in some cases, to relieve menstrual cramps. The release of an orgasm should bring some form of relief from the pain. Sexual intercourse also triggers the release of endorphins, which are ‘feel good’ chemicals. However, I would caution having sex while on your period as studies indicate the risk of infection and pregnancy still remain during the menstrual cycle.