Let’s face it women don’t have it easy. Every month, they tend to be either grateful or spiteful or both for this reason, their monthly period. Grateful because it indicates they are not pregnant and spiteful because of the emotional and physical consequences during this time. For four to five days women go through, mood swings, discomfort and the worst of all cramps.
During the menstrual period, the uterine wall sheds its inner lining by the help of a host of hormones. Cramps occur as a result of uterine muscle contractions which are triggered by a hormone known as prostaglandins. This hormone is responsible for expelling the uterus lining and it is also prominent during labour. High levels of prostaglandins result in severe menstrual cramps. As part of the menstrual period the uterus gets no blood supply which causes muscle spasms. In other words pain and discomfort become the order of the day or days in this case.
Popping painkillers may seem like an easy solution to menstrual cramps however it isn’t advisable unless the case is severe. In the long run, painkillers can lead to addiction and numerous side effects that could include liver damage. For this reason it is recommended to use natural methods to alleviate pain. Below are five tried and tested home remedies that will do just that.
When all one may want to do is crawl into bed and curl up into a ball for four or five days, exercising may seem contradictory and unappealing. None the less exercising such as particular yoga poses, brisk walking and stretching can help release beta-endorphins. In other words the body releases its own morphine which counteracts the prostaglandins resulting in pain relief.
Another easy and popular method to beat cramps is applying heat to the painful area such as using hot water bottles or heat pads. Heat causes the contracted uterine muscles to relax, effectively resulting in pain relief. It has been proven that continuous application of low level topical heat is as effective as using ibuprofen and quicker for menstrual pain relief.
Abdominal massage using lavender or olive oil can bring great comfort to contracted muscles and improve blood flow. This can be done in any position, standing or lying down by making small circles around your lower abdomen for intervals of ten minutes, as many times as necessary
During periods, it’s recommended to reduce caffeine intake as it leads to water retention thus bloating and more cramps. Instead drink tea with pain soothing effects such as green tea, peppermint or chamomile tea. If not tea drinking hot or warm water can be just as effective as using a hot water bottle, as hot liquids regulate blood flow. Drinking water can also help with a bloated stomach as it prevents water retention.
Finally a good night sleep of about six to eight hours can help relieve menstrual cramps. The fatal position is advisable as it takes the pressure off the abdominal muscles. Not only are these methods easy but also cheap.