Period Cramps: Why They Happen and How to Relieve Them
Unfortunately, period cramps are a common occurrence in many women's menstrual cycles. These cramps are typically felt in the lower abdomen but can also spread to the back and surrounding areas.
Some women experience short and sharp period cramps, and others experience pains that can go on for hours. The severity of cramps can vary each month and may sometimes be accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
Within this guide, we will be taking you through why period cramps happen and how to relieve them. The best way to find the right treatment is by understanding the problem, and as you read on, you’ll find this easy to do so.
What Causes Period Cramps?
There are a few factors that can trigger period cramps and the exact cause will vary between each individual. However, the most common cause of period cramps is down to the muscles in the womb tightening. When you have your period, your uterus contracts in order to shed its lining. As these contractions happen, the supply of oxygen to your uterus reduces, causing cramp-like pains whenever the muscles tighten.
Women who typically have heavy or long periods often find themselves more prone to period cramping. This is merely due to the fact that the uterus is under immense amounts of pressure for longer than expected.
Other causes of period cramps include:
- Smoking addictions
- Pelvic infections
- Being underweight
- Being under the age of 30
- Taking birth control
How To Relieve Period Cramps
Period pain, particularly period cramps, can be quite the nuisance. If you struggle with cramps frequently or find that the pain interferes with your everyday life, it might be time to find some methods of relief.
There are many period pain treatments out there - let’s take a look at some of the most effective:
Medication: Anti-inflammatory tablets like mefenamic acid tablets effectively tackle period pain. These tablets work by reducing the number of prostaglandins in the lining of your uterus, relieving the contractions which cause cramps. These tablets can also reduce the amount of blood flow, making them a popular favourite amongst women looking to manage heavy periods.
Heat: Whether you use a hot water bottle or heat pad, placing it on the area you’re experiencing cramps can help to relieve some of the discomforts. It has been found that heat is just as effective as using a generic painkiller like aspirin. It’s also super relaxing during the colder months!
Diet Changes: A lot of health problems are resolved by healthy lifestyle changes, and believe it or not, period cramps fall into this category. While there are no clinical recommendations as of current, many studies have shown that women who follow a vegetarian diet experience less period pain. It is also wise to eat plenty of foods rich in iron when menstruating.
Other Relief Methods Include:
- Quitting smoking
- Managing stress
When To See A Doctor
Most of the time, women experiencing period cramps benefit from over the counter medication and require no further treatment. You can purchase mefenamic acid tablets right here at Express Pharmacy.
If severe period pains continue to cause problems after trying the above relief methods, consider seeing a doctor. Severe and constant menstrual cramps could be a sign of a serious health condition like endometriosis.