Most women have experienced menstrual cramps at least a few times. Varying from mild discomfort to a debilitating pain, menstrual cramps are a way of life for millions of women worldwide. Right from an early age, at the onset of the menstrual cycle, we are trained to bear pain. But contrary to the old grandma's tale, menstrual cramps can be dealt with. If you experience unbearable pain, you MUST seek relief from your health care provider or through home remedies.
What Are Menstrual Cramps? The term "Menstrual Cramps" refers to pain in the abdomen and pelvic area that a woman experiences during her monthly periods. It should not be confused with PMS. PMS is the term for Pre-Menstrual symptoms of discomfort that preceede menstruation. PMS may be in the form of physical or emotional disturbances. But the cramps accompany the onset of menstruation and are the worst in the first 2 days. Statistics suggest that menstrual cramps affect at least 50% of women worldwide. 90% of women complain of having had experienced menstrual cramps as young girls. 15% of women experience unbearably bad cramps every month.
Help For Menstrual Cramps If you experience intolerable pain every month, it is best that you see your doctor for advice and medication. However, the remedies suggested below are also known to be helpful in dealing with the menstrual cramps:
Diet & Water: Drink a lot of water and watch what you eat. Though there are many myths surrounding the topic of what to eat and what to avoid during menstruation, some of these really work. Avoiding certain "hot" foods helps in dealing with the pain and discomfort. Foods to be avoided are refined foods like pastries, pasta, cakes etc and spicy foods, pickles etc. It is best to eat a natural diet full of fruit and vegetables.
Enema: A warm water enema helps in providing relief from the pain. Since menstruation is usually accompanied with constipation, gas and bloating, the enema helps in releiving these symptoms as well.
Aromatherapy: An aromatherapy bath or mere relaxation with scented candles can have a calming effect. Aromatherapy is known to have good results in reducing menstrual pain and discomfort.
Hot Pad: A heat pad or a hot water bottle is probably the best cure for instant relief from the cramps. If you do not have either, you can use a glass bottle with hot water filled in it, or a thick sock filled with rice that can be heated in the microwave. Use your hot water bottle or the hot pad over your belly or under your back to get instant relief.
Avoid Smoking: Smoking is not only bad for your reproductive health, it is also known to aggravate the menstrual problems. So avoid smoking to keep menstrual cramps in check.
Exercise: Don't let anyone tell you that it is wrong to work out during menstruation! Exercising takes your mind off the cramps for a while. Moreover, it releases the "feel good hormones" called Endorphins. So you get relief from your pain and discomfort for at least a few hours.
Lie Down: Lie down on your tummy for a while. Lying on your stomach applies pressure to the uterus. This is one way of reducing the pain of your cramps.
Medicines: If you experience menstrual cramps regularly, you should ask your doctor to prescribe a medicine for you. Whenever the pain gets unbearable, you should take the pill and lie down for a while.