Severe menstrual cramps are a phenomenon affecting about 15% of all women at, at least, a single point in their lives. Even though the rest of the society may perceive this pain as normal and natural, reassuring women that they are overreacting and that the state of affairs is not so painful, women who have endured this kind of pain know that nothing can compare to it. Namely, the pain can return whenever a woman is in her menstrual period, appearing in the pelvic and abdominal regions, being the most prominent during the first and the second day of the menstrual period.
Reasons behind Severe Menstrual Cramps
This condition affects a woman due to her high levels of prostaglandins in the body. This chemical is supposed to regulate involuntary muscles in the body such as blood vessels and intestines. However, when too much of prostaglandins are produced, this may result in severe menstrual cramps. As the uterus opens and closes, releasing blood during the process, the lining of the uterine wall produces the chemical.
Yet, the severe menstrual cramps that some women need to endure are not all the same. Rather, there are two types of these cramps, being classified as primary and secondary.
Types of Severe Menstrual Cramps
Since this condition is medically referred to as dysmenorrhea, the primary type of dysmenorrhea is not caused by a gynecological complication but is, rather, triggered six or 12 months after the menarche.
As for secondary dysmenorrhea, it is provoked by an underlying health problem. Endometriosis, for example can cause these cramps, manifesting through dislocated uterine tissues and the Fallopian tube. Alternatively, severe menstrual cramps may be triggered by a pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroid tumors in the uterus and certain devices, like contraceptive ones, being installed inside the uterus.
Treatment for Severe Menstrual Cramps
To make matters worse, menstrual cramps usually go hand-in-hand with headaches, nausea and vomiting, as well as diarrhea and constipation.
Therefore, you can battle all these problems by modifying your lifestyle a bit. First of all, make sure that your diet is rich in calcium, zinc and all the vitamins you can enjoy. This will relieve bloating and will, therefore, decrease the severity of the cramps you are experiencing.
When the cramps strike, you may consume warm beverages such as tea in order to reduce the pain and the discomfort. Alternatively, you may place heat pads onto the surface of your abdomen.
As far as your overall lifestyle is concerned, avoid standing up a lot and make sure you get enough shuteye each night, allowing your body sufficient and appropriate rest. Even though you might consider this abnormal, do some gentle exercises in order to counter the cramps.
Pineapple juice is an excellent remedy for severe menstrual cramps, so drink it often. Additionally, anti-inflammatory drugs can help as well as herbal teas. If all else fails, seek medical assistance and your doctor will probably prescribe you medications which control prostaglandin production, relieving you of pain and menstrual cramps.