Most women feel mild to severe cramping during menstrual bleeding. These cramps may not be a signal of some gynecological problems that simply appear by themselves. Dysmenorrhea begins a few days before or on the day of menstruation.
Cramps occur as pains in the form of amplitude–rapid amplification and reduction. They mainly occur in the lower and middle part of the stomach, although they may extend to the hips and rump. Also, uterine contractions can cause stomach and thigh muscle spasms. During this period, women generally may feel bad which is accompanied by weakness, dizziness, and chills. In the case of very strong menstrual cramps occur nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Predisposition to develop this type of dysmenorrhea, also called primary dysmenorrhea, usually occurs in girls who get their first period very early. However, menstrual pain can indicate the existence of certain gynecological disorders, such as endometriosis. Women older than 25 are more predisposed to develop secondary dysmenorrhea.
Menstrual Cramps Causes
Menstrual cramps occur as a result of increased secretion of prostaglandin, a substance that is found in the uterine lining. Prostaglandin increases uterus contractions, which causes the occurrence of pain. Also, during menstruation, veins and arteries enlarge which pool blood instead of circulating it. This leads to the accumulation of blood in the pelvis, which creates a feeling of bloating and heaviness. In addition, blood flow and the passing of blood clots can be a problem because of the extremely small opening of the cervix. If the pain is caused by this factor, it is a good sign, because in most women with this problem, cramps disappear after the first delivery.
Drugs For Menstrual Cramps
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen) are usually used for eliminating dysmenorrhea. They stop the production of prostaglandin and reduce the pain. These drugs are based on Aspirin, so there is very little probability of an allergic reaction. They don’t belong to a group of narcotics and don’t create addiction.
However, women with a sensitive stomach or a stomach ulcer shouldn’t take this medication without simultaneous intake of food because they have a slightly irritating effect on the digestive organs. Also, these drugs should not be taken during pregnancy.
Prostagladin, after its production breaks down very quickly from about half an hour. Following the PMS symptoms, cramps can be very easily anticipated. One of these drugs can be taken several days before the expected period or upon the occurrence of the first signal of cramps. This way, the painful process of creating spasms can be effectively avoided.
Women have access to numerous brands of medications to relieve menstrual symptoms. Since the formation of prostaglandin is a complicated process that involves many stages, different drugs target specific phases. Because of this, the appropriate remedy varies from woman to woman, sometimes the same woman corresponding to different drugs. Therefore, it is necessary to listen to your own body and choose a remedy that suits you the most.
It is best to start with ibuprofen. Besides being the cheapest, it is suitable for those women with stomach troubles. Also, it’s good for young girls and women with demanding jobs because it provides the effect of up to 12 hours.
If the NSAIDs prove ineffective, oral contraceptives can be used to relieve heavy bleeding and severe menstrual cramps. If the pain is persistent and intolerable, use narcotic pain relievers.
In addition to drugs, physical activity has huge benefits for relieving menstrual symptoms. Also, there are many alternative ways to overcome problems with dysmenorrhea, such as herbal and natural remedies.