Signs and Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps (also known as dysmenorrhea or period cramps) are pains that occur in the abdominal and pelvic areas as a result of a woman's menstrual period.
The pain can vary significantly from woman to woman, with some cramps being relatively mild to others which are extremely
Mild menstrual cramps are often barely noticeable, and usually only last for a few hours. In such instances, the main symptom is usually just a sense of bloating or heaviness in the stomach area. Severe menstrual cramps, however, usually result in significant throbbing pain in the lower abdominal area (and occasionally the lower back) which can interfere with a woman's everday activities. In these cases, cramping can usually last for one or two days.
Other symptoms that sometimes accompany menstrual cramps include nausea and vomiting, sweating, dizziness, and loose stools.
Causes of Menstrual Cramps
During menstruation the body releases a hormone called prostaglandins, which causes the uterus to contract in order to help the uterus shed its lining.
Researchers believe that this hormone is one of the main causes of menstrual cramps.
For reasons that are still unknown, younger women tend to experience more severe cramps than older women. Additionally, severe cramping tends to decrease in intensity with age, and often disappear after pregnancy.
Other factors that are known to lead to menstrual cramps include stress, depression, anxiety, and smoking. Therefore, reducing or eliminating these risk factors may help to reduce the severity of cramping during menstruation.
Home Remedies and Natural Treatments for Menstrual Cramps
Many women have found that a heating pad placed on your lower back or abdomen helps to ease the pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps. If you don't have a heating pad, one can be easily made by filling a sock with flaxseeds or uncooked rice and heating it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
Chamomile is widely used to treat gynecologic complaints such as menstrual cramps and discomfort related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Add 2 teaspoons of dried Chamomile flowers to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for at least 5 minutes. If you are using a package of Chamomile tea bags, then follow the directions as stated on the box. Honey or sugar can be added for taste. A good preventive measure is to start drinking Chamomile tea a couple of days before you are expecting your period, and then drink at least 2 cups everyday during your period. It also feels great if you use your hot mug as a hot compress for your lower abdomen while you are drinking it.
Vitamins and Minerals
Foods and supplements that are rich in B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and zinc have been found to reduce the pain,
bloating and other symptoms of menstrual cramps.
In particular, calcium is known to help maintain muscle tone as well as prevent cramps and pain. For most women, a daily intake of 800 mg of calcium is recommended, which can be found in 3 cups of milk. Increasing magnesium is also recommended, since it helps the body absorb calcium. Good sources of magnesium include beans, whole wheat, tofu, salmon, shrimp, nuts, and vegetables.
Exercise is considered to be a natural way to reduce muscle tension and elevate one's mood. Therefore, maintaining a regular exercise program, including something as simple as walking for 20 minutes each day, can help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.
Ginger Root Tea
Ginger root has been found to help relieve the pain associated with menstrual cramps. Therefore, a simple soothing herbal tea can made from Ginger as follows:
- Slice a handful of ginger root
- Let the pieces simmer in boiling water for 15 minutes
- Using a strainer, pour the tea into a drinking cup or mug
- Add some honey as a natural sweetener if desired
I am 21 and it gets worse each month when it's this time of the month. I've gone to the doctor and emergency rooms due to the pain and was prescribed 50 mg Tremadol and 800 mg Ibuprofen which make me feel whacked out and unable to work but stops the pain. The doctor had put me on birth control pills which if you can do, DO NOW. I get painful menstrual cycles and the birth control pills made me feel like the only symptom I had was bleeding; it was amazing! Bad menstrual cycles can be hereditary, my mother's side of the family has had similar issues. It's a good idea to look into your family history, it helps understand your health conditions and can help prepare you for your health concerns. I have found quite a few things to make this horrible time easier. First thing I do is lay in a hot shower, not so hot that it burns my skin, but hot enough that there is steam and is comfortable. It provides almost instant abdominal relief. After that I dress comfy and keep my body warm, it makes me feel comfortable and helps ease the pain. Using heating pads or any type of tea, or a hot beverage helps. Caffeine is a blood thinner and helps with cramps, I prefer green or earl grey tea. Soup or anything hot and easy to make and eat helps. I am a smoker and tend to cut down to about 3-4 cigarettes the first day or two, which keeps the pain from getting worse. If I can I'll go for a walk or do a couple of sit-ups to help with the blood flow. If the pain is too bad I'll end up crying and rolling around in bed until I eventually fall asleep. Sleep helps everything, lol. If I stand for too long (please excuse my explicitness) the bleeding would actually stop and my pain would become unbearable. I would start getting nauseous and light headed. If I don't lie down right away when this happens I would faint.
I have also noticed different feminine products can make a difference for severe pain as well. If you use tampons be sure to use the correct flow size and to change it at least every 4 hours. I know the boxes say differently but changing your tampon when it has absorbed too much or too little as well as leaving it in too long is not only a danger to your health but also more painful and can be deadly if you get toxic shock syndrome (TSS). I used to use tampons because they felt more sanitary and easier but I discovered leaving blood soaked cotton in something that's painfully bleeding can cause more pain. Since then I've been using pads and it has helped. I hope these tips can help women struggling with being a woman. We shouldn't let what makes us strong control us and there are other women like us that are willing to help. Surround yourself in comfort and tell yourself it will be over soon. It can be embarrassing when you have men in your life but remember, the kitchen is where the knives are! ;)
I used to get really bad cramps. Then I tried being vegan and after 2 months, I didn't get cramps anymore. The thing is my libido also went away. I read about the paleo diet and a lot of other nutritional research and, since they don't think milk is good, I thought maybe it was just dairy products I should avoid. so I started eating fish and more fats. I started cooking my eggs in some bacon grease someone gave me and the cramps came back big time. I think there is so much we don't understand about medicine and nutrition. Other people have reported having pretty much the exact opposite of what I experienced. So I guess everyone's body is different and you need to cut out non healthy things one at a time to pinpoint what is not good for you.
Hello, I had the same thing happen to me. The SEVERE pain that wouldn't go away for hours that started the first time I got my period. I went to the doctor all the time for years, and they said there was nothing wrong. But turns out, they were wrong. You might have cysts. They are extremely painful and hard to catch once they have erupted. To detect them, lay on your back on the floor, and feel below your belly button. If there is a hard bump or swelling that makes you look pregnant laying down, then you should go to the doctor asap and ask for an ultrasound. That's how they found my cysts. Hope I helped. Constant pain anywhere in the body sucks ðŸ˜©
I am 28 and my menstruation days are a nightmare to me. I experience cramps a week or 4 to 5 days before my actual period starts. Now I am trying chamomile tea and Ginger tea and hoping to see better results.
I'm in my mid 40s and I still suffer from severe cramping before and during my period. In fact, it's worse now than it was in my childbearing years. I often get a little relief by drinking a cup of nutmeg tea. Make the tea by adding a heaping teaspoon of nutmeg in a cup of hot water with a little sugar or honey for taste. The water should not be so hot that you can't drink it quickly. Drink it as fast as you can. It really helps.
I started drinking a cup of chamomile tea daily 2 days ago. I started feeling sick, sweaty and every bone in my body and my stomach aches. I stopped drinking it and the body aches have gone away but I still have very painful stomach which won't stop hurting.
I'm 20 and I get my period once every 3 months and have it for 4 days and it's gone. But the cramps are so unbearable that I can not think straight, I hold my stomach and cry my eyes out. Nothing helps. My doctor says not to worry about it, it's caused by my size, but nothing seems to help me with my cramps.
For menstrual cramps, find red raspberry leaf tea (the leaf not the fruit) and mix it with licorice root tea and drink 2-3 cups a few days before your period is due. Then continue to drink it throughout the first few days of your worst flow. You can make a whole pot each time and store remainder in fridge to drink cold or re-heated. If you don't like the flavor of licorice then add mint leaves instead. It helps :-)
Please help me. I'm married but without children. My period came immediately after having sex with my husband and the pain, I am going through, is just unbearable. I want to know if sex before the period causes severe pain and what can be done for relief?
My menstruation delays every month by about 15-20 days. And when it starts I hold my stomach and start crying due to severe pain and cramps in my abdomen during first two to three days. And now from quite some time I get cramps in my lower right abdomen too. Kindly help me.