It is very common for a female to experience mild pain and discomfort around the abdomen, thighs and lower back during periods. During the menstruation, muscles of abdomen contract and relax due to shedding of endometrium lining. Some females also experience headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Painful menstruation is medically termed as dysmenorrhea. The reason why some female experience painful menstruation and some do not is not clear but a few factors associated with intense period pain include:
- Age under 20
- Menarche or starting of periods
- Having a heavy blood flow
- Having the first child
- Overproduction of prostaglandins
Other factors that cause menstrual cramps include birth control, endometrial growth, abnormal uterine tissue growth, and hormonal balance.
In most cases, menstrual cramps are mild to temporary and simple home remedies provide relief.
What are the home remedies for menstrual cramps?
- Ginger – Ginger is a well-known ingredient to alleviate menstrual cramps. It is anti-inflammatory and relieves nausea and upset stomach.
What to do - Steep a piece of ginger in a cup of steaming water for about 15 minutes. Add a half-teaspoon honey to it. Strain and drink ginger tea warm. Drink it two to three times a day during periods for relief.
2. Hot compress – The best you can do to relive period pain is the application of heating pads to the lower abdomen. Heat therapy relaxes the uterus muscles, increases the blood flow and relieve pain and discomfort.
What to do - Hot compress would be easy if you have a heating pad for this purpose. However, if you do not have a heating pad, you may use a water bottle filled with hot water. Place water bottle or the heating pad on your lower abdomen for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure the temperature is tolerable and not too hot to burn your skin. Alternatively, you may also soak a washcloth in hot water. Wring it to remove the excess of water and then apply it to your abdomen. Repeat this multiple times in a day.
3. Chamomile tea: Chamomile is rich in flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory properties. It is a natural antispasmodic and is well-known to reduce inflammation and pain.
What to do – Steep a chamomile tea bag in a cup of steaming water. After 10 minutes strain the tea and add half-teaspoon honey. Drink it warm. Drink chamomile tea at least two times a week before and during periods.
4. Fennel Seeds – Research shows that fennel seeds inhibit uterine contraction stimulated by the hormone prostaglandin.
What to do - Boil a cup of water. Add a teaspoon fennel seeds to it. Boil for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink it warm. Drink this concoction at least three times a day.
Alternatively, you may also take 30mg fennel extract for 3 to 4 times a day for at least three days.
5. Green tea: Green tea contain flavonoids that render it medicinal properties. It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
What to do – Drink a cup of green tea two to three times a day. To make green tea add a teaspoon of green tea leaves in a cup of water and boil it for about 15 minutes. Add honey to taste and drink it warm.
6. Yoghurt: Yoghurt is a rich source of calcium and other minerals. It relieves the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome as well as alleviate menstrual cramp.
What to do – Eat a cup of plain yoghurt. Do not add sugar to it. You may have a cup of yoghurt two to three times a day when you are on periods.
7. Fenugreek seeds - Fenugreek seeds possess pain-relieving and analgesic properties. It is rich in compounds such as tryptophan and lysine that render it therapeutic properties.
What to do – Boil a half-teaspoon fenugreek seeds in a cup of water for 10 minutes to make tea. Strain and add a half-teaspoon lemon juice and a half-teaspoon honey to it. Drink it two times in a day.
8. Cinnamon – Cinnamon regularize the level of insulin and also regularizes the menstrual cycle. The study reveals that intake of cinnamon cause less pain, bleeding, nausea and vomiting.
What to do – Sprinkle cinnamon to a cup of hot coca or on your cereal to help combat the menstrual symptoms.
Apart from trying, the above home remedies for menstrual cramp you also need to bring dietary and lifestyle changes if you experience menstrual discomfort every month. Keep yourself hydrated and drink at least 9-10 glasses of water every day. Eat healthily. Avoid sugary, fatty and salty foods and include anti-inflammatory foods such as tomatoes, blueberries and bell peppers in your diet. Eat foods rich in calcium such as almonds, beans and dark green leafy vegetables. Avoid tobacco, caffeine and alcohol and make exercise an important part of your daily routine.
Not every female experience painful menstruation. If you are the one experiencing dysmenorrhea every month, try home remedies discussed in our article.
Request you to buy herbs to relieve menstrual pain article from a reputable source. Most of the home remedies do not have side effects and are very safe. If you are taking any medicine or supplement to alleviate dysmenorrhoea, better consult your health care provider before trying them.
If menstrual cramps affect life quality and work every month, you need to visit a doctor.
When To See A Doctor?
Visit your doctor if you experience the following:
- The pain is worsening.
- Menstrual cramps last for a longer period time than usual.
- You are pregnant
- Symptoms are more frequent.
In addition, if menstrual pain persists or worsens after trying the home remedies discussed in this article consult your gynaecologist as soon as possible.