Period pains are an affliction usually suffered mainly by younger women, although certainly not exclusively, as many older women also suffer from period cramps as well. Usually starting in the early teens, periods are rarely painful to begin with, but can quickly become more prominent once a female enters her late teens. The presence of ovulation, when an egg is released, is usually when these pains manifest.
Period pains (dysmenorrhoea), are usually caused due to persistent and excessive muscle contractions of the uterus during the period. There are, however, other gynaecological issues that can cause the uncomfortable, and often debilitating period pains that are much maligned by women all over the world. These other causes include the following:
- an infection of the ovaries
- endometriosis, where the lining normally found in the womb is also found in other areas, such as the uterine wall or the ovaries.
- magnesium deficiency, a commonly deficient nutrient in women of child bearing age, and one that is also very important for maintaining optimal muscle functions.
Unfortunately for many women, no cause is ever actually identified for period pains, and over the course of 2-3 days , women are left to suffer severe cramping pains in the lower abdomen. Not only that, but other attributing symptoms add to the overall unhappy experience. Other common complaints include faintness, giddiness, nausea and vomiting.
What can your doctor do to help you?
The following shows the different options available for doctors, and those that are commonly prescribed and favoured by medical practitioners.
- Magnesium, if you have a deficiency in your red blood cells, this could very well be offered by your doctor.
- Painkillers, whilst a purely reactionary choice, as opposed to preventative, painkillers are an effective method of dulling the pain associated with period pains. It may take some time, however, to actually find a dosage and type that is effective.
- Contraceptive Pill, for those who cannot find a way to treat period pains, they can be completely avoided by using the pill as a method of halting the period altogether. Whilst effective, it is not the most natural or healthy way of alleviating the period pains.
- Iron, those who are also anaemic will probably be provided with an iron supplement.
What can you do to help Yourself?
- Exercise, regular workouts can be helpful in aiding and preventing a wide range of potential gynaecological issues. During times of period pains, light yoga exercises are preferred as opposed to strenuous workouts.
- Heat, a well known remedy. Placing a hot water bottle or heat pad on the abdominal area can have a soothing effect, offering a sustained period of respite from the cramps.
- Dietary Changes, another factor that not only helps with period pains, but also a host of other gynaecological problems. Cutting down on fatty foods, whilst increasing fibre from fruit and vegetables can help to maintain control of hormone metabolism during the period.
- Increase EFA Intake, women who are low in these oils tend to have increased chances of painful periods.
- Magnesium, eating vegetables that are rich in magnesium can help with cramps. Good vegetables to eat include nuts, beans, peas and lentils.
- Iron, eating a healthy amount of fish, chicken, eggs and vegetables ensure that iron levels are maintained.
– Herbal Remedies, Curcuma Comosa is a herbal supplement that is sworn , by many women around the world, to reduce many of the negative symptoms associated with heavy periods. Curcuma Comosa can prevent cramping and heavy bleeding, and can also keep hormones in balance, preventing feelings of anxiety and mood swings.