Period is a normal gynecological change which is usually a flow of blood in every female at the age of 12-15 that is during puberty. Menstrual cramps are painful sensations that affect many women before and during a menstrual period. The pain, also known as dysmenorrhea or period pains, ranges from dull and annoying to severe and extreme. Pain occurs in the lower abdomen and lower back.
During your menstrual period, your uterus contracts to help expel its lining. Hormonelike substances (prostaglandins) involved in pain and inflammation trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more-severe menstrual cramps.
- Menstrual cramps are periodic abdominal and pelvic pains experienced by women.
- More than half of all menstruating women have cramps.
- The cramps are severe in at least one in four of these women.
- Medically, menstrual cramps are called dysmenorrhea.
- Primary dysmenorrhea is common menstrual cramps without an identifiable cause.
- Secondary dysmenorrhea results from an underlying abnormality that usually involves the woman’s reproductive system.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to treat cramps.
- Physical exercise can help alleviate menstrual cramps.
- Period cramps tend to improve with age.
What is Period cramps: If you haven’t gone through menopause and still have your ovaries, you might get cramps mid-month, days before your period. This happens when the ovaries free an egg to ready the body for a possible pregnancy. The harmless twinge of discomfort is called “mittelschmerz,” which means middle pain.
What the periods cramps feel like:
You’ll notice pain on one side of your lower belly. It lasts a few minutes to a few hours. It can be sharp and sudden, or you might just have a dull period cramp. The side of the pain depends on which ovary released the egg. It may switch sides every month or strike the same place each time.
What are the remedies of Period Cramp:
Exercise: some level of exercises can give ease to a great extent rather from lying down or taking rest all the time can give rise in pain.
Heat: hot bath and a light compress with hot bag over the lower abdomen or back side may help in getting relief from period cramps.
Diet: a proper diet with less fat is good during the periods. Also less caffeine, alcohol or tobacco is always good to avoid during the periods to avoid period cramps.
Studies specifically on the connection between diet, exercise, and menstrual pain are limited, but other studies have found that women who partake in regular physical activity experience less pelvic pain overall. The regular walk might reduce pain during periods or a run during the period is recommended.
Author is professional gynecologist from Mumbai, India. She wants to create a sense of awareness against painful periods amongst young & adolescent girls, spreading the message – periods are normal, period pain is not.