As often as not, period pain makes a woman double over, putting a crimp on her groove. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, dysmenorrhea (i.e. painful menstruation or menstrual cramps) interferes with the daily activities of 1 in every 5 women. Hang on to your heart, research shows period pain can at times be as ‘bad as having a heart attack’! The one sure-shot way of staying period wise is to use the organic cotton sanitary pads.
The fact that menstrual cramps can be ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ merits special attention. Primary dysmenorrhea is pain caused by the period itself and is not associated with identifiable pelvic pathology (i.e. period pain in the absence of pelvic disease). However, secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain resulting from anatomic or macroscopic pelvic pathology. In this article, we discuss ways to relieve primary dysmenorrhea, starting with understanding it better.
Uterine cramps, typically felt in the abdomen, back, or thighs, around the time of your period, are most likely caused by hormone-like compounds, prostaglandins, that are released from the endometrium (i.e. uterine lining) as it prepares to be shed. They constrict the blood vessels in the uterus and make their muscle layer contract, causing pain.
Here are some ways to go about your day and save yourself from tossing and turning in pain during your period:
1)Heat: Applying heat on the lower abdomen is a tried-and-true method of relieving pain from menstrual cramps. It helps relax the contracting muscles in the uterus
and has been shown to be as effective as NSAIDs for period pain. Sipping on warm fluids or taking a hot shower also helps.
2)Acupuncture: In addition to releasing endorphins and helping you relax, it may reduce inflammation.
3)Exercise: It increases circulation to the pelvic region and releases endorphins, counteracting the prostaglandins. While strenuous exercise might not be beneficial if you are in pain, gentle stretching, leisurely walk, or yoga may help. When you exercise to reduce the period cramps try using the best sanitary pads for heavy flow.
4)Orgasm: It releases plenty of endorphins and other hormones that relieve pain.
5)Massage with Sesame Oil: Traditionally used for abhyanga, sesame oil is rich in linoleic acid, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Have a happy period
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