Most women have experienced menstrual cramps, dysmenorrhea in medical terms. For some women, menstrual cramps can be debilitating while others only experienced mild discomfort.
Physicians have found that dysmenorrhea may be primary in young women who have just begun their menstrual cycles or secondary, caused by other conditions such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors or ovarian cysts.
Menstrual cramps are thought to be related too a hormone like substance called prostaglandins which cause the uterus to contract.
If a woman does not ovulate that month it is unlikely she will get cramps during her period and it is for this reason that many physicians will use oral contraceptives to ease the pain of severe cramping.
But before jumping on the bandwagon of oral contraceptives, it is important for young women to investigate alternative methods of alleviating their menstrual cramps that are not nearly as invasive as oral contraceptives.
Treatments for Menstrual Cramps
For some women, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen used around the clock one to two days before a period starts will help to reduce the severity and cramping by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) will help the pain although it will not have any effect on the prostaglandins.
Many women find that regular physical activity throughout the month will help to reduce cramping and others find that supplementing the diet with zinc and calcium will help to reduce the cramps, bloating and other related PMS symptoms.
During severe cramping, ladies may find that taking a warm bath and using aromatherapy or using a heating pad on the lower abdomen or back will help to relieve the pain. A homemade heating pad can be made by filling a sock with rice and heating it in the microwave. This homemade pad will often hold heat far longer than you might imagine.
Painful cramping can also be relieved by some anti-spasmodic herbal remedies. Herbs such as a black cohosh, Valerian, wild yam, yarrow, chamomile and feverfew have been found to offer significant relief.
Women who drink infusions starting a day or two before they expect the cramps to start, and then every two hours during the most acute phase, may find enough relief to allow them to go about their daily activities.
According to one study, Chinese herbal remedies can be more successful than traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatments. Researchers found that Chinese herbal remedies had better pain relief action over nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory for up to three months of follow-up and that they worked better than over-the-counter herbal health products. Interestingly, they also found that herbal medicine had better pain relief action than acupuncture or acupressure.
Other natural things that women may do in order to help with bloating and menstrual cramps are to restrict their salt intake throughout the entire month. By limiting salt, they may also help to limit bloating that occurs. Interestingly, bloating is also related to fluid retention and when women drink more, the body will release more fluid and bloating will become less noticeable.
By reducing caffeine, sugar and alcohol, studies have found that women may have less menstrual pain than those who drank wine or regularly consumed alcohol.
Using natural products to help reduce menstrual cramping is a great way of decreasing the number of drugs a woman takes throughout her life.
Herbal Remedies for Menstrual Cramps
Femalite is a natural, safe and effective liquid herbal formula especially for women and the effective treatment of the symptoms of Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS). It contains three powerful ingredients – Fennel, Pulsatilla and Melissa – to treat the most troublesome symptoms of PMS.
Use Femalite for a few days before your period and say goodbye to bloating, sore breasts, menstrual cramps and mean mood swings! Created by a clinical psychologist, Femalite is pharmaceutically manufactured to the highest standards.Free PDF Health Ebook...