During menstruation, most women experience general weakness, nervousness and pain. Especially often there are pains in the lower abdomen, which are not easy to get rid of. In addition to pain medication and rest, warm compresses, herbal teas, hot showers, massage of the abdomen and lower back, sound sleep, and sufficient fluid intake will help relieve pain.
For any woman who has reached puberty, menstruation becomes an integral and not very pleasant part of life. During this period, most of the fair sex are forced to limit themselves in many ways. But one of the most tangible disadvantages of this condition is pain in the lower abdomen. What methods will help relieve or reduce this pain?
Causes of pain during menstruation
Depending on various factors, menstruation can last from three to seven days. Having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that important parts of a woman’s reproductive system are working properly.
But during this period, the female body often experiences pain and severe discomfort. This is mainly due to the intense contraction of the uterus, which is trying to get rid of the «unnecessary» tissues of the mucous membrane. Usually the peak of pain in the lower abdomen falls on the 2-3rd day of menstruation, and on the 4th-5th day it subsides.
But in medicine there is the concept of algomenorrhea — in other words, painful periods. There are primary and secondary forms of this phenomenon. In the first case, painful periods often occur in thin, emotional girls. In the second, severe pain is caused by the peculiarities of the anatomical changes in the uterus. The causes of algomenorrhea can also include:
- high threshold of sensitivity to pain,
- lack of enkephalins, endorphins,
- excess prostaglandins, which cause spasms in the muscles of the uterus and constrict blood vessels,
- insufficient phase of the corpus luteum, which occurs after ovulation and lasts 12-15 days.
If your period is accompanied by heavy bleeding that lasts longer than usual, you should definitely consult a doctor. This phenomenon may indicate the onset of a serious illness.
Top Tips for Reducing Lower Abdominal Pain
- Drink several cups of infusion of chamomile, sage or green tea per day.
- Do not forget about proper rest and increase the time for relaxation.
- Massage the lower back with slightly warm vegetable (olive or sunflower) oil to relieve pain.
- Set aside time for healthy sleep, at least 7-8 hours a day.
- Refrain from lifting heavy weights during menstruation.
Home remedies for menstrual pain and discomfort
Lifestyle changes and simple home remedies can help manage pain and discomfort during your period:
1. Warm compress
Applying warm compresses to the abdomen can make it easier for menstrual fluid to drain into the uterus, making it less painful. The heat in the abdomen relaxes the muscles and relieves unpleasant convulsive sensations. You need to stock up on a regular heating pad or a plastic bottle, fill them with warm water and place them on the lower abdomen. The water temperature should not be too high. It is not necessary to warm the body for a long time: to relieve severe pain, 5-10 minutes will be enough. After a certain time, if necessary, the procedure can be repeated.
There is a similar option: dip a towel in warm water, wring out the excess and apply it to the lower abdomen as a warm compress. Remove it when the towel is completely cool. Repeat if necessary.
2. Warm shower
A warm shower will also help to soften and reduce pain in the lower abdomen. It is important not to overdo it with the temperature of the water — it should be warm enough, but not too hot. Showering raises body temperature, which stimulates vasodilation and increases blood flow to the uterus. All this relaxes the abdominal muscles and relieves pain. With severe discomfort during menstruation, you can take a shower twice or thrice a day.
3. Massage the abdomen
This procedure has a relaxing effect on the body, reduces pain in the lower abdomen and general discomfort. Massage helps prevent cramps and bloating. You can massage the body while sitting, standing or lying down. For easy sliding of the hands, they should first be lubricated with warmed olive oil. Massage is carried out with soft, circular movements with both hands for 5-10 minutes. It is useful during the massage to practice deep breaths and long exhalations.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Another well-known way to reduce discomfort during menstruation is apple cider vinegar. It removes toxins well, controls the amount of blood and mucus secreted, helps to cope with cramps and nervousness during menstruation. You need to use it inside in the form of a solution: two teaspoons of unfiltered vinegar in a glass of water. Drink the remedy three times a day.
This is one of the delicious ways to deal with pain. Molasses has been called a source of many nutrients, including vitamin B6, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. The iron content in molasses supports the body to produce red blood cells to replenish lost blood more quickly. Molasses has properties to soothe the muscles of the walls of the uterus, preventing cramps and pain in the abdomen. A simple and healthy recipe for a molasses drink: mix 1-2 tablespoons of molasses in 250 ml of warm milk. Consume twice a day.
6. Vitamin C foods
Eating healthy throughout the month is essential in order for the body to experience less stress during menstruation. Even better, as a prevention of pain and cramps, include more foods rich in vitamin C in the diet. It helps reduce the amount of progesterone in the uterus, allowing its mucosa to more easily separate mucus and obsolete blood and endometrial cells.
In addition, vitamin C is an assistant in the absorption of iron, which is so necessary during a period of abundant blood loss. In this regard, products are especially useful: bell peppers, herbs, kiwi, citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, etc. With the consent of the doctor, you can also take dietary supplements with vitamin C.
It is always necessary to control the amount of water in the body, but during the period of menstruation it is necessary. Sufficient fluid intake is a good remedy for cramps and bloating. It is recommended to drink about 8-10 glasses of plain water per day. If during menstruation a woman is engaged in physical training, then the amount of fluid should be increased. In addition to water, it can be fruit drinks, green tea, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. But it is better to stay away from coffee, alcoholic and carbonated drinks.
Of course, not all women can engage in physical education and fitness during menstruation. However, according to studies, regular exercise and physical activity before and after periods help strengthen the muscles of the body, improve blood circulation, alleviate pain and cramps. Therefore, women in good physical shape are much less likely to experience discomfort during menstruation. Exercise can help you lose weight and help control mood swings. Swimming, walking, jogging, and light exercise are especially helpful.
A popular oriental spice — turmeric — is also known as an assistant in the fight against pain during menstruation. Turmeric warms the body from the inside, improves blood flow, controls spasms and relieves pain. You need to put a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and stir. Drink twice a day.
10. Raspberry leaves
This is another useful folk remedy for pain and cramps in the lower abdomen. Infusions of raspberry leaves normalize blood flow, facilitate the process of mucus secretion and reduce pain in the lower abdomen. The tannins in raspberries strengthen the muscles of the uterus. And the high zinc content helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and alleviate discomfort.
For raspberry infusion, a handful of dry or fresh chopped leaves of the berry is poured over two glasses of water and boiled over low heat (five minutes). After straining, drink this herbal tea two to three times a day. However, this remedy may be contraindicated in those who have diabetes or have an excess of iron in the blood. Therefore, prior consultation with a doctor is important.
Obstetrics / Ed. Savelieva G.M. — 2000
Clinic, diagnosis and treatment of dysmenorrhea in girls / Uvarova E.V., Gainova I.G. // breast — 2002 — T. 10 No. 8