#HealthBytes: How to reduce menstrual cramps

Rashi Bhattacharyya
·2-min read

#HealthBytes: How to reduce menstrual cramps
#HealthBytes: How to reduce menstrual cramps

22 Nov 2020: #HealthBytes: How to reduce menstrual cramps

Menstrual cramps are the uncomfortable pains women experience in the lower abdomen, just before and during their menstrual periods.

The intensity of this pain can range from annoying to complete disruption of daily life. This pain is often combined with nausea, loose stools, headache, and dizziness.

For mild to temporary cramps, some home remedies can prove to be extremely beneficial.

Take a note.

Heat: Apply heat to your abdomen and lower back

A study focused on 147 women aged 18 to 30 years who had regular menstrual cycles, found that a heat patch of 40°C was very effective in relieving cramps.

Besides easing pain and cramps, heat patches, hot water bags, and heating pads also help in decreasing fatigue and mood swings.

But please don't sleep with a heated pad as it can cause burns.

Essential oils: Massaging with essential oils can be helpful

Some essential oils can ease period cramps when massaged onto the abdomen due to their ability to boost circulation.

Effective oils include lavender, sage, rose, marjoram, cinnamon, and clove.

Before using these oils, mix them with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba.

Take a few drops of this mixture and massage your abdomen in a circular motion for five minutes every day during periods.

Magnesium: Increase magnesium in your diet

Dietary magnesium can also help ease the pain of cramps.

A review of three studies on magnesium found that it was effective in lessening menstrual pain and can limit the need for pain medication, too.

Magnesium can be found in almonds, black beans, spinach, yogurt, and peanut butter.

You can go for magnesium supplements but speak to your doctor to know the accurate doses.

Exercise: Some exercises can help in period cramps

You might not want to move when you have bad cramps but some exercises can help in easing pain by increasing blood flow to the abdomen.

Exercises like aerobics, stretching, and yoga (cobra, cat, and fish poses), can help decrease the intensity of menstrual pain, and may also shorten its duration.

These are also helpful in reducing stress, which does contribute to the pain.

Medicines: Medicinal support might be needed for severe cramps

Over-the-counter painkillers are another effective way to get relief.

However, talk with your doctor before taking the medication, and always follow the instructions on the bottle.

But, if you have severe pain and heavy bleeding that prevents you from doing anything, or if you're over 25 and severe cramps are a new development, or if OTC medication doesn't work, you must visit your doctor.