What causes it and what you can do to reduce period pain. Kotex® Health Expert, Sister Burgie Ireland, explains…
Period pain, also known as menstrual cramps or the medical terms ‘dysmenorrhea’ affects about half the women in the world at some point.
What causes it?
Period pains are normally caused by a hormone called prostaglandins.
This hormone actually helps your period to happen. It causes your womb to contract in order for the extra lining that has built up and the egg to exit your body in the form of a period.
Period pains normally start right before you get your period and are the worst about a day after you start it.
Research has shown that women generally experience period pains one to two days before a period and it can last one to two days into a period.
About 80% of women experience period pain but only five to 10% have severe period pain which is sometimes so painful that it interferes with their daily routine.
How to reduce the pain
Many things can impact on period pains such as constipation, a bladder infection, poor sleeping habits, an unhealthy diet, not getting enough minerals and vitamins, and even cold weather.
Overall, a healthy lifestyle can help reduce period pain, and here are some specific ways to make period pains less painful:
- Exercise has been proven to help relieve period pains. Exercising releases endorphins (hormones) that help to relieve stress and tension in the muscles.
- Over the counter painkillers that are made specifically to target period pains.
- Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, so drinking ginger tea made with fresh root and honey can help not only with the pain but will help you relax as well.
- Natural remedies such as acupuncture and massage can help decrease the pain as they relax the muscles.
- Heat is one of the best treatments for period cramps – for example using a hot-water bottle or taking a relaxing hot bath will help to relieve the cramps
Every woman is different and unique which is why there is no one way to relieve period cramps. You need to find out what works best for you and your body.