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Effective Home Remedies For Period Pain

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more

Introduction  

Period pains, also called dysmenorrhoea, are common in many women. Period pains affect the majority of women at some point in their lives.1 The pain is typically felt as painful muscle cramps in the stomach that can spread up to the thighs and back. The pain can feel like intense spasms at times or like a dull but constant ache.1,2  

home remedies for period pain

The pain can also differ from one period to the other. Some periods can cause little or no pain, while others cause intense pain. Period pains are caused due to uterine contractions.1 Secondary dysmenorrhea occurs when you have painful periods as a result of a disorder or infection in your female reproductive organs, while primary dysmenorrhea refers to common menstrual cramps that reoccur and are not caused by other diseases.2  

What Causes Period Pains? 

Primary dysmenorrhea (recurrent period pain) is more common than secondary dysmenorrhea and does not usually occur due to any other diseases.2 Contraction of the uterine muscles and release of a chemical called prostaglandin from the body is what results in pain during periods.1  

Secondary dysmenorrhea is a condition more common in older women aged 30 to 45 years. This can be the result of an underlying medical condition, some of which are listed below: 

  • Fibroids: These are non-cancerous tumours that can grow in or around the womb and cause painful periods. 
  • Endometriosis: It is a disorder in which cells that usually line the womb grow in other reproductive parts like the ovaries and fallopian tube, causing painful periods. 
  • Adenomyosis: It is a disorder in which the tissues that normally line the womb begin to grow within the muscular womb wall, making the periods more painful. 
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: All parts of the female reproductive organs (the womb, fallopian tubes, and ovaries) become infected, causing severe inflammation and painful periods.1 

Symptoms of Period Pains 

Most women experience some pain during their periods. The pain is felt as muscle spasms in the stomach, which can spread to the thighs and the back. For some women, period pains can be severe and are accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, dizziness, and headache.1,3 

Suggested Home Remedies For Period Pains 

These home remedies are simple and can help you ease the menstruation (period) pain.  

1. Heating pads 

You can place a heating pad or a warm water bottle (wrapped in a towel) on your tummy to relieve period pains.1,3,4 Heat can aid in the relaxation of abdominal muscles and reduce muscle tension. Heat can also improve blood circulation and reduce congestion and swelling. This aids in relieving pain caused by muscle spasms and nerve compression during periods.4  

2. Exercise 

Exercising may seem difficult during painful periods, but it can help relieve pain. You can do gentle swimming, walking or cycling. It may help reduce period pains.1,3 Exercise aids in pain relief by increasing the production of chemicals that block pain.3 You can try yoga or pilates (to improve physical strength), which can help distract you from the pain and discomfort that comes with your periods.1  

Also Read: CBD Oil for Pain: A Comprehensive Review on Its Effectiveness

3. Warm Bath or Shower  

You can try taking a warm shower or bath. Heat is known to help dissipate pain and soothe the muscles. The heat from a warm bath or shower can help relax and reduce period pains. Heat can also increase pelvic blood flow to eliminate local blood and body fluid retention and diminish swelling, thereby causing a reduction in pain.1,4  

4. Massage  

You can try a light, circular massage around your abdomen. This may help reduce period pains. It is a simple and effective self-help measure.1 

Also Read: Quick Tips: How to Get Your Period Faster and Safely

5. Lifestyle Changes 

Apart from these remedies, you can also try making some lifestyle changes to help alleviate period pain and the associated symptoms. These include: 

  • Stopping or cutting down your smoking can help with period pain. Smoking increases period pains by reducing oxygen supply to the pelvic area. 
  • Eating high fibre foods and plenty of salads and vegetables. 
  • Involving vitamin E supplements in your daily diet can help with period pains. 
  • When eating red meat, make sure it is lean. Also, you can try consuming more chicken and fish. 
  • Cutting down on sugary foods such as cakes, chocolate, and biscuits help with period pains. You can reduce your intake of sugary drinks by replacing them with pure fruit juices or mineral water.  
  • You can reduce the amount of salt intake as it can help avoid water retention. 
  • Take a supplement containing gamma-linolenic acids such as evening primrose oil, starflower oil, or vitamin B6. These aid in the maintenance of hormonal balance.5 

Before making any of these lifestyle changes, consult with a doctor. Making significant lifestyle changes without proper consultation might harm your health.    

If you encounter longer than usual and irregular and severely painful menstrual cycles, you should consult your gynecologist as it may be a cause of underlying endometriosis, which is a commonly reported and clinically diagnosed condition in females around the middle ages.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Also Read: Meftal Spas

When to Seek Medical Help? 

For many women, some pain during their period can be expected. However, you should see your doctor if: 

  • Home remedies and self-care measures don’t work, and the pain is interfering with your daily life. 
  • The pain suddenly worsens. 
  • You are over 25 years and experiencing severe pain for the first time. 
  • You experience fever with your period pain. 
  • You have pain even when you are not having your period.6 

Systematic reviews and RCTs of herbal and dietary supplements have shown that thiamine, pyridoxine, magnesium, and fish oil may be effective in relieving dysmennorhea. Heat therapy has been a traditional home remedy for dysmenorrhoea

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Also Read: Quick Tips: How to Get Your Period Faster and Safely

Conclusion  

Period pain is a common issue for many women. The pain can be mild for some women, but it can also be too severe for others. Women have their ways of dealing with period pain. However, the home remedies mentioned above are effective in relieving period pain. Applying heating pads, massaging, and exercising are simple and effective ways to relieve period pain. You can also try making some lifestyle changes to alleviate the symptoms. However, before making any significant changes to your lifestyle, it is essential to consult your doctor. Also, if you have symptoms like sudden worsening of period pain, fever with period pain or the home remedies are not working out, you should seek medical help.  

Also Read: Home Remedies For Vaginal Itching

Frequently Asked Questions   

What are the home remedies for period pain? 

Period pains are common but manageable. You can try these home remedies for managing period pains. Some of these home remedies are using heating pads, taking warm showers, and exercising. You can also try relaxing and yoga techniques to help with the pain.1–4  

Is period pain common? 

Yes, period pains are more common. Some women may feel mild to moderate pain, while others have severe pain.1  

Do warm showers help with period pain? 

Yes, warm showers might help in easing the period pain. The heat from warm showers or baths can help to relax the muscles of the abdomen and reduce the pain of periods. Heat can provide many helpful benefits like increasing pelvic blood flow, eliminating fluid retention and diminishing the swelling, which reduces the period pain.1,4  

Can period pain worsen? 

Yes, period pain can worsen over time. If you feel your period pain worsening, you should contact your doctor for assistance.6  

Should I contact a doctor for my period pain? 

Period pain, to some extent, is expected. However, if you have a fever, sudden worsening of pain, and pain even when you are not on your period, if the pain medication and self-help techniques don’t work out, you should contact your doctor.6   

Can I prevent period pains? 

No, there are no known methods for preventing period pains altogether. Still, with some lifestyle changes and a well-balanced diet, you can reduce the severity of the pain.2  

Can I use heating pads to reduce period pain? 

Yes, you can use heating pads for period pain relief. Make sure you wrap the heating pad or warm water bottle in a towel before pressing it onto your skin. The application of heat can reduce muscle tension and relax abdominal muscles. This helps with pain caused by muscle spasms.1,4  

Get instant relief from period pain with Sanfe Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On For Instant Relief From Period Pain 

References 

1. Period pain – NHS [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 21]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/period-pain/ 

2. Dysmenorrhea: What It Is, Treatments, Causes [Internet]. Last updated on: 2020 Nov 20. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/4148-dysmenorrhea 

3. Dysmenorrhea: Painful Periods. ACOG [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 22]. Available from: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/dysmenorrhea-painful-periods 

4. Jo J, Lee SH. Heat therapy for primary dysmenorrhea: A systematic review and meta-analysis of its effects on pain relief and quality of life. Scientific Reports [Internet]. 2018 Dec 1 [cited 2022 Apr 22];8(1). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6214933/ 

5. Period pain – Women’s Health Concern [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 22]. Available from: https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/period-pain/ 

6. Period Pain. Menstrual Cramps. MedlinePlus [Internet]. Last updated on: 2021 May 7. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/periodpain.html 

  Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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