In every woman, menstruation has an individual character of the course. Someone does not experience absolutely any discomfort, except for the natural physiological discharge of blood from the vagina. And others during menstruation are exhausted from severe pain spasms, plus headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, and excessive irritability. All of these symptoms make a woman’s life during critical days unbearable. Why is this happening? What is the cause of cramping and what should be done to reduce soreness of menstruation.
Causes of Cramping
The nature of the pain during menstruation is explained by the physiological process - the contraction of the uterus for rejection and excretion of the mucous membrane and blood from the body. During this period, the level of prostaglandins, hormones, which are responsible for the reduction of the smooth muscles of the uterus, rises. And the higher their concentration in the blood during menstruation, the stronger the pain.
The main reasons that cause a painful spasm in the lower abdomen before menstruation and, directly during them are:
- diseases of the genitourinary system, namely infectious and inflammatory processes in the organs of the small pelvis, fibroma, myoma, endometriosis, various cysts, polyps, oncological neoplasms, etc.,
- hormonal disorders
- high pain threshold
- fluid deficiency in the body,
- lack of vitamins and minerals,
- passive lifestyle,
- the presence of an intrauterine device,
- consequences of traumatic birth and abortion.
How to reduce severe pain during menstruation
To reduce painful cramps, every girl and woman, first of all, does not go to a gynecologist, but takes pills. This is justified if there are no serious violations in the body. But an unequivocal appeal to a doctor requires a situation where a woman during menstruation experiences so severe pain that she becomes unable to work. It is also worthwhile to seek help from a specialist if cramps cannot be stopped with painkillers when they have been bothering for more than two days.
Particular attention should be paid to menstruation, which in addition to spasmodic pain is also accompanied by dizziness, nausea, vomiting, upset stool, loss of consciousness. Such conditions, as a rule, are combined with severe heavy bleeding. As you can see, the picture is rather sad, so you should not try your luck and suffer alone, it would be more correct to consult a specialist, undergo an examination, and, if possible, correct or adjust the natural process of blood allocation (menstruation) so that it goes in a more comfortable way.
In order to independently relieve pain before menstruation and during them, you can turn to medications and folk remedies, the latter show their effectiveness in combination with traditional medicines. It is important to choose the right pill, taking into account the individual characteristics of the body and the nature of the pain. They should be taken according to the recommended dosage.
Antispasmodics help relieve menstrual pain. These are No-Shpa, Papaverin, Spazmol, Spazgan, Buskopan and others. They are taken alone or in combination with non-steroidal drugs (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Piroxicam).
Note that non-steroidal tablets are a highly effective pain reliever. The effect of the drug begins thirty minutes after administration and lasts up to eight hours. However, they also have contraindications. Pills should be forgotten during pregnancy and breastfeeding, with diseases of the liver and kidneys, stomach ulcers, and of course, with individual intolerance to the components of the drug.
During menstruation and in front of them, analgesics are also taken. Tablets "Analgin", "Baralgetas" and others, relieve pain within half an hour. However, before taking them, you should familiarize yourself with the instructions, since they have contraindications. Analgesics are prohibited for violations of the hematopoiesis process, bronchial asthma, etc. In addition, you should always remember about individual intolerance to drugs and strict adherence to dosage.
Today, very women use a special patch “Frauplast”, made in Germany, during menstruation. This tool has a warming effect, which can significantly reduce pain in the lower abdomen and lower back.
In addition to the indicated drugs, there are also hormonal and homeopathic remedies. However, the former should be taken strictly as prescribed by the doctor, who must choose the necessary dosage and concentration of hormones. Such treatment allows not only to stop the already formed pain, but also to prevent its development. Therefore, they are prescribed before menstruation, as a therapeutic agent.
The use of homeopathic remedies requires an integrated approach and support of a specialist.
Quick Facts About Menstrual Cramps
- Menstrual cramps are pains that a woman feels in the lower abdomen before menstruation or during menstruation.
- Pain in its degree can be mild, moderate or severe.
- Emotional stress can increase the chance of menstrual cramps.
- Menstrual cramps can be accompanied by other symptoms - nausea, vomiting, sweating, headache and diarrhea.
- Menstrual cramps can be treated with drugs sold without a doctor’s prescription, as well as at home.
How to treat menstrual cramps?
Sometimes intrauterine devices help relieve menstrual cramps
In most cases, menstrual cramps can be relieved with the help of pharmaceutical products, which can be purchased without a prescription.
Antiprostaglandins reduce uterine cramps, reduce the flow of blood secreted, and ease general discomfort.
A list of menstrual cramps medications may also include pain medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These drugs belong to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
NSAIDs can be taken both with antiprostaglandins, and separately.
If a woman is a good candidate, then the attending physician may recommend her birth control pills to prevent ovulation and reduce the strength of menstrual cramps. These pills make the lining layer of the inner wall of the uterus (endometrium) thinner, where prostaglandins form, which helps to weaken menstrual pain and reduce bleeding.
Birth control pills can be used on an ongoing basis, but in such cases, a woman should adhere to the schedule with monthly breaks, which should last from four to seven days.
Other types of contraceptives also help reduce menstrual cramps, including some types of intrauterine devices (spirals), vaginal rings, patches, and injections.
If menstrual cramps disturb a woman due to an underlying medical condition, such as endometriosis or fibroids, surgery may be required to remove abnormal tissue sites.
How to prevent menstrual cramps?
Measures to prevent menstrual cramps may include:
- the consumption of fruits and vegetables,
- limited intake of fat, alcohol, caffeine, salty and sugary foods,
- regular exercise
- stress reduction
- to give up smoking.
Some women report using yoga and acupuncture, but these alternative medicine methods need more in-depth study.
If one of the options does not show effectiveness within two to three months, the patient should consult a doctor again.
In such a situation, more invasive methods of therapy or further investigation of the body may be required.
What are the symptoms of menstrual cramps?
Menstrual cramps are usually described by dull, throbbing spasmodic pain in the lower abdomen, slightly above the pelvic bone.
A list of other symptoms of this condition may include:
- low back pain
- weakness and dizziness,
- diarrhea or loose stools.
If symptoms quickly worsen, or if they begin in a woman after 25 years, then you should definitely consult a doctor.
How to treat menstrual cramps at home?
Hot baths can be an effective treatment for menstrual cramps.
You can try to ease menstrual cramps without medication. Home treatment methods may include:
- applying hot objects to the lower abdomen, such as a bottle of water,
- soaking the body in a hot bath,
- use of electrotherapy devices.
Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the ingredients found in chamomile tea can reduce the severity of menstrual pain by relaxing the uterus.
Another study found that Chinese herbal medicine sometimes helps to reduce menstrual cramps, but the authors of this study call for further study of this relationship.
Some dietary therapies, including herbal and vitamin supplements, can also help women with menstrual cramps. For example, it may be funds based on lavender, dill, pycnogenol, which are associated with very low risks of side effects.
According to the results of another study, scientists suggested that ground ginger can help women during menstruation if taken in the first three to four days of the cycle.
But enough rest, a healthy, full sleep and regular physical activity with a higher probability can be those factors that will improve the condition of the body.
Why do menstrual cramps occur?
Menstrual cramps often make themselves felt by sharp pain in the lower abdomen
Once in about 28 days, if no sperm enters the uterus to fertilize the egg, the organ begins to contract and push out its inner lining layer (endometrium).
This process is triggered by hormone-like substances called prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are chemical compounds that form in the lining layer of the uterus during menstruation. They cause muscle contractions and cramping, which are similar to labor pains. Prostaglandins can also cause nausea and diarrhea.
These contractions inhibit blood flow to the lining layer of the uterus. Another cause of spasm may be a high level of leukotrienes in the body during menstruation.
Menstrual cramps are more likely to affect women who:
- under the age of twenty
- survived puberty at age eleven or earlier,
- suffer from menorrhagia, that is, from heavy bleeding during menstruation,
- never gave birth to children.
What diseases worsen menstrual cramps?
Several medical conditions can cause an exacerbation of menstrual cramp.
- Endometriosis - the growth of the lining tissue, usually located in the uterus, outside the body.
- Uterine fibroids - benign tumors and formations in the walls of the uterus.
- Adenomyosis - Endometrial tissue grows into the muscle tissue of the uterine wall.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) - Sexually transmitted diseases caused by the activity of bacteria.
- Cervical stenosis - The small size of the cervical opening limits menstrual bleeding.
The concept of the norm is somewhat vague, but the symptoms of the non-pathological course of the menstrual cycle can be generalized. Acceptable and non-threatening symptoms can be considered:
- mild swelling in 2-4 days and spasms before menstruation (manifested throughout the body, most noticeable in breast enlargement, swelling on the face),
- aching, but tolerable pain in the lumbar region (during menstruation, a few days before and after),
- cramping during menstruation, but tolerable pain on the 1st and 2nd day of menstruation,
- emotional instability
Diarrhea or more frequent than usual stools may become a variant of the norm, but bringing discomfort.
The reason is simple - estrogen hormones, abundantly secreted during menstruation, relax not only the uterine muscle tissue for easier cleansing of excess endometrium, but also tissues of other organs. The intestine does not function this way because of global problems in it.
Hormonal fluctuations affect the strength of the ligaments, so significant loads, exercise, should be slightly reduced by several days, so as not to get a serious injury. As for quantitative indicators, the replacement of personal hygiene products can be considered the norm no more than once every 2–2.5 hours. If the menstruation is more abundant, then they can be called bleeding, it is worth contacting a gynecologist for advice.
Doctors do not consider prolonged pain during menstruation as normal. Indeed, the pain threshold is different for everyone, but the pain is intended to indicate a problem, and not become a reason for the manifestation of heroic patience. The reason for the examination (gynecologist, urologist, gastroenterologist) may be:
- monthly, plentifully passing within 6-7 days,
- pain, reminiscent of contractions and lasting more than 2-3 hours during menstruation, or in another period of the cycle,
- radiating to the leg, back, rectum stitching, pulling pain,
- severe pain present both during menstruation and beyond its period of passage, deployed in the lower abdomen,
- pain during or after intercourse,
- discharge of blood in clots, with impurities of pus,
- smearing outside the norm of the cycle,
- unpleasant odor of vaginal discharge,
- pain does not decrease after taking antispasmodics.
It will be difficult to diagnose only the symptoms presented, it will not hurt to conduct a number of additional tests.
Possible causes of such sensations are:
- inflammatory processes in the intestines, genitourinary organs,
- structural changes in the genitals due to hormonal imbalance, mechanical injuries, neoplasms,
- violation of the composition of the intestinal microflora, peristalsis, flatulence, chronic intestinal diseases (Crohn's disease),
- improper selection of contraceptives,
- systemic hormonal disorders.
In private, not systemically recurring cases, pain in the lower abdomen during menstruation can be triggered by an ectopic pregnancy.
Alternative methods to reduce pain during menstruation
To reduce the pain of menstruation, from ancient times, our great-grandmothers and grandmothers, first of all, turned to mother-nature for help. Before the critical days, it is recommended to drink decoctions and herbal teas from chamomile, oregano, mint, raspberry leaves.
A warm and cold heating pad also helps reduce pain. But you need to be careful with heat. Such applications should only be done with very severe pain and in the absence of pain medication, since heat, of course, removes painful sensations well, but increases the amount of blood released, which can lead to bleeding.
It is best to give preference to cold compresses. They should be done no more than fifteen minutes. Cold is applied to the lower abdomen on top of the clothes. The pain gradually subsides. Use any folk methods you need to be very careful and best after consulting a doctor.
And in conclusion, you never need to endure pain or thoughtlessly drown it out with a large number of medications. It is necessary to take care of your health. Remember that only a specialist based on a full examination can prescribe adequate treatment and pain medications that are right for your body.
Causes of Spasmodic Colic
The causes of pain are understandable. In the process of rejection of the mucosa lining the uterus from the inside, when it is preparing to accept a fertilized egg, uterine contractions occur. The unclaimed shell goes out with the blood, which is accompanied by an increase in the level of hormones (prostaglandins), which in turn lead to smooth uterine muscles to contract. With an increase in their production, pain can intensify.
If we consider the common causes of pain during menstruation, we can cite the following:
- Intrauterine device
- violation of the balance of sex hormones,
- recent abortion / childbirth,
- high sensitivity to pain,
- low activity of the physical plane,
- food that is unbalanced or irregular,
- lack of magnesium / calcium in the body,
- violation of the drinking regime, which leads to insufficient intake of water in the body.
The soreness of menstruation can be characterized by a number of diseases in the field of gynecology:
- uterine oncology,
- inflammatory processes in the pelvic area of an infectious nature,
- the presence of a bend in the uterus,
- fibroma disease
- detection of polyps / polycystosis / cysts,
- fibroid development
- diagnosis of endometriosis.
What determines the painful symptoms
Symptoms of pain during menstruation are largely physiologically natural and are not a consequence of any deviations. With the transition of the menstruation process into the second phase with a change in the composition of hormones, prostaglandins force the uterine muscles to contract in order to tear off the endometrial layer. Those women who produce more of these hormones will have more sensitive sensations. This, of course, cannot be avoided, but it is quite possible to alleviate the condition. With severe pain, taking an anesthetic is not enough, which often helps in a similar situation, then it is advisable to visit a doctor, you may need to get some treatment.
It is known that in many respects health is dependent on nutrition (what, how, when and how much a person eats) and menstruation is more accurate, how they occur is no exception. The soreness of menstruation is almost directly dependent on the diet and diet. When the amount of hormones (prostaglandins) increases, a woman is shown to eat correctly, excluding sweet and salty dishes from her menu. It should be noted that this is quite difficult, because it is during this period against the background of physiological processes that the need for this particular food rises. Therefore, in order to avoid intense sensations of pain on critical days, some restrictions should be introduced:
- refusal of confectionery baking with the presence of cream (cakes / cakes / sweet muffin),
- fried / greasy / spicy dishes to exclude,
- replace sugar with honey,
- steam, bake, boil,
- limit your chocolate intake to one bar per week,
- eat fractionally / in small portions,
- limit salt, but do not completely exclude it from the diet,
- eat mainly cereals, dairy products, fruits / vegetables, whole grain bread.
Vitamin and Mineral Balance
The cause of pain during menstruation cannot be ruled out due to a lack of essential minerals / vitamins in the body, mainly painful cramps occur with a deficiency of sodium, calcium, and magnesium. Replenishment of the necessary nutrients is advised to carry out, having made their nutrition complete or with an additional intake of the vitamin-mineral complex. Modern vitamin preparations contribute to a significant and quick relief of such an ailment. You should also pay attention to vitamins that are created specifically for the health of women.
It was found that women who suffer from bad habits and abuse coffee, nicotine and alcohol suffer pain during menstruation much more often than those who adhere to a harmless lifestyle.
- Smoking women irreparably harm their body. Before the onset of menstrual bleeding, nicotine contributes to vasoconstriction and impaired blood circulation. Pain and cramping occur due to impaired blood outflow and malfunctioning of the uterus.
- The negative effect of alcohol on the body and with periodic bleeding causes problems. The fluid is retained, intestinal function is disturbed and its spasms provoke spasm of the uterine muscles. Also, the painful course of menstruation is exacerbated by general weakness and malaise, intoxication with toxins.
- Passion for coffee is also not good for the female body. Caffeine is insidious in that it adds energy to a person, as if borrowing it so that it can be restored for a long time. The oils that are contained in this drink have a negative effect on the intestinal microflora. The nervous system is irritated, which in turn contributes to a stronger perception of the pain syndrome.
Those women who are distinguished by emotional balance practically do not suffer from pain before the onset of menstruation.
How to reduce pain
Unpleasant pain during the period of menstruation and before they start should be eliminated unambiguously. There are various methods for this, where each of the women can choose for themselves the most acceptable way.
- It helps to calm the nervous system and give it a rest: pleasant music, meditation, drawing, staying in nature and other actions that can give pleasure.
- Do simple exercises. This will help relax the uterus and eliminate pain. Standing on the knees of the buttocks, press them to the heels, and torso tilt to the floor and attach to the floor surface with the forehead. To be in this position for as long as possible. The pain stops.
- An excellent relaxing effect are warm baths, especially with the addition of sea salt / baking soda. Procedures are good to carry out daily.
- Swimming is an ideal way to get rid of painful spasms. Since water acts soothingly, and those movements that occur during a swim relieve tension from the uterus.
- Recently, women suffering from painful periods have been recommended to massage certain areas in order to relieve pain (the area is just below the navel of the cavity over the heels). Intimacy helps to prevent pain before the onset of menstruation. Orgasm in this case contributes a lot to relaxing the muscles of the uterus.
- However, with pain during this period, there are also pathologically complex situations where doctors can not do without the help of doctors.
This type of drug is allowed for independent use. These medicines are taken for no more than two days. Contraindications for use are: allergies, glaucoma, liver / heart / kidney failure, arterial hypotension.
We are talking about tablets: No-spe, Papaverine, Spazgan, Galidor, Buskopan, Spazmonet, Spazmole.
This group of drugs also anesthetizes well. Tablets Piroxicam, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Nurofen, Naproxen, Ketoprofen are taken after a meal, washed down with water in large quantities. Other drinks for drinking will not work. The effect of anesthesia can be expected in half an hour and expect a period of six to eight hours without pain. You can take medicine for no more than four days. In the presence of vomiting or nausea, rectal suppositories of the same name are recommended for use.
Drugs are contraindicated in patients with kidney / liver ailments, allergies and digestive ulcers. Do not take anti-inflammatory drugs for nursing mothers.
Of painkillers, you can use tablets of Analgin, Novalgin, Baralgetas. They help relieve pain for up to six hours. It is not recommended for those who suffer from high sensitivity to medications, as well as asthmatics and those with impaired hematopoietic function. Liver or kidney failure is also a serious contraindication.
Not bad proved itself anesthetic patch of German production Frauplast. Its antispasmodic and warming effect lasts up to six hours.
Folk methods and means
Among the remedies of traditional healers, the following are most popular:
- To reduce abdominal pain, place a heating pad with warm water. However, with a reduction in spasms, bleeding may become stronger, so this method requires a cautious approach,
- Cold can be placed on the abdomen in the form of an ice pack wrapped in cloth. This compress is applied over clothes and no more than a quarter of an hour.
- Reception of herbal tea or decoction of chamomile, oregano, mint and raspberry leaf. A tablespoon of dry or fresh plants is brewed in a glass of boiling water and left to infuse for twenty minutes. Then the liquid should be filtered and drunk before meals for half an hour no more than a third of a glass in small portions.
In those cases when severe pain occurs during menstruation and it is not possible to stop them on their own, do not neglect the advice of a doctor. The gynecologist will be able to identify the cause of painful spasms and provide effective assistance. It is possible that the observation of specialists of a different profile will be required.
Lower abdominal pain
Severe colic during menstruation is caused by a number of gynecological problems. The most common ones will be considered in more detail:
- Cystic formations. Girls suffering from cysts on one or both ovaries often deal with unpleasant physiological sensations. Physical activity (especially inclines, squats, weight lifting) provokes a pulling, cutting pain in the lower abdomen, and more often it gives in the groin. At the same time, it is difficult to find a position in which a woman would feel comfortable. Often such pain is poorly stopped by painkillers. Treatment of cysts is prescribed in accordance with their nature, size, after a detailed examination. It is possible that a course of hormones and anti-inflammatory drugs will be enough, but sometimes you have to resort to surgery.
- Inflammation of the genitourinary system. The number of possible infections that affect these systems is quite large. Their appearance provokes hypothermia, low immunity, unprotected sexual intercourse, the sharing of personal hygiene items. In advanced cases, this group of diseases can provoke the appearance of adhesions, which will inevitably lead to surgical intervention. Medical treatment (suppositories, pills, injections), but it is easier to follow preventive measures - do not use objects of an intimate nature belonging to someone else, use condoms, do not overcool, find a toilet for small needs on time (urine overstrain can lead to cystitis).
- Endometriosis Systemic hormonal imbalances lead to the growth of the endometrium not by several millimeters, but by a centimeter or more in thickness. When it exfoliates, severe pain occurs, prolonged menstruation, often with blood clots and mucus. In the absence of treatment, it is aggravated to a complete disruption of the cycle (constant periods, or smearing), leads to irreversible consequences for the reproductive system. Method of treatment - taking hormonal drugs under the supervision of a doctor. It is possible that treatment will be carried out before the onset of menopause.
- Spiral. A contraceptive of this form, used to prevent pregnancy, topical treatment, should not be used for more than 2 years. A visit to the gynecologist is mandatory once every 3 months to monitor processes. Improper installation, changes in a woman’s weight, muscle tone can turn a drug into a traumatic one.
- Morphological features. Bend of the uterus, two-horned uterus - congenital features that do not allow to survive menstruation without pain. The only recommendation is the prevention of inflammation and their timely treatment (with this pathology, infections are easier to “fix” in the body), taking antispasmodics.
The list of gynecological problems on this is not limited. To maintain her normal health, a woman should be examined at least every six months by a gynecologist.
The leader among non-gynecological causes of pain during menstruation can be called digestive system and general neglect of health. Another point means an insufficient amount of B vitamins, magnesium, iron in the diet, which even leads to convulsions during menstruation. Convulsions are most often local short-term in nature (spasms in the limbs), but can become frequent (up to 4-6 times) even after menstruation.
During menstruation, chronic problems with the spine (hernia, protrusion) are exacerbated. The intestines suffer most from the wrong lifestyle. Violations appear in his work, including through spasmodic pains. Localization can be different - from the entire abdominal cavity to exclusively left-sided or right-sided tingling, spasms, pains:
- Violation of the microflora, the absorbing function of the colon. Accompanied by colic during menstruation due to additional relaxation of smooth muscles with estrogen. The attacks are long, from a specific location (the left side) go to the entire abdominal cavity, resemble labor pains in nature and strength. Treatment includes a normalization of the diet, a course of probiotics. During an attack, it is recommended to take an anesthetic, switch to a kefir diet, make an enema.
- Appendicitis. Drawing pain in the lower right corner of the abdomen strongly gives in the leg, resembles pain in ovarian cysts. Usually accompanied by low-grade fever. The only treatment is timely access to surgical care.
- Food poisoning. Habitual foods in too large quantities can cause poisoning during menstruation as well as poor-quality food. There are several ways to deal with these manifestations:
- reduce the amount of food consumed during the period of menstruation, but increase the amount of fluid,
- keep enterosorbents on hand.
It happens that in completely healthy women, menstruation is not completely painless. What should be done to prevent too strong discomfort and more serious consequences?
It will not work to make several days in the cycle completely painless, but there are a number of effective methods that allow to reduce pain or relieve severe cramps with menstruation at all:
Balanced diet. Women should very carefully monitor the amount of magnesium and iron in the diet, since their loss with menstruation should be renewed with interest. If the intestinal absorption function is not impaired, then ordinary foods will suffice. In case of violations, it will be appropriate to take complex vitamin preparations.
Pain during menstruation is not a distinguishing feature of women in front of men, not a reason to silently carry their burden. Pain is an occasion to be attentive to one's own health. Those women who will not put themselves on the altar of something unknown, but will be able to responsibly relate to the future, will always suffer less from women's health problems.