“How can you naturally relieve menstrual cramps? I’ll introduce you to our best tips for reducing period pain.
According to recent studies, around three-quarters of all women aged between 18 and 45 suffer from period pain one to two days per cycle. Period pain occurs when the uterus contracts in order to expel the uterine lining. Menstrual cramps are very varied and can occur in the abdomen, lower back, pelvic floor or groin area. In this article, I talk about the main causes of menstrual cramps and give my best tips on how you can relieve period pain.
What are the main causes of period pain?
You can’t combat period pain if you don’t understand its cause. For this reason, I would like to briefly introduce the main causes of period pain, which are currently categorized in technical jargon as primary and secondary period pain.
#1 Primary period pain
Primary period pain is pain and cramps in the lower abdomen that occur during menstruation due to the natural contraction of the uterus. They have no official disease-related cause. The pain can vary in severity from woman to woman or not be present at all, which raises the intriguing question: Why do some women often or always have pain during menstruation and some have none at all? Then perhaps there is a cause after all? Other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or headaches can also occur. Primary period pain usually occurs in young women and can decrease or disappear completely over time. For some women, period pain also disappears after the birth of their first child.
#2 Secondary period pain
Secondary period pain is pain that occurs during menstruation and is caused by an underlying condition. In contrast, primary period pain appears to occur without any recognizable cause. Possible causes of secondary period pain include endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts or tumors, adenomyosis, pelvic congestion, pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections and contraceptives such as the IUD. The symptoms of secondary period pain can vary from woman to woman and can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or headaches. It is advisable to consult a doctor if you suspect that you are suffering from secondary period pain. At a gynecological practice, you can get an accurate diagnosis in order to receive a suitable treatment strategy.
Relieving menstrual cramps – our best tips
Now we come to our best tips for relieving menstrual cramps.
#1 Plant-based diet
It has long been known that excessive production of arachidonic acid can cause pain. This acid is mainly produced after the consumption of animal products. In a small pilot study involving 33 women with severe menstrual pain, it was shown that a low-fat, plant-based diet significantly reduced the pain after just two menstrual cycles.
#2 Magnesium and vitamin B6
In a study involving 150 women aged between 15 and 45, the influence of magnesium and vitamin B6 on the relief of menstrual cramps was investigated. The women were divided into three groups. The first group took magnesium, the second magnesium and vitamin B6 and the third a placebo medication. The results showed that the group that took vitamin B6 in combination with magnesium experienced significant relief from period pain.
#3 Yoga and relaxation
Can regular yoga practice relieve period pain? Scientists asked this question in a study involving 128 women. The women were divided into two groups of equal strength. The first group did a 30-minute yoga programme about three times a week for three monthly cycles. The control group, on the other hand, was not allowed to practise yoga during the three months. The results of this study also showed that regular yoga practice can help to alleviate menstrual cramps.
Heat often helps against menstrual cramps. Personally, I have often taken a warm bath or used a hot water bottle to relieve my menstrual cramps. A sauna session can also help to relax and relieve the pain.
#5 Lady’s mantle herb
Some women have found it helpful to drink natural healing teas such as lady’s mantle tea during the luteal phase.
Traditional Chinese medicine methods have been proven to help alleviate period pain. This was the result of studies conducted by German scientist Dr Annemarie Schweizer-Arau in connection with endometriosis.
#7 Free bleeding and alternative menstrual hygiene
My own menstrual cramps have changed significantly since I started practising free bleeding. With this method, you simply release your period naturally when you go to the toilet. I rarely use menstrual cups when I’m out and about and usually use cloth sanitary towels, because it’s not always possible to carry out free menstruation optimally.
Menstrual cramps – when to see a doctor?
If you have such severe menstrual cramps that you frequently resort to painkillers, then it is advisable to see a doctor. It is also advisable to seek medical advice if you suddenly experience period pain even though you have never had any before. It also makes perfect sense if you experience pain during your cycle outside of your period. I hope that my tips can help you to alleviate your menstrual cramps and wish you all the best on your way to your dream child. By the way, as a pregnant woman you no longer have a period and therefore don’t have to deal with period pain 😉 🩸 🍀.
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