Menstruation on monthly periods is a part of every woman's life. Menstruation starts at puberty, at the age of 13-14 in females and continues till menopause that occurs at the age of 45-50. The age cannot be specifically mentioned, for it varies from one female to the other. Menstruation is a trauma for many women, for it may be accompanied by severe pain or cramps.
Little or tolerable pain occurs for all women but for some, periods are very painful and troublesome. The pain is much during adolescence, and continues, but usually disappears or lessens after child birth. The medical term for menstrual pain is 'dysmenorrhea'. It usually occurs in the lower abdomen and pelvic regions of females. Menstrual pain should not be confused with premenstrual syndrome.
However premenstrual syndrome may continue in to menstrual pain for some women. For some, the pain lasts for quite some time and may be so severe that it may interfere with the woman's day to day activities. Menstrual pain may be of two types-primary and secondary. The primary menses pain has no underlying gynecological complication causing pain. It is noticeable in adolescent girls, and begins after six months or year following the onset of menstruation. Secondary menses pain is related to some problem with the woman's reproductive system.
Every month the inner lining of uterus or endometrium prepares itself to welcome a pregnancy. However if the sperm does not fertilize the egg, pregnancy would not occur and the cushion of uterine lining is not required. So it becomes swollen and breaks off and is expelled through the vagina in the form of monthly periods. When the uterine lining sheds off, molecular compounds called prostaglandins are released. The uterine muscles contract in response to prostaglandins and constrict blood supply to the uterine lining. This contraction causes menstrual pain. In women with high levels of prostaglandins, the pain is quite severe and in those with low levels of prostaglandins, the pain is mild. Retroverted uterus, lack of exercise and emotional stress are other factors contributing to menstrual pain.
Symptoms Associated With Menses Pain
- Dull or throbbing ache in lower abdomen and pelvis.
- Urge for frequent urination.
Placing of hot water bottle or bag on lower stomach can ease the pain.
One may heat a moist kitchen towel in microwave and place on lower abdomen to get relief.
Drinking peppermint or wintergreen tea can ease painful conditions. Chewing mint candy can also help.
Drinking hot liquids can relax muscles and reduce menstrual cramps.
Drinking parsley juice is an effective home remedy for easing menstrual pain.
One may boil a piece of ginger in a cup of water, sweeten the infusion and drink it frequently to get menstrual pain relief.
One may add 15-20 coriander seeds in a glass of boiling water, allow the mixture to stand until evaporation is over, sweeten the mixture and drink it. This remedy is really effective in treating menstrual pain
Basil tea is very good for treating menstrual pain, for basil has a pain killing caffeic acid.
Sprinkling food with cinnamon powder can help, for cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.
Calcium lessens menstrual pain. Taking a magnesium supplement can help the body absorb more calcium, thereby reducing pain.
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