So many of us dread our monthly periods because of the very obvious reason-menstrual pains/cramps. Menstrual pains are pains felt by a woman in the abdomen or pelvic area during her monthly periods and so this kind of pain is periodic in nature.These cramps are caused by uterine contractions and the contractions are further strengthened by prostaglandins which are chemicals released from the uterus.
The medical term for menstrual pain is 'dysmenorrhea' and it can be primary(if it is not as a result of an identifiable cause, this is the commonest form of dysmenorrhea) or secondary(if it is as a result of an underlying condition,this is often pathological in nature).
Irrespective of whether it is primary or secondary , menstrual pains can be so severe in some women that it alters their activities of daily living e.g work,school e.t.c.
However,there are some home remedies which can help to reduce or alleviate the cramps and as well make you more comfortable and productive during your 'red days'.
Here are seven tips that have helped me in managing painful periods over the years;
1.Have a positive mindset.
I made this the first remedy because its the most important of all the remedies.I used to be very sad and gloomy whenever my periods are near and to the extent of praying that I should miss my periods but the moment I changed my mindset and developed a positive attitude towards it, it became so easy for me to manage and I became even more productive during my 'red days'. So dear friends, joyfully expect your periods.
This can be in form of a hot water bottle placed over your lower abdomen, pelvic area or lower back for some minutes; for me I soak a small flannel/towel inside a bowl of hot water and then squeeze out the water and apply over my lower abdomen,this method really works like magic because it tends to dissolve blood clots and also ease blood flow but be very careful when handling hot water to avoid scald injury to your skin.
I know the first thing that crossed your mind is going to the gym.NO!!!! You dont have to go to a gym,there are other forms of exercises that help reduce menstrual pains e.g dancing , running ,skipping e.t.c. For me brisk walking works for me a lot, I enjoy taking a walk or just strolling in the neighbourhood,it helps a lot.
4.Take a hot drink.
A hot cup of tea works wonders.It has the same mode of action with the heat therapy,it enhances blood flow and also makes you warm.I ensure I keep myself warm during the 'red days' because warmth also reduces the cramps.
5.Improve your diet.
We all know that high consumption of vegetables and low consumption of fat keeps the doctor away because it improves our overall wellbeing but i'm sure you never knew that vegetables reduce menstrual cramps simply because it helps to decrease the overall levels of inflammation in the body. So take more of veggies and take less of fat especially during the 'red days'.
By this I mean engaging yourself in activities that will distract you and take your mind off the pain but this has to be an activity that you love or probably you hobby.For me, listening to music and singing along really helps and ofcourse takes my mind away from the pain. So you can try your favorite activity or hobby e.g reading novels, watching tv , washing or cooking. It has to be something you enjoy doing.
7.Take mild analgesics
For some of us who have severe cramps, taking analgesic is as important as the other six tips I mentioned earlier if we want to be very comfortable and ofcourse productive during the 'red days'. However mild analgesics are just fine e.g paracetamol and it can be purchased over the counter. Please never buy or take strong analgesics like narcotics without a medical prescription.Do not abuse drugs.
N.B IF ALL THESE REMEDIES STILL DO NOT REDUCE YOUR MENSTRUAL CRAMPS PLEASE SEE A DOCTOR.