Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Much Dreaded Menstrual Pain

One of the much dreaded discomfort that majority of young girls and women experience is the monthly menstrual pain. Menstrual pain, which is also commonly referred to as menstrual cramp, is basically a sharp pain that is felt in a woman's lower abdomen. This usually occurs once menstruation starts and continues for some women for two to three days. Menstrual cramps are considered nuisance by young girls and women for the symptoms' severity can range from mild to severe pain that can definitely disrupt one's daily activities.

Understanding menstrual cramps

It is proven that menstrual pain is among the leading causes of absenteeism in young girls and women who are younger than 30 years old. While there are still quite a number of women who fortunately experience less or no pain at all during their menstruation, there are those who are even temporarily disabled by the symptoms of menstrual cramps.

Below are some of the factors that can most likely make a woman experience menstrual pain:

  1. Early start of menstruation
  2. Period lasts up to five days or longer
  3. Obesity or overweight
  4. Too much alcohol consumption
  5. Cigarette smoking

Moreover, there are many known causes of menstrual cramps. Certain chemicals in a woman's body, prostaglandins for instance, are said to produce symptoms that are associated with menstrual pains. These chemicals rouse a woman's uterine muscles to contract. Those who have high levels of these chemicals in their bodies are the ones who experience severe and pain contractions in their uterus.

The following are other known causes of menstrual cramps:

  1. Ovarian cyst
  2. infections in the reproductive organs
  3. Endometriosis
  4. Narrow cervix
  5. Intra-uterine device
  6. Adenomyosis
  7. Fibroids

Known symptoms of menstrual cramps

Apart from the pain experienced in the lower abdomen, menstrual cramps can also be associated with the following symptoms:

  1. leg pain
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Weakness
  5. Irritability
  6. Headache
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Lower back pain
  9. Fainting

Self-care home treatments for menstrual pain

As recommended by physicians, the fastest way to relieve painful menstrual cramps is to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Orudis, Advil, and Aleve. These medications are known to be effective in blocking the painful effects brought by prostaglandins.

In addition, a woman experiencing menstrual pain can also make use of a heating pad and place it against the pelvic area. Exercising daily, especially before the start of the period, is also a good way to prevent experiencing menstrual pains. Other easy-to-do home remedies are as follows:

  • Massaging the back and lower abdomen

  • Taking 100 mg Thiamine everyday

  • Eating a low-fat vegetarian

  • Taking 1200 mg Calcium everyday

On the other hand, another option for women to prevent menstrual pain is to seek consultation with a licensed gynecologist and ask prescription for a hormonal birth control pill. Birth control pills are proven to improve a woman's menstrual cycle by lessening the pain. When pain is not reduced in taking pills, other treatments are usually recommended by physicians. These treatments include acupuncture and nitroglycerin patch.

No woman deserves the pain brought by monthly menstrual period. So free yourself from the pain and seek relief treatments that will best suit you.

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Rcon Franchesca V. Pascua is a web content writer and researcher who specializes in health and fitness topics. She enjoys reading health-related features and articles and sharing what she learns by providing tips and guidelines on how to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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