50% of all women will experience menstrual cramps at some point in their life. This may be a nice medical way of claiming that half you’ve got had the feeling of a small T-rex trying to claw its answer of your uterus during your period.
Menstrual cramps normally make their first annoying appearance a year or two after a woman gets her playing period, and often, they recover with age. (Hey, a minimum of something does!) The pain usually starts with the onset of bleeding and lasts for a couple of days.
What causes the pain?
The uterus is formed entirely of muscle except the innermost lining, the endometrium. With each cycle, the inner lining of the uterus prepares for an embryo to the implant by growing a layer of tissue, rich with blood vessels and nutrients. When the body realizes that it’s not pregnant, a hormone shift occurs that triggers the onset of the amount and therefore the release of chemicals called prostaglandins, which make the muscle of the uterus contract to obtrude the unused blood. the upper the number of prostaglandins, the stronger the uterine muscle contractions, the more severe the pain. So menstrual cramping is that the physical sensation you get because the muscles of the uterus contract to evict the unused inner lining. for several women the pain resolves with a few ibuprofen, except for others, the pain is often debilitating and affects their quality of life, causing them to miss school or work. However, there are multiple treatment options available to supply relief.
How do I make the pain stop?
NSAIDs. one of the simplest ways to treat cramps is to prevent the productions of the nasty prostaglandins that cause the mess in the first place. The NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory) class of drug does just that. Common over-the-counter medications like naproxen and ibuprofen fall within the class. If you begin taking the NSAIDs 1-2 days before the onset of cramping they work even better. (NSAIDs aren’t recommended for people with stomach ulcers. Please read warning labels on all medications and ask your doctor before using them.)
Heat. Heat is very effective for reducing menstrual pain. While you can’t always walk around with a hot pad, and sadly I can’t write you a note to take a seat during a bathtub all day during your period, newer topical stickers that contain chemical heating elements are a superb choice for menstrual pain.
TENS unit. A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) may be a device you wear over a neighborhood of pain that stimulates your nerves with electricity to essentially confuse the pain fibers. it’s been shown in clinical trials to scale back menstrual pain with minimal side effects. TENS units are often purchased without a prescription, but I like to recommend that you simply ask your doctor before you purchase one on your own. The TENS units available online could also be less costly, but they likely won’t work also because of the pricier ones which will be ordered through a doctor’s office. and a few insurance policies cover TENS units when ordered by a doctor, so it’s worth asking about.
Massage and exercise. Lower back massage and aerobics have both been shown to scale back cramping and pain related to your period. If you’re like me and don’t have the time or money to urge a massage monthly together with your cycle, self-massage is additionally an option.
Hormone therapy. Oral contraceptives (the contraception pill) can reduce menstrual pain and cramping by up to 90%. The pill works by keeping your hormones at a gentle state, so less tissue is grown within the uterine lining and with no hormone shift, the prostaglandin production doesn’t get triggered. Depo-Provera (the contraception shot) also works similarly to scale back cramping. I often see mothers of teenagers who fear that starting their girls on the pill will encourage sexual intercourse, but clinical studies have shown this is often not the case. And medically, the pill truly is that the best medicine for menstrual cramps.
When should I be worried?
If your menstrual pain didn’t fit with my initial description otherwise you have any of the subsequent symptoms, you ought to see a doctor:
The sudden onset of menstrual cramping later in life (above age 20)
Pain that returns after being gone for several years
Pain sometimes of the month aside from your period
Menstrual cramping not relieved by NSAIDs
Pain with intercourse
Menstrual cramps are painful (sometimes extremely so), but they’re treatable. If you’re experiencing severe menstrual cramps that you’re unable to alleviate on your own, follow up together with your provider.