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Menstrual Cramps - How To Deal With It

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
IVF Specialist, Delhi  •  37 years experience
Menstrual Cramps - How To Deal With It

Menstrual cramps or dysmenorrhea is a condition wherein one experiences painful cramps which occur during the menses. Dysmenorrhea is classified into two types –

  1. Primary Dysmenorrhea: These are the most common menstrual cramps which begin 1-2 years after menstrual cycles begin. The pain is felt in the lower part of the abdomen or the back. The cramps usually start before the period begins, and disappear after 2-3 days.
  2. Secondary Dysmenorrhea: This is a type of dysmenorrhea which accompanies any disorder in the reproductive system. Secondary dysmenorrhea tends to last longer than the normal menstrual cramps.

Symptoms-

One will experience symptoms of abdominal pain, pain in the hip joints and a bloating sensation in the abdomen. In case of severe cramps, one may suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Pain in the inner thighs and the lower back are also very common symptoms.

Causes-

The menstrual cramps are usually caused by contractions that occur in the uterus. During the menstrual cycle, the uterus, which is a pear-shaped organ in the body, tends to contract. Excessive contractions cause the uterus to press against the blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the muscle tissues. Pain results when the oxygen supply is cut off from a muscle.

Dealing with Menstrual Cramps:

Here are some steps that you can take to deal with menstrual cramps:

  1. Taking pain relieving medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  2. To get relief from lower back pain, one can apply heat on the affected area by using heating pads.
  3. Get enough rest.
  4. Avoid eating foods that are rich in salt and caffeine.
  5. Alcohol consumption and smoking should be restricted.
  6. You can massage the abdomen and the lower back.

In addition to these remedies, exercising helps in relieving menstrual pain. People who exercise experience milder symptoms as compared to those who do not exercise.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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