As women, we all are aware of it, dread it, and are sometimes even glad that we get it — yes we are talking about our monthly period. We all recognize the constant throbbing and cramping pains that go along with it. According to the Mayo Clinic, your uterus contracts to assist expel its lining throughout your period. Hormone-like substances, known as prostaglandins, that are involved in pain and inflammation, trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Higher levels of are therefore associated with more severe menstrual cramps. For some women, their cramps might even interfere with their work, school, and daily activities. About three out of four women experience menstrual pains, and every one out of 10 women experiences severe menstrual cramps.
To help you get through the monthly visit, here are some home remedies that ease menstrual cramps.
This may sound a bit crazy and you would possibly be thinking to yourself, I will barely move, plus exercise. However, brisk walking, or any type of physical activity, will facilitate to ease your belly pain. When you are doing any kind of aerobic exercise, your body is pumping additional blood; this helps to unleash endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins and reduce your cramps. Exercising three to four time per week is good for the general health of your body, however, it's particularly necessary if you are at risk of painful menstrual cramps.
2. Apply heat
Heat helps to relax the catching muscles in your uterus, that is the cause for your pain. There are several over-the-counter heating patches and pads, like ThermaCare, Bengay, or electrical, reusable ones. Or, even taking a daily plastic bottle with hot water and applying it to your abdomen is an alternative when you don't have access to a heating pad.
3. Drink chamomile tea
A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry found that there might be pain-relieving properties in this fragrant tea. "This is one of a growing number of studies that provide evidence that commonly used natural products really do contain chemicals that may be of medicinal value," said Elaine Holmes, Ph.D., a chemist with the Imperial College of London. The research found that when 14 participants were given urine samples, their urinary levels had a significant increase in hippurate, which is a natural anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatory drugs help to decrease the prostaglandin production, thus relieving menstrual cramps.
4. Make sure you're getting enough vitamin D
Prevention is always better than the cure, which is why making sure your body has enough vitamin D is important in preventing menstrual cramps. A study found that high doses of vitamin D3 led to a significant decrease in menstrual cramps. As reported by Health.com, "40 Italian women were split into two groups: one receiving a single oral dose of 300,000 IUs of vitamin D3 and the other getting a placebo five days before the expected start of their menstrual periods." Their pain scored dropped by 41 percent, while those in the placebo group saw no change in their pain scale.
5. Have an orgasm
Yes, that's right — orgasms help to relieve all kinds of pain, including menstrual cramps. Before an orgasm, the uterus is more relaxed, and at the moment of climax, blood flow increases, helping to relieve the cramps. Orgasm relieve the pain through the release of endorphins, which help you to feel instantly better. They also help to relax your whole body and induce sleep so you won't feel any cramping at all.
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves sticking the skin with small needles to stimulate the body at certain points. Researchers from the Oriental Hospital at Kyung Hee University Medical Center in South Korea found that acupuncture might have positive effects on menstrual cramps. The study was based on 10 trials with 944 participants. "There was an improvement in pain relief from acupressure compared with a placebo control," according to the study.