Menstrual cramps can be so painful that they can have you lying on the bed the whole day. Some women experience such pain that they lie down for the first and second day and get up just to go to the bathroom. Cramps are caused by prostaglandins. These are chemicals produced by the body to make the uterus muscles contract. When contraction happens, blood is pushed through the vagina.
When do cramps start and how to they occur?
The cramps begin just before periods and reach a peak 24 hours after your start bleeding. When they start, you can feel them in the lower abdomen and pelvis. The discomfort they cause can be also felt in the legs and lower back. The pain can be severe or just something dull. It can be continuously for all the three days of your periods else just on the first day or they can occur periodically during period days.
When girls first start menstruating, they don’t experience cramps very much. As their periods become regular cramps begin to show up. Not everyone experiences cramps. Those who are likely to get it are girls who get their periods at a young age, those who experience heavy flow during their periods and who have this problem running in their family. Girls who smoke are more susceptible to menstrual cramps than those who don’t.
What causes menstrual cramps?
Prostaglandins, which causes cramps during the menstrual cycle is also responsible for causing other problems such a headache, backache, nausea and even diarrhea. Cramps intensify when blood clots from the uterus lining pass through the cervix and get severe when it is narrow. The answer to why some women experience mild cramps, while others get it heavy is because of the level of Prostaglandins in the uterus lining.
Prostaglandins are not the only cause for menstrual cramps. They can also be caused by a retroverted uterus. Women who do not exercise regularly are likely to get painful menstrual cramps. Exercising releases endodorphics that lessen pain. Those who are depressed or emotionally stressed out can experience more menstrual cramps. Uterine fibroids are also a reason for cramps to occur.
How to deal with painful cramps?
If cramps are mild you can put up with them. If they are severe, leaving you in bed all the time there are a couple of remedies that you can follow to resolve the problem. Take rest when the cramps start so that your body does not feel tired. After a couple of hours have passed, you can try yoga or abdominal massage. You can also try applying a heating pad to the abdominal area as it is very effective in relieving pain. You can use Non-steroidal Anti inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as ketoprofen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, which can be availed without a doctor’s prescriptions. Do not wait for pain to begin and become unmanageable before you take any of these medications. Start a day or two before periods so that they give the desired results in pain reduction.
Remember that cramps shouldn’t be a reason for your absence at school or work. Don’t let the pain to lead your life!