Most women have experienced menstrual cramps, dysmenorrhea in medical terms. For some women, menstrual cramps can be debilitating while others only experienced mild discomfort.
Physicians have found that dysmenorrhea maybe primary, in young women who have just begun their menstrual cycles or secondary, caused by other conditions such as endometriosis, fibroid tumors or ovarian cysts.
Menstrual cramps are thought to be related tool hormone like substance called prostaglandins which cause the uterus to contract.
If a woman does not ovulate that month it is unlikely she will get cramps during her period and it is for this reason that many physicians will use oral contraceptives to ease the pain of severe cramping.
But for jumping on the bandwagon of oral contraceptives it is important for young women to investigate alternative methods of using their menstrual cramps that are not nearly as invasive as oral contraceptives.
For some women, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen used around the clock one to two days before a period starts will help to reduce the severity and cramping by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) will help the pain it will not have any effect on the prostaglandins.
Many women find that regular physical activity throughout the month will help to reduce cramping and others find that supplementing the diet with zinc and calcium will help to reduce the cramps, bloating and other related PMS symptoms.
During severe cramping young ladies may find that taking a warm bath and using aromatherapy or using a heating pad on the lower abdomen or back will help to relieve the stress. A homemade heating pad can be made by filling a sock with rice and heating it in the microwave. This homemade pad will often hold heat far longer than you might imagine.
Painful cramping can be relieved I some anti-spasmodic herbal remedies. Herbs such as a black cohosh, Valerian, wild yam, yarrow, chamomile and feverfew have been found to offer significant relief. Women who drink infusions starting the day or two before they expect the cramps to start and then every two hours during the most acute phase may find enough relief to allow them to go about their daily activities.
According to a new study Chinese herbal remedies can be more successful than traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatments. Researchers found that Chinese herbal remedies had better pain relief action over nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory for up to three months of follow-up and that they worked better than over-the-counter herbal health products. Interestingly, they also found that herbal medicine had it better pain relief action in acupuncture or acupressure.
Other natural things that women may do in order to help with bloating and menstrual cramps are to restrict their salt intake throughout the entire month. By limiting salt they may also help to limit bloating that occurs. Interestingly, bloating is also related to fluid retention and land women drink more the body will release more fluid and bloating will become less noticeable.
By reducing caffeine, sugar and alcohol studies have found that women may have less menstrual pain than those who drank wine or regularly consumed alcohol.
Using natural products to help reduce menstrual cramping is a great way of decreasing the number of drugs a woman takes throughout her life.
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