The population of the world now stands at over 7.6 billion human beings, and more than half of us are female. We come from hundreds of different countries and cultures, with different practices and beliefs. We eat different foods, and we wear different clothes, but there’s one thing that unites us as women, and that’s periods. More specifically, period pain and the other discomfort that afflicts us every month. Many women wish they could change places with men for those few days of the month because of the discomfort they experience.
Menstrual cramps can strike before or during your period, and many women experience them routinely. These cramps can be felt in the lower abdomen and back and can range from mild to severe. You might also experience aching in the hips and inner thighs, as well as an upset stomach. Doctors might refer to period pains as ‘dysmenorrhea.’
The cause of these pains is the contraction of the uterus (womb), which is made up mostly of muscle. If the contractions are strong during menstruation, the uterus can press on nearby blood vessels. This causes the oxygen supply to the uterus to be cut off briefly, causing pain and cramps.
Cramps usually begin after ovulation, which is when the ovum (egg) is released from the ovary and moves down the fallopian tube. Pain usually starts 1 or 2 days before menstruation begins, and last for 2 to 4 days. Some women experience extremely severe pain and bleeding during their monthly cycle. In fact, some women are compelled to consider surgery as a solution to their almost constant discomfort. Here are 15 ways you can ease those lady pains and other discomforts during your time of the month…
1. Apply heat
A great way to relieve menstrual cramps is to try applying heat to your abdomen or back, or wherever the pain is. Try a hot water bottle, heat wrap or a heating pad applied to the area. You’ll be amazed at how much relief you can find from just a little topical heat. You can find these warming items at the drugstore or at lots of online stores.
The reason that continued the application of heat works for period cramps is that heat helps the muscles to relax. In fact, it was proposed that the continuous application of heat to the affected areas might even work as well as ibuprofen for period cramps. And this is what they found out.
Scientists studied a group of women between the ages of 18 and 30. All the subjects who took part in the study suffered from period pain. The study divided the participants into two groups. One group applied a heat patch that had been heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit to the area in which they felt period pains. The women in the other group were given ibuprofen for their cramps.
The study found out that the two groups actually experienced similar relief from the two treatments. In other words, the topical application of heat worked just as well as taking ibuprofen for the pain. If you don’t have anything like a hot water bottle, heat patch, heat wrap or heating pad handy, try using a warm towel instead. And if you have a cat, this is the perfect way for your feline friend to lend a little warmth. Place kitty cat on your abdomen, and feel the way the warmth dissolves your pain away. You also get some wonderful kitty love!