Ways to Relieve Menstrual Cramps

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Many women and adolescent girls suffer from a painful condition known as Dysmenorrhea. Symptoms begin with menstruation or a little earlier and typically last three days. However, the severity of pain often varies.

What are the most common symptoms of Menstrual Cramps?

The most Common Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps are- -

  • severe abdominal pain
  • pain in the thighs, hips, and back.
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

Types of Dysmenorrhea

There are two types of Dysmenorrhea:

Primary dysmenorrhea

Primary Dysmenorrhea is pain from menstrual cramps resulting from the normal process of menstruation and not due to any underlying gynecologic disorder. Discomfort begins one or two days before the beginning of menstrual bleeding, lasts for about three days, and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or diarrhea. Primary Dysmenorrhea typically targets adolescent girls and subsides with age, usually after pregnancy and delivery after the cervix enlarges. Other causes of primary Dysmenorrhea include a retroverted uterus, early onset of menstruation in adolescent girls, smoking, high-stress levels, alcoholism, lack of exercise, and obesity.

Secondary dysmenorrhea

Secondary Dysmenorrhea is pain due to a gynecological issue. Discomfort begins earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps, with no other symptoms of nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or diarrhea. Possible causes include fibroids, endometriosis, sexually transmitted infections (STI), ovarian cysts, benign tumors, inserted contraceptive devices, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Causes of Menstrual Cramps

Abdominal pain during menstruation is caused by inflammation from a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin released during uterine contractions. If prostaglandin levels are exceptionally high, women experience frequent uterine contractions, which causes severe pain.

As the uterine lining is shed, contractions push blood tissue through the cervix and out of the body.

Cramps begin before the menstrual period, peak 24 hours later, and start to subside after a day or two.

Treating or Managing Dysmenorrhea

Painful menstruation may require a medical evaluation to rule out any underlying disorder. Pelvic examination, ultrasound, and blood or urine tests may be necessary.

The good news is that primary and secondary Dysmenorrhea are easily managed. Medical treatment of Dysmenorrhea aims to provide symptomatic relief and inhibit the underlying processes that cause symptoms.

Dysmenorrhea is graded according to the severity of pain and degree of limitation of daily activity and helps to devise treatment strategies, which include:

  • Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and analgesics. When taken early enough and in sufficient quantity, they effectively alleviate menstrual discomfort and reduce the production of prostaglandin, which causes pain and inflammation.
  • Hormonal medicines, including oral contraceptive pills, patches, and vaginal rings, can help alleviate pain by interfering with ovulation and slowing down the growth of fibroids and endometriosis.
  • Implantable contraceptives such as IUDs release low hormone progesterone levels, which reduces menstrual pain.

Products that Help Relieve Menstrual Cramps


If pain is not relieved by the above treatments, an underlying cause may indicate secondary Dysmenorrhea. Specific measures (surgical or medical) may be required to treat pelvic conditions such as endometriosis. Uterine Artery Embolization can curb the growth of fibroids, and surgery to remove them can also be an option. Hysterectomy, which removes the entire reproductive system, is a last resort. Regular use of analgesics may be required as supporting therapy.

9 Natural Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

  1. Take a hot bath or place a hot water bottle on your abdomen.
  2. Massage the lower abdomen with rose, lavender, or sage essential oils.
  3. Lie down on your back and elevate your knees with a pillow.
  4. Take a walk! Light aerobic exercises like walking, biking, jogging, and swimming decrease pain.
  5. Yoga has specific asanas which help in reducing menstrual pain.
  6. Attaining orgasm during sexual activity releases pain-relieving hormones in the brain, thereby reducing pain.
  7. Avoid coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and other triggers.
  8. Avoid stressful situations.
  9. Other alternative therapies include herbal medication, acupressure, and acupuncture.

You don't have to suffer every month! Dysmenorrhea can be easy to manage. Talk to your doctor and visit our website Damozelle, for a complete line of pain relievers.


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