What causes cramps during periods?

What causes period cramps and how to treat menstrual pain?  

By : Dr. Kumala Sari

What causes cramps during periods
woman get period cramps
In living her life, a woman will go through several phases of natural changes in the body and its accompanying problems, namely when experiencing menarche, first sexual intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth, and the last is menopause (cessation of menstruation).

One of the most frequent problems into complaints by most women is cramps during periods (dysmenorrhea). Actually, cramps during period are a normal experienced for every woman, but the difference is if it interferes with the activity and daily life.

Period cramps can be categorized into two, namely primary and secondary pain. Primary menstrual pain is pain associated with menstruation, which is not derived from pathological abnormalities and pelvic organs in it. This pain can occur 2-3 years after the first menstruation and reached its peak when a woman reaches the age of 15-25 years. Then the pain will decrease in intensity with age and disappears when women give birth naturally. This pain can be intermittent or persistent. Usually feels pain 24 hours before menstruation and ends 24-36 hours after menstruation stops. Pain is felt in the lower abdomen, which can then spread to the back or the inside of thigh. Other symptoms that may accompany include nausea, vomiting, headache, anxiety, restlessness, diarrhea, fainting, and flatulence.

Reading the above certainly raises questions in your mind, "Why cramps may happen?" There are various theories that try to explain it. The closest theory states that just before menstruation a woman's body produces a substance called prostaglandin. The substance has many functions, one of which is to make the uterus wall to contract and surrounding blood vessels wedged (constriction) that cause tissue ischemia. The intensity of this contraction is different in each individual, and if excessive will cause cramps during period. Besides, prostaglandins also stimulate pain nerves in the uterus that will add the intensity of pain. Prostaglandins also work throughout the body. This explains why there are accompanying symptoms of pain during menstruation.

If pain during menstruation appears when you are over 20 years it is included in the second category, which is secondary menstrual pain. The pain associated with menstrual disorders stemming from pelvic and its inner organ. Usually, this happened 2 days or more before menstruation begins and pain will intensify during menstruation, then disappeared 2 days or more after menstruation stops.

These disorders can cause secondary menstrual pain, which are:

• endometriosis
• Allen syndrome
• Pelvic congestion syndrome
• ovarian cysts and tumors
• pelvic infections
• adenomyosis
• Uterine Myoma / Uterine Fibroids
• uterine polyps
• Asherman's syndrome
• Congenital abnormalities
• intra- uterine contraceptive devices
• vaginal stenosis and occlusion
• etc.

Then how do I treat these?

There are lots of things to do, ranging from simple things, from the use of drugs to hormonal therapy. Here are some tips to prevent pain during menstruation:
1. Moderate exercise during menstruation, but avoid strenuous exercise.
2. Avoid consumption of alcohol, coffee, and chocolate because they can increase estrogen levels, which can trigger the release of prostaglandins. Avoid cold foods such as ice cream.
3. Consumption of vitamin E, vitamin B6, or fish oil.
4. Consumption of vegetables, fruits and low-fat foods.

Some things we can do to overcome abdominal cramps during period :
• Apply a hot water bottle (heating pad) right on the part that feels cramps (stomach or back waist)
• Warm bath, may also use aromatherapy to calm down our body
• Drink warm beverages containing high calcium
• Rubbing belly / waist which in pain
what causes period cramps
• Take a position where the rear end higher than the front so that the uterus hanging down. This can help relaxation
• Breathe in slowly for relaxation

The drugs should be used by the supervision of a doctor. You may take analgesics (pain relievers) are sold in drug stores especially those containing mefenamic acid, ibuprofen, diclofenac sodium or naproxenen in the composition of the drug, the dosage must no more than 3 times a day. If the use of analgesic drugs does not work then you can try hormonal therapy according to doctor’s suggestion. When pain can be eased with a simple way then it is much better than using drugs because the drugs will cause a dependency on pain relieving effects and cause unwanted side effects. Basically the treatment for primary menstrual pain is the same as secondary menstrual pain, but it is better if you consult directly with the obstetrician for further treatment.

The most important thing is a healthy lifestyle for the sake of comfort to your life. Good luck!

I believe this articles can answer your question about what causes period cramps and can be useful for women all over the world.

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