Dysmenorrhea Treatments

There are natural methods to ease dysmenorrhea. Learn how to treat painful menstruation.

The correct medical term for menstruation pain is dysmenorrhea which means painful menstruation in Latin medical terms. No one enjoys menstrual cramps. There are methods to ease them.

Menstruation occurs once a month during the natural cycle in which the uterine lining is shed in mature females. It lasts from three to seven days long. The body prepares for

menstruation by releasing different hormones to trigger the different aspects of menstruation. Estrogen is released to stimulate the growth of the uterine lining. Then the pituitary gland releases a hormone to prepare the egg. Progesterone is released which further increases the blood vessels in the uterus. The egg is released during ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized the levels of progesterone and estrogen drop and menstruation occurs. The blood vessels are shed from the uterus during menstruation, the first day usually being the heaviest.

Menstrual cramps usually occur on the first day of the menstruation cycle when the flow begins. Cramps can last for a couple of hours to a few days. The cramps feel like

muscles spasms or contractions in the lower abdomen. They can be felt in the lower back and thighs too. These cramps can be mild or very painful. In some women it varies

from month to month. In other women, the cramps are always very painful. Sometimes the cramping is also accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, nervousness, fatigue, diarrhea, fainting, bloating, and mood swings. Women who experience these extreme maladies during menstruation have been found to produce more prostaglandin's, hormones secreted by the uterine lining to increase contractions.

The drugs that are most often recommended for cramps are anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) and naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn). Most of these can

be bought over the counter at the store, others you need a prescription. All of these drugs are pain relievers but also block the production of prostaglandin's which create the intense contractions and cramping. Take one of these at the onset of cramping and within two hours the cramping will have decreased.

One of the problems that women have at the onset of menstruation that causes some of the cramping is gas and bloating. The diet is usually the cause of the gas and can be controlled by what you eat. Your diet the week before menstruation begins should not include gas producing foods such as, fats, sugar, broccoli, beans etc. Alcohol and

caffeine are inflammatory and will increase cramping and should be avoided. Exercise is always healthy and will help control the cramping if done regularly. Physically active women have been shown to have less cramps.

It has been found that tampons will increase the cramping, at least during the first day of menstruation. Use sanitary pads instead. Always limit the use of tampons to during the day and wear pads at night or when you are home. Tampons if kept in too long have been implicated in causing an infection that is life threatening.

Some vitamins and minerals can be taken to ease menstrual cramping. Magnesium is good because it relaxes the uterine muscles. You can also take Epsom salt baths for a few days prior and during menstruation to decrease cramping. The warmth of the water is also calming, relieving tension. Vitamin B6 can ease menstrual cramping. Chamomile

tea is a good tension reliever.

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