Menstrual cramps affect a lot of women. In severe cases, they feel like contractions and may affect your daily performance. When this happens, seeking medical help is key and changing your lifestyle choices. When cramps feel like contractions, you as a woman are likely to be suffering from dysmenorrhea.
What Causes Severe Cramps?
Typically, it is common for a woman to experience menstrual cramps during or at the beginning of a cycle each month. The pain, in this case, is tolerable and can be managed with over-the-counter medications such as OTC meds such as ibuprofen. However, this becomes a problem when the pain becomes severe because it affects your daily life activities. The next paragraph explains this better.
Prostaglandins are what cause cramps. They line the uterus and that is when cramps feel like contractions. Some major causes of severe cramps include;
- PCOS- is known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. You can read more about its causes and effects.
- Some forms of birth control, for example, IUCDs
The list is non-exhaustive and may be advanced due to lifestyle choices. A good example is that a woman who smokes and drinks alcohol is likely to have more severe cramps than a woman who does not. In some cases, it is hereditary. If you come from a family where the women experience severe cramps, then the chances are high that you shall experience the same.
How You Can Relieve Your Severe Cramps
There are several things you can do to make your life easier. After tracking your cycle, do the following for the best results;
- Exercise- this should be part of your lifestyle. Regular exercise increases blood flow to all body parts and produces endorphins known as ‘feel-good hormones. ‘Caution should, however, be taken because excessive exercise will affect the flow of your period.
- Diet- is a major reflection of how well we treat our bodies. It is recommended that women avoid salty as well as deep-fried food a week before their period. They worsen cramps, making them severe. The alternative you should go for is more vegetables and staying hydrated to minimize the effects of cramps such as bloating.
- TENS machine- has been used over the past few years as an alternative to over-the-counter pain medication. It works by placing it in contact with the abdominal area, which proceeds to massage and relieve pain.
When cramps feel like contractions, the best way to maintain sanity is to check on diet as well as lifestyle. Your best efforts will either alleviate your pain or worsen it. Seeking medical attention in severe cases is the best way forward. You will have a doctor’s professional diagnosis, which helps in decision-making. Dysmenorrhea affects women all over the world. Diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
Women of all races and reproductive ages ranging from 13 to 45 years old require basic information this article provides to improve their lives. Knowledge is power, after all.