What causes Menstrual Cramps Its Types, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

What causes Menstrual Cramps Its Types, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Menustration also called periods which is a normal viginal bleeding which happens as a monthly cycle for womens. During this time most of the womens face mild to severe pain or cramps in the lower abdomen or lower belly area. They commonly occur during or just before the period’s occurrence. It is a monthly routine for most of the women. They are also called dysmenorrhea. It also contains symptoms like mood swings, lower back pain, nausea, diarrhoea and headaches.

Period cramps are severe at the starting years of menstruation and will gradually decrease with age and may stop after having a baby. Menstrual cramps are not similar to premenstrual syndrome(PMS). PMS is a set of physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms that occur during the latter part of the menstrual cycle of a woman, mostly around a week or two prior to the period. 

Types of Dysmenorrhea

There are two types of dysmenorrhea. Primary and Secondary in which both have various reasons.

Primary Dysmenorrhea

It is the most common type of period pain. These are mainly caused due to having too many prostaglandins, which are the hormones that your uterus makes. This makes the muscle of the uterus tighten and relax and results in cramps. It can start a day or two days before your periods and last some for some period of time. 

Secondary Dysmenorrhea

It starts some years after menstruation. It is caused by conditions that affect your uterus or other reproductive organs, such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids. It will get worse over time. It may begin before your period starts and continue till the end of periods.

Causes of Menstrual Cramps

They are mainly caused by the excess of hormone prostaglandins like compounds that are released from the uterine lining and it helps as a shield. Prostaglandins helps the uterus to contract and relax, so that the endometrium can detach and flow out of your body. They are a necessary part of the process, but in excess, they cause pain if the uterus contacts strongly, blood flow is reduced, and the supply of oxygen to the uterus muscle tissue decreases, causing pain.

Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps

  • The most common symptoms for menstrual cramps include dull, cramping pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Pain in hips, lower back, and inner thighs.
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Faintness and dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea or loose stools
  • Bloating
  • Headaches

Treatment for Menstrual Cramps

The treatment for period cramps may vary from person to person based on the type and severity of the pain. If the pain is mild then take aspirin or other pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen etc. 

If the period cramps are of secondary dysmenorrhea then there is a need to consult a doctor and follow proper medical treatment. One should take utmost care in this concern.

Some other home remedies may help in controlling menstrual cramps. Heating pad therapy is one of the best method to control menstrual cramps. Placing a heating pad or even choosing a hot water bottle on your lower belly can give you relief from pain. Sometimes a hot water bath is also an effective way.

Try to take a proper diet which involves lower caffeine consumption. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Make yoga and exercise as your daily routine inorder to control menstrual pain.

Avoid taking unnecessary stress and always try to be calm and peaceful. Massage your lower back or abdomen area to get relief from pain to some extent.

Some herbal treatments and vitamin supplements like ginger, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B1 etc, can also work in an effective way for treating menstrual cramps. 

When to Consult Doctor

Sometimes the pain becomes worse and it isn’t able to be tolerated. Then you have to seek an immediate medical checkup and take proper medication and a balanced diet. There is a need to consult a doctor when you experience the following.

  • When the pain suddenly gets worse and you are unable to bear it.
  • While having fever along with menstrual pain.
  • When you are having pain even not in your cycle time.
  • When you are getting pain for the first time after years from the starting of your menstruation process started.
  • When the self-care measures and home remedies doesn’t help in treating the pain and giving relief from menstrual cramps.


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