Hey people! Happy new month and welcome to the second half of the big 2020. How are you all doing?
The medical student in me is coming out to play a little in today’s post so enjoy!
When the talk of menstruation comes up, most people find it disgusting and all that, but this is a topic I don’t shy away from because it should be taken as a normal thing but sadly it’s not. I’m always comfortable talking about menstruation anyday and anytime because it is what it is. And I’ve made my brothers comfortable with the idea of menstruation too. I mean, you can’t have 3 sisters and be shy to buy sanitary pads. There’s no room for that. So shout out to my brothers who always help me buy sanitary pads when I’m too lazy to go out to get it done myself. They used to be so embarrassed but now they’re used to it.
While I’m very comfortable talking about menstruation, I don’t feel that way during my period because of severe cramps which I usually have. It used to be so bad that I started changing drugs every month. The drug that worked the previous month won’t work for the next and I would have to take a different drug. I started with buscopan and moved to Panadol then felvin then at one point it was ibuprofen. That was when I had to stop relying on drugs. I still take drugs to stop the cramps but that’s only when I’m in a state where I need immediate relief and can’t afford to stay at home and be lazy.
Why cramps during menstruation?
During your period, the muscles of the womb contract and relax to help shed built-up lining. Sometimes you’ll experience cramps which are just your muscles at work. The contraction of the muscles are caused by a hormone like substance called prostaglandin. If the level of prostaglandins are really high, the cramps tend to be more painful.
This pain may also be accompanied by vomiting, nausea and diarrhea as well.
The medical name for menstrual cramps is dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is of two types.
1.) Primary Dysmenorrhea: this is the pain that is caused by the process of menstruation. The cramps are likely to be reduced as get older or after childbirth.
2.) Secondary Dysmenorrhea: this is the pain caused by medical problems such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. These cramps may continue to after childbirth and menopause.
How to reduce menstrual cramps.
Here are 10 simple ways I deal with cramps without taking drugs. Doing these steps or a combination should help deal with the pains.
I only started this recently since I can’t drink very hot water or hot tea like many people always suggest. Apply heat to your lower abdomen by warming up a towel or fill up a water bottle with hot water and placing it on your lower abdomen. You can also use a heating pad instead of a towel or bottle. And you can make your own heating pad by following the steps below.
- Cut and see 2 pieces of fabric together, leaving a hole at the top.
- Fill with raw peas or plain ole uncooked rice and sew up the hole.
- Microwave for a few minutes. Be careful not to overheat it.
- Let it cool if necessary or wrap up the pad in a towel to reduce heat transfer
And you have your own heating pad there.
Massaging your lower abdomen will reduce the uterine spasms by relaxing the uterus. You should focus your massages on your lower abdomen, but a full body massage will also reduce overall stress which may also help relieve menstrual cramps.
Drink more water
So drinking water found it’s way back here again. Drinking lots of water would help increase blood flow throughout your body and relax your muscles which can lessen cramps caused by uterine contractions. Drinking more water reduces bloating which can cause discomfort and make menstrual cramps worse. Also, you’ll want to drink hot water(not scalding hot please). Since I can’t stand extra hot anything, I’ll ensure my water is just a tiny bit hotter than I can manage and pair it up with applying heat to my lower abdomen.
Drink Herbal Teas
Alongside drinking water, you’ll want to take teas. Herbal teas have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that can reduce the muscle spasms in the uterus that cause cramping. Teas like chamomile, mint, fennel, ginger and even plain ole green tea would help relieve the pains.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods would offer natural relief for menstrual cramps. These anti-inflammatory foods can help promote blood flow and relax your uterus. Foods such as tomatoes, pineapples, ginger, groundnut, cucumbers, pawpaw, banana, infact fruits and vegetables. You also want to eat foods that contain iron such as fish, chicken, leafy vegetables and unripe plantain.
Try as much as possible to avoid eating foods high in sugar and trans fat because they can cause bloating and inflammation which makes cramps worse. Grab a banana instead when you have a sugar craving. Also try to stay away from alcohol and carbonated drinks. I know it can be very tempting to stay away from sugar because that’s when the craving comes more, but I try to avoid it few days to my period and on the first day then after that I can have as much sugar as I want because it’s a struggle to stay completely sugar free.
Be active or do gentle exercise
I know exercise will be the last thing on your mind while having cramps. I’ll rather be curled up in my bed but taking a walk around the house or doing gentle stretching would provide relief. Just being active can also help reduce the cramps.
Stay away from caffeine
Caffeine can cause your blood vessels to constrict and this will in turn constrict your uterus, making cramps more painful. If you’re a coffee drinker, try to switch to decaf during your period.
Try as much as possible to not be stressed during your period. Stress will only make cramps worse. Use your own favourite way to relieve stress(if it’s by taking sugary foods try to switch to gentle exercises, taking walks or body massages).
Last but not the least, pray for yourself and God will answer you because he listens to the prayers of His children and healing is His childrens’ bread.
So these are the steps I take to avoid taking drugs🤮.
Are you usually embarrassed when buying sanitary pads or when a guy sees you with one? It is an ‘it’s what it is’ vibe over here.
Thanks for reading.
Stay blessed and stay safe.