Menstruation is a natural part of a woman's life. Unfortunately, menstrual cramps are often part of the process. Cramps are annoying at the least, but for some women, menstrual cramps are debilitating. Extreme cases of menstrual cramps are felt in both the abdomen and the back, and sometimes the pain can be so excruciating that it can physically make you sick. If you are someone who has extremely painful menstrual cramps, birth control could ease some of your pain. However, medication isn't the only solution. Before you make an appointment with your OB GYN check out some of these home remedies for menstrual cramps.
Many women lay in bed when they have an extreme case of menstrual cramps, but instead of trying to rest, they should actually get up and get moving. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better and give you more energy. While it won't take away your pain, it will make you forget about the pain enough that it isn't as overwhelming. Engage in some sort of aerobic exercise, such as walking, to make you feel better. If you feel so bad that you don't think you can handle taking a walk, try yoga. There are several yoga positions that help reduce back pain, as well as target the pelvis and lumbar area, which will help give you some relief, including:
- Pigeon pose
- Downward-facing dog
- Cat and cow pose
- Upward-facing dog
- Triangle pose
Apply heat to your lower abdomen to help control the pain from menstrual cramps. Heat helps your contracting uterus muscles relax, which relieves the pain. You can use a heating pad or hot water bottle to apply heat to your lower abdomen. If you don't have either handy, soak a towel in water, wring out the excess water, and use the microwave to heat the towel. When you're heating the towel in the microwave, you need to make sure that the towel is warm enough to help your cramps, but not hot enough that it will burn you. Once the towel is warm, lay it across your stomach until it cools off, and repeat the process until your cramps subside.
Drinking water actually keeps your body from retaining water, which helps you avoid painful bloating during your period. If you're drinking enough water and you're still having horrible menstrual cramps, try drinking warm or hot water. Hot liquids increases your blood flow, which helps relax cramped muscles. Also, you should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages completely, because caffeine increases the tension in your body, which will make your cramps more severe.
Unfortunately, menstrual cramps are something that many women have to deal with on a monthly basis. However, you don't have to deal with excruciating pain every month. If you've tried to alleviate the pain yourself and it hasn't worked, make an appointment with Bayview OB GYN Women's Care Florida or your local OB GYN to discuss further options.