Menstrual cramps (technically menstrual pain) is the name given to abdominal and pelvic region pains that occur every month in women and cover the menstrual period. Menstrual pains seen in 50% of women are affected by menstrual cramps, and these pains are seen as very severe in 15% of women suffering from pain. On the other hand, 90% of young girls experience cramps during their youth. Menstrual pain can be mild or severe, specific to the person. Mild pains are of short duration and less noticeable. Severe menstrual pains can be very severe and sometimes affect daily life.
Pain caused by menstrual cramps starts in the lower abdomen and pelvis, and can also be reflected in the waist and legs. Pain severity varies according to the person. Menstrual cramps begin just before the period begins and reach their most severe after 24 hours. Generally, they get lighter in 1 or 2 days. Other symptoms that may accompany cramps are as follows. *Headache * Nausea (rarely vomiting may occur) *Constipation *Diarrhea *Frequent urination
Types of Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual pains are divided into two types as primary and secondary. The most common type is primary pain. It can be seen in the first period, as well as in a few years. Primary pain is common and is not caused by any physical problems. Secondary pain, on the other hand, is a pelvic inflammatory disease that can be described as a physical problem. It may be caused by uterine fibroids and some other problems. If the cramps are not normal and are affected by a secondary cause, these are secondary pains.
Primary (Primary) Pain
Primary pain is generally caused by the endometrium, the inner layer of the uterus, preventing menstrual discharge. During the month, this layer takes shape inside the uterus to allow pregnancy. If fertilization that leads to pregnancy does not occur during ovulation, this inner layer is not needed and is removed from the body. Estrogen and progesterone levels drop, this layer in the uterus is thrown out with menstrual bleeding and the moonshine is over. After this state, the inner layer of the uterus is renewed. During the breakdown of the uterine layer, substances called prostaglandins are released and cause contraction of the muscles in the uterus. This contraction provides less blood and oxygen to the endometrium layer and triggers the death of this layer. With the death of the tissues, the contractions continue for a while to expel the dead tissues from the vagina. During the menstrual period, the rate of substance called locotrine may increase in the body, and such substances may cause cramps in connection with the body's inflammatory reaction. Menstrual pain can be quite severe in people with a narrow cervix due to the contractions that occur during the discharge of blood tissues from the channels called the cervix. In addition, the severity of menstrual pain is often proportional to the prostaglandin level in the body. Women with high prostaglandin levels experience more cramping. Those who are normal at this level have less cramping. There are also some other factors that affect the intensity of mnstrual pain. Emotional stress and a bulky body without exercise invites severe menstrual pain. Primary menstrual pain decreases over time due to aging and giving birth. This is thought to be due to the degeneration of nerves in the uterus. These nerves break down in pregnant women and they rarely come back after pregnancy. Secondary (secondary) Pain Secondary pain is usually caused by diseases / problems that are triggered by some malfunctions in the reproductive system and that are not in the young maiden period. Some of these problems are: * Endometriosis (endometriosis) This discomfort, also called chocolate cyst, is the menstrual layer that occurs in the uterus, spreading to other areas and forming lesions. * Uterine polyps (Uterine polyps) * Pelvic inflammatory disease: Infectious diseases in the womb, cystitis * Fibroids * Birth Control Pills
People at risk of primary pain and cramping each month are:
* Under 20 years old. * People who are 11 years old or have entered puberty before. * Those who experience severe bleeding during their menstrual periods. * People who have never been pregnant or have had children. * Overweight or extremely thin people. * Smokers. It was observed that menstrual pain was 50% more in smokers. * Those exposed to stress.
For some women, it is possible to prevent or at least reduce the severity of menstrual pain. The following applications can be done when menstrual pain occurs. * Exercise regularly. * To reduce the hormones that cause menstrual pain, consult your doctor and take the appropriate birth control pill. * Stop consuming coffee with / without caffeine and black tea, especially on the days before the period begins. * Do not use alcohol. * Reduce meat and dairy products. They can trigger your menstrual pain by helping produce prostaglandin. * Reduce salt intake before the period begins. * Use a nutritional supplement containing B3, Vitamin E, Magnesium citrate and calcium citrate. * Consume cold water fish or eat omega 3 fish oil products. This blocks prostaglandin production. * Practice yoga exercises that balance uterine functions. * Do not use devices (birth control devices) that enter the uterus. These can increase menstrual cramps. * Use sanitary pads instead of tampons. * Not enough and excessive sleep. Treatment Menstrual pain treatment can vary from person to person, and in many cases, treatment is given by trial and error. Many medicines and homemade herbal remedies are used for pain. Medication There are some medications available for menstrual pain control. Aspirin and acetaminophen (USA) are sufficient for people with mild cramps. Some medicines containing acetaminophen and diuretic active ingredients are available in the market. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are best suited for cramping. Drugs in this class are ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen, but it is not recommended to buy and use drugs without doctor's supervision, and may be harmful. In drug use, it should be intervened before the pain becomes very severe, that is, when it is easy to cope. You can use it one or two days before the period, in consultation with your doctor.
Another method for severe menstrual pain is the use of oral contraceptives. Birth control pills containing estrogen and progestin can help reduce prostaglandin levels by preventing ovulation. This reduces the severity of pain and bleeding.
Herbal and Alternative Methods
Some herbal and alternative treatment methods can also reduce the severity and provide relief in menstrual pain. Some people stated that they provide relief with the application of light pressure, called acupressure, based on acupuncture principles. The acupuncture point recommended for this application corresponds to a point called Spleen 6, which is 4 fingers above the inner side of the ankle. With the thumb or middle finger, a mild to severe pressure is applied to this point for 3 minutes. A hot water bag or a hot towel placed on the stomach loosens cramps. Abdominal pain can pass with orgasm. The contractions during orgasm help blood and other fluids move away from blood-collected organs. Drinking two glasses of mint tea a day will help. It may also be preferable to add mint leaves to any tea. Mint sugar can also be consumed during the day. Hot drinks increase blood flow and relax the muscles. You can drink herbal teas or hot lemonade. Stay away from hot drinks containing caffeine, it triggers menstrual pain. A warm mineral salt bath for 20 minutes relaxes your muscles. The caffeic acid in basil has a pain relieving effect and relieves your pain. To make basil tea, add two tablespoons of basil leaves to boiling water, brew for 5 minutes at room temperature and drink. You can drink 1 glass every hour. Cinnamon is an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. Throwing it into your tea or breakfast items will relieve your menstrual pain. Calcium is a substance that reduces menstrual pain. Taking magnesium supplements before the period also increases the absorption of calcium from meals. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration (lack of water) increases menstrual pain. Make sure to get plenty of rest. The mentioned herbal and alternative treatments are easily available and inexpensive.
Surgical intervention is not recommended for menstrual pain. Surgical intervention called endometrial ablation can be performed for persistent severe pain, bleeding and very difficult periods. In this method, the layer in the uterus is destroyed with a laser-like device and relief from pain is provided. It is a very expensive method. Surgical intervention is also performed with some other operations such as abortion.