Menstrual Cramps And How To Deal With It


The technical term for period pain is dysmenorrhoea. It is derived from an ancient Greek expression which literally means ‘difficult monthly flow’. Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea or period pains, are painful sensations felt in the lower abdomen that can occur both before and during a woman’s menstrual period. The pain ranges from dull and annoying to severe and extreme. Menstrual cramps tend to begin after an egg is released from the ovaries and travels down the fallopian tube (ovulation).

Many girls and women have problems like abdominal cramps and pain during their menstrual period. The medical term for painful periods is “dysmenorrhea.” Although menstruation is a normal part of a woman’s life, severe period pain need not be. Women do not have to simply put up with it – menstrual pain can usually be treated effectively.
There are two primary types of these difficult or painful periods – primary and secondary dysmenorrhea:

• Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common type and is characterized by pain in the lower abdomen and lower back pain beginning 1-2 days before the period and lasting from 2-4 days. There is no underlying problem that is causing the pain
• Secondary dysmenorrhea is characterized by cramping pains that are due to an identifiable medical problem such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Here Are Some Key Points About Menstrual Cramps. More Detail And Supporting Information

• Emotional stress tends to increase the chance of experiencing menstrual cramps.
• Symptoms of menstrual cramp include cramps, nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, headaches and diarrhea.
• A healthy diet together with regular exercise can help prevent menstrual cramps.

Several Underlying Medical Conditions Are Also Capable Of Causing Menstrual Cramps. These Include:

• Endometriosis – the tissue that lines the uterus develops outside the uterus
• Uterine fibroids – noncancerous tumors and growths in the wall of the uterus
• Adenomyosis – the tissue that lines your uterus grows into the muscular walls of the uterus
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium
• Cervical stenosis – the opening of the cervix is small and limits menstrual flow.

There Are A Number Of Simple Ways To Ease The Discomfort.

• Relax in a hot bath with aromatherapy oils.
• Cuddle a hot water bottle.
• Have a back and stomach massage. This is extremely effective for some women.
• Do some gentle exercise such as yoga. A regular relaxation programme before the period is due and on the first few days helps to relax the muscles and improves blood supply to the pelvic area.


Research has shown that period pain symptoms can be eased by modifying lifestyle. So try the following:

• First and foremost, stop or cut down smoking. Smoking is thought to increase the incidence of period pain by reducing the supply of oxygen to the pelvic area.
• Reduce your alcohol consumption.
• Eat high fibre foods and plenty of salads and vegetables.
• Daily vitamin E supplements have been shown to help.
• If you eat red meat make sure it is lean. Eat more chicken and fish.
• Cut down on sugary foods, chocolate, cakes and biscuits.
• Reduce the amount of salt in your diet to avoid water retention.
• Choose pure fruit juices or mineral water rather than sugary drinks.
• Take a supplement containing gamma linolenic acid (GLA) such as evening primrose oil or starflower oil or vitamin B6. Both help maintain hormonal balance.


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