More than half of menstruating women have some pain for 1 to 2 days each month. Usually the pain is mild. But for some women, the pain is so severe that it prevents them from doing their normal activities for several days a month.
For many people with menstrual cycles, periods can be accompanied by discomfort and pain. While some may experience mild cramping, others endure excruciating agony that interferes with daily activities. Understanding the types of menstrual pain and exploring effective methods of relief is crucial to help people manage their menstrual discomfort and improve their general well-being. In this blog, we’ll delve into the different types of period pain and provide practical tips for finding relief.
Common Types of Menstrual Pain
Understanding the different types of menstrual pain can help people identify the underlying causes and find appropriate relief methods. There are two main types of menstrual pain: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.
Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common type of menstrual pain and occurs without any underlying medical conditions. It usually begins during adolescence or early adulthood and tends to improve with age or after childbirth. The pain is caused by an excess of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that play a role in uterine contractions and inflammation. During menstruation, the uterus contracts to expel its lining, and higher levels of prostaglandins can cause more intense and painful contractions. Symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea include:
- Cramps in the lower abdomen: The pain may feel like a dull ache or a sharp, shooting sensation.
- Lower Back Pain – Some people may experience pain that radiates to the lower back.
- Pain in the thighs: the discomfort can extend to the thighs.
- Nausea and vomiting (in severe cases): Increased production of prostaglandins can affect the digestive system, leading to these symptoms.
- Headache and fatigue: Some people may also experience headaches and fatigue during their period.
Tips for relief of primary dysmenorrhea:
Over-the-counter pain relievers: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It is essential to follow the recommended dosage and consult a health professional if necessary.
Heat therapy: Applying a heating pad or warm water bottle to the abdomen can help relax the uterine muscles and relieve cramps.
Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity throughout the menstrual cycle can reduce the severity of cramps and improve general well-being.
Dietary adjustments: Eating a balanced diet and avoiding excess caffeine, alcohol, and salty foods can help control symptoms.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is characterized by menstrual pain caused by an underlying medical condition. Unlike primary dysmenorrhea, which tends to develop early in life, secondary dysmenorrhea can appear later and often worsens over time. Some of the conditions associated with secondary dysmenorrhea include:
- Endometriosis: A condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing painful adhesions and inflammation.
- Adenomyosis: a disorder that causes prolonged and painful periods by causing the lining of the uterus to expand into the muscular wall of the uterus.
- Fibroids: non-cancerous growths in the uterine wall that can cause increased menstrual pain and heavy bleeding.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): An infection of the reproductive organs, which can cause pelvic pain and painful periods.
- Ovarian cysts: fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries that can cause pain during menstruation if they rupture or rotate.
Tips for relief of secondary dysmenorrhea:
Medical evaluation: If people suspect they have secondary dysmenorrhea, they should seek medical evaluation and appropriate treatment. Treatment may involve addressing the underlying condition with medications, hormone therapies, or, in severe cases, surgery.
Pain management: Similar to primary dysmenorrhea, over-the-counter pain relievers and heat therapy can ease menstrual discomfort.
Hormonal contraceptives: Some people find relief from secondary dysmenorrhea by using hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills or intrauterine devices (IUDs).
Natural methods to relieve menstrual pain
Relieving menstrual pain with natural methods can be a gentle and effective way to control menstrual discomfort without relying solely on medications. Here are some natural methods that can help relieve period pain:
Heat therapy: Applying heat to the lower abdomen can help relax the uterine muscles and reduce cramping. You can use a heating pad, a warm water bottle, or take a warm bath to relieve pain. Heat therapy also improves blood flow to the area, which can ease discomfort.
Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity throughout the menstrual cycle can reduce the severity of period pain. Exercise helps improve blood circulation, which helps promote better uterine health by releasing endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
Relaxation techniques: Stress can exacerbate menstrual pain, so practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can be beneficial. These activities can help reduce tension and promote relaxation, relieving both physical and emotional discomfort.
Dietary adjustments: Certain dietary changes can help control menstrual pain. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and cut back on processed foods, caffeine, and sugary items. Additionally, including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (eg, oily fish, chia seeds, flax seeds) may have anti-inflammatory properties and help relieve menstrual pain.
Herbal Teas: Some herbal teas have properties that can relieve menstrual pain. Chamomile, ginger, and peppermint teas are known for their calming effects and can help relieve cramps and bloating.
Magnesium supplements: Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in muscle relaxation and can potentially reduce menstrual cramps. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement to determine the proper dosage.
Essential oils: Certain essential oils, such as lavender and clary sage, have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. Dilute a few drops in a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil, and gently massage into the lower abdomen for relief.
acupressure: Applying gentle pressure to specific acupressure points can help relieve menstrual pain. A popular spot for menstrual pain relief is on the inside of the ankle, about four finger widths above the ankle bone.
Adequate hydration: Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and can also help reduce bloating and fluid retention associated with menstruation.
Rest and sleep: Adequate rest and sufficient sleep are essential to your body’s natural healing processes. Be sure to prioritize rest during your period to help ease pain.
MOI: an instant device to relieve menstrual pain
MOI: the innovative solution with double action technology (TENS + Heat) that sets it apart from other products on the market, providing fast and effective relief from menstrual pain. With its wireless design and all-day pelvic comfort, MOI offers the convenience of wearing a watch, allowing women to effortlessly tackle their daily activities. Whether it’s a refreshing morning walk or a busy day at the office, MOI’s understated design perfectly supports women and empowers them to conquer all challenges with ease.
How does MOI work?
The benefit of MOI is that it combines TENS and heat therapy in one device. TENS uses a calming electrical pulse to stimulate the nerve cells that prevent pain signals from reaching the body. When used with an integrated heating pad, it improves blood flow while relaxing abdominal muscles and uterine contractions.
TENS also encourages the release of endorphins, which is a natural pain reliever that decreases period discomfort and improves mood.
MOI is a safe, drug-free solution to menstrual cramps, with no chemicals or side effects. It is a perfect alternative to painkillers, without altering your cycle or your hormones. It is suitable for women over the age of 15 who experience menstrual pain. MOI is made of soft silicone to prevent skin irritation and its electrode pad has a soft, non-sticky adhesive gel. With MOI, experiencing pain during periods can soon become a thing of the past.