Dysmenorrhea happens in a lot of women. Some even dread the days of the month when their period is due.
There are two types of dysmenorrhea.
Primary dysmenorrhea is hereditary and usually begins with the onset of menstruation (adolescence) and may lessen after pregnancy or with age. It is the cramping abdominal pain that lasts for several days during a woman's period. It may be accompanied by a number of related symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, cramps around the thighs, backaches, headache, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.
Secondary dysmenorrhea develops later in life. Often, secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by fibroid tumors, a narrow cervix or endometriosis (the displacement of tissue from the uterine lining to areas elsewhere in the body).It is characterized by a kind of congested, dull pain that begins around two weeks before the start of your period. This kind of cramping is more common in women in their 30’s and 40’s and usually does not get better with age. It can be accompanied by bloating, weight gain, breast tenderness, headaches, lower back pain, and irritability.
Here are some tips that can help relieve some of the symptoms of dysmenorrhea:
An over the counter Ibuprofen or Mefenamic Acid. Ask tyour doctor for any contraindication if you have allergies or if you are taking other medicines.
Eat small frequent meals. Instead of eating three large meals, eat five or six small meals a day, about two and a half hours apart.
Have a low-salt diet to prevent water retention that causes bloating. Likewise, avoid alcohol to reduce headaches.
Exercise. This raises the levels of beta endorphins, which have a positive effect on mood and behavior. Try aerobic exercises like swimming, walking, bicycling, running and aerobic dance.
Take a warm bath. This relaxes the muscles and helps alleviate pain.
Relax. If possible, get a relaxing massage. Try the essence of chamomile or lavender oil.
Rest. Go to bed or curl up on the couch.
Apply a heating pad to the lower abdominal area.
Massage your lower abdomen with a very very light pressure.
Visit your doctor if excessive pain and cramping persists.