For many women, having a period every month brings about a lot of stress and anguish because of menstrual cramps.
Period pain occurs when the body produces too many prostaglandins, which are natural substances that are produced by the cells lining the uterus that cause it to contract and relax. This movement is what allows the uterus to shed its lining at the end of a woman’s cycle. When an excess of prostaglandins are produced, the cramping can become intense, decreasing oxygen to the uterine muscles and thus causing severe pain.
If you have light period pains, then exercise and staying away from certain foods such as bread and coffee (which cause inflammation) can help. However, if your cramps are severe, causing you to skip work or school because of intense cramping coupled with other symptoms such as nausea and migraines, then your doctor could recommend anti-inflammatory pain killers or oral contraceptives.
It’s also important to consult a gynecologist because uterine fibroids could be the cause of painful cramps and heavy bleeding.
For more on remedies for menstrual cramps, see this article from Today.
*image from Creative Commons.