How to reduce cramps? 5 ways to relieve menstrual pain

6 minutes to read

Menstrual period symptoms are temporary, but the effects they cause can bring many nuisances, such as colic. When it arises, it is common for many women to only be able to lie down, which is not always possible.

What a lot of people don’t know is that this dreaded symptom of menstruation can be mitigated with some practices. By managing to control this problem, it is possible that other effects – such as bad mood, unproductivity and stress – will also be controlled. That is, you kill two birds (or more) with one stone.

Do you want to know 5 proven effective tips to relieve colic quickly, as well as other related information? Keep reading and stay inside for greater care for women’s health!

What are the types of menstrual cramps?

First, you need to know the types of colic, divided into primary and secondary, to know which method can be most effective in treating the symptom. The primaries are the most frequent and tend to appear soon after menstruation. Fortunately, there are several useful measures against this nuisance.

On the other hand, colic can be of the secondary type, caused by health problems, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), changes in the IUD, etc. In these cases, existing tips for alleviating the symptoms may not actually address the cause.

In general, secondary cramps are much more uncomfortable than primary ones. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor, so that he can identify the type of colic and propose adequate treatment.

Areas affected in menstrual cramps

This symptom, common in the menstrual period, affects the pelvic region, between the hip and below the abdomen. If you still haven’t been able to identify the location, don’t worry: if the colic appears, the affected area will be very clear.

How to reduce cramps?

You already understood the types of colic and the affected areas. Now, learn how to alleviate this problem with 5 tips!

1. Use hot water bottles

Colic arises from intense contractions of the uterus, which can be relieved with hot water bags. This is because the high temperature dilates the vessels in the region and activates blood flow, mitigating the effects of prostaglandins – a group of lipids that make the uterus contract.

Still, heat also activates endorphins, hormones of well-being and happiness. That is, the hot bags leave your uterus ”calm” and also directly assists in your mood and peace of mind.

The benefits of heat provided in the body also include the consumption of hot teas, which can make you more relaxed and ready to overcome another menstrual period. The foot bath also has this objective, thanks to the analgesic, calming and anti-inflammatory substances.

2. Have a balanced diet

Some foods can stimulate the production of prostaglandins, which agitate your uterus during menstruation. Studies suggest that this is the case for fried foods and fats, as well as products such as salt, red meat, caffeine and alcohol.

The situation can be even more delicate because some women are more tempted to eat this type of food during their menstrual period. So keep in mind that this habit can make colic worse.

Thus, invest in a balanced diet, with anti-inflammatory foods – such as bananas, zucchini, soy, red fruits and salmon. By doing this, you will be able to have greater muscle relaxation. Another recommendation is to consume more water during this period.

3. Practice exercises and stretches for colic

Physical exercises are recommended at any time, as they are good for physical and mental health. During menstruation, they become even more important, as they release endorphins that reduce muscle pain.

It’s common for women with a lot of colic to want to be quiet, preferably lying down. However, remember that one of the best remedies for this symptom is to move around with physical exercises and stretching.

But you don’t need to go for such heavy options: lighter activities, such as walking, cycling and doing yoga are already very beneficial. Also because, it is possible that some people feel the colic more intensely – and moving too much is not feasible.

4. Do enjoyable activities

Stress and anxiety, common during menstruation, are the enemies of colic and can make the problem worse by further tightening the muscles of the uterus. So, try to do pleasurable activities, such as reading, watching positive movies and series, listening to music, talking to people you like, etc.

During this period, even hearing a bird chirping can be stressful for you. Therefore, any effort on your part to alleviate the cramps is most welcome. Just remember not to relax by taking it out on food, which can have the opposite effect.

5. Don’t self-medicate

There are several over-the-counter medications that are helpful against colic. However, self-medication is never recommended, even though the symptoms are not always so severe.

First, because people can choose something inappropriate — like painkillers, which are not very effective for this purpose. The second reason is that for the treatment to work, especially with medicine, it is necessary to identify the type of colic.

As we have seen, this problem can arise due to serious diseases such as endometriosis. So, look for a gynecologist or an endocrinologist to get the best guidance.

Do you understand how it is possible to reduce menstrual cramps? It’s important to put these recommendations into practice so that your menstrual period is more peaceful and affects your routine less. After all, some women even find it difficult to get out of bed, due to pain and other discomfort.

Was our post useful to answer your questions about how to relieve colic? Take advantage of your visit and download the menopause and women’s health e-book to learn more about the subject!

Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).


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