If you ask a woman about the most painful part of her life, the answer would definitely be periods. The pain that women bear every month for most of their life. It is easy to say periods are painful but those who feel it would know what it means. Menstrual pain is acute in the first 2-3 days and most women go through the same but do you know why it happens? Onlymyhealth asked Dr. Aruna Kalra, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram this question. Read on to know her answer.
A woman experiences a menstrual period when her uterus contracts to help expel its lining. However, periods may vary from woman to woman. Most of the women experience pain during their periods. Hormones called Prostaglandins cause these pains. Usually, if a woman experiences pain during the first two days, then it is considered as normal. The pain is due to menstrual cramps in the lower abdomen. Other symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, lower back pain, headache, etc.
Reasons behind the painful periods in the initial days
Here are the possible reasons why the first day of the period is so painful, as stated by Dr. Aruna Kalra:
Ovulatory cycles release prostaglandins to contract the uterus which is perceived as severe spasmodic pain for few reasons:
- Cervix or mouth of the uterus is too tight
- The whole lining of the uterus wants to expel at one go, which causes pain.
- The first two days bleeding is heavy with clots.
- The shape and tilt of the uterus can cause one-sided pain or rectal pain (retroverted or deviated uterus).
Uterine infections and Uterine Fibroids
Uterine infections can also cause menstrual pain and heavy bleeding.
- Uterine fibroids or endometriosis can be extremely painful.
- Fibroids (non-cancerous tumours) often put pressure on the uterus that causes menstrual pains. They also cause abnormal menstruation due to which many women get periods twice in a month.
- Endometriosis is also a painful condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus grow on fallopian tubes and ovaries.
IUD, the intrauterine device can cause spasmodic pains
IUD (Intrauterine Devices) are used for birth control. They are very effective at preventing pregnancy. IUD can cause spasmodic pains sometimes.
What can be done to reduce pain?
Many women bear the pain, which is totally one’s personal choice. But sometimes it becomes unbearable. Also, you may have personal or work commitments to do that may get difficult with this pain. In such cases, to reduce period pain you can try simple home remedies:
- Use a hot water bottle on the pelvic area or lower back. If possible, do this immediately after cramping begins. This would relieve the pain.
- To feel fresh and light, take a warm water bath.
- Eat nutritious and light meals
- Do some exercises light exercises
- Perform yoga or Meditation
- Massage the abdomen to ease the muscles
- Taking vitamins and other supplements like vitamin E, B6, B1, calcium and magnesium can also help ease the pain.
These remedies would certainly help in curbing the pain and making your feel fresh and light. You can do these for 2-3 days or until you experience pain during periods. It would make the rest days painless and smooth.
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