Health: Menstrual Cramps

A lot of women women experience pain with menstrual periods which may start in one's teenage years. For normal menstrual cramps, it is called Primary Dysmenorrhea. Menstrual pain that is associated of an underlying or further medical condition (like Endometriosis for example) is called Secondary Dysmenorrhea.

In primary dysmenorrhea, some pain may already be felt one to three days before menstrual period and may continue within the first 2 to 3 days of blood flow. Women notice that it lessens with years, especially after giving birth or with being sexually active.

Pain is felt due to uterine contractions which inhibit blood flow to the uterus lining.  Prostaglandins (inflammatory hormone-like substances) abound which cause uterine contractions.During menstruation, leukotriene (inflammatory molecules) levels are also elevated which contribute to menstrual pains.

There are some ways you can relieve or lessen menstrual cramps:

  1. Make sexual Intercourse more frequent especially a few days before your expected period. Others who are not inhibited by menstrual flow also benefit from sex during the menstrual period. Orgasm has been proven to ease PMS symptoms. Check out Comsmopolitan's article here.
  2. Up your intake of supplements that help ease menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms. For example, one study shows that Omega-3 fatty acids help relieve PMS symptoms like bloating, headaches, and breast tenderness, especially with longer duration. Another study shows that a dosage of 200 mg of Magnesium help reduce fluid retention among participants, which positively reduced breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, swelling of extremities, weight gain, among others. Calcium supplementation also helped reduce PMS symptoms among participants, who reported reduced reduced easy fatigue, changes in appetite, and depression.
  3. Have more physical activity and exercise a few days before your expected period. In a study made by the US National Institutes of Health. Non-athlete girls experience improvement in PMS symptoms during 8 weeks of aerobic activity.
  4. Enjoy more lovemaking days before your menstrual period. This helps lesses menstrual cramps. Interestingly, studies indicate that while most women have heightened sexual desires during ovulation, a lot of women also experience increased libido during menstrual period.
  5. Try acupressure points to relieve menstrual cramps. Check modernreflexology's helpful article here. You may also view a tutorial video here: 


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