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Home / Health

Five things to do for a better period

 The pain and discomfort that awaits as your period approaches can make you wish you were a boy (Photo: Shutterstock)

When you think of the pain and discomfort that awaits as your period approaches, it is not hard finding yourself fantasizing about being a boy.

It can get so bad; research shows that period pain can be as bad as having a heart attack. With such pain, a visit to the doctor may be warranted.

So, what exactly is it?

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term used to describe painful periods and can be categorized either as primary or secondary. The former is caused by periods and the latter is period pain with another root cause like endometriosis, fibroids etc.

Associated with uterine cramps, headaches, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, mood swings and many other symptoms, excess release of prostaglandins hormone like compounds from the uterine lining could be the cause.

For the blood to flow out of your body the prostaglandins help the muscles relax and contract so the endometrium can detach.

To make sure you get some shut eye and don’t suffer in pain here are some effective ways to relieve pain for better periods. 

Work out

Physical activity plays a huge role. Moving may be the last thing on your mind as your curl up in bed but this actually works. 

Brisk walking or simple yoga poses like lying on your back with your knees bent increase circulation to the pelvic region releasing endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins.

 Take some herbal tea made of ginger and black pepper (Photo: Shutterstock)

Have some tea

If you ever needed a reason to drink tea, here it is. Herbal tea made of ginger and black pepper continues to get rave reviews. Ginger plays a significant role in reducing pain by lowering prostaglandins levels. And for those women who still have irregular periods, it helps make them regular and as an added bonus it fights fatigue too.

To make the tea, use two cups of water, ground or fresh ginger and black pepper. Bring to a boil and let it cool. Sieve and do not add milk. For sweetness, consider adding some honey or a little bit of sugar.

Put some heat

Not my favorite, heat works wonders for many women. You can choose to soak in a warm bath, use a hot bottle around the abdomen area or a heating pad. The heat helps relax the muscles in the uterus. Supplement this with a hot cup of tea and you will experience some relief.

 Painkillers with anti-inflammatory ingredients can get rid of pain in minutes (Photo: Shutterstock)

Take pain medication

Painkillers with anti-inflammatory ingredients like ibuprofen are one of the most effective ways of getting rid of the pain in a few minutes.

This type of drugs work by inhibiting production of prostaglandins and inflammation. If you have underling health issues however, it is advisable to consult your doctor first before taking any pain killers.

Other medications such as the pill or the hormonal IUD are known to relieve and prevent menstrual cramps. The synthetic hormones found in birth controls block ovulation, and/or prevent the typical growth and shedding of the uterine wall. In turn, this reduces or eliminates build-up of prostaglandins, muscle contractions and cramps.

Massage 

If you want to skip medication altogether, another great option for relief is messaging your abdomen area with a natural oil rich in linoleic acid like sesame oil. The reason why this helps is due to it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

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