Every girl dreads that time of the month when she has to endure the pains accompanying menstruation. Although the severity of menstrual pain varies from girl to girl, it is surely an uncomfortable feeling that no one wants to experience.
According to statistics, menstrual pain is the number one reason why women younger than 30 years old absent themselves from work or from school. Worse, 10% of these women who experience menstrual cramps are temporarily disabled by the pain and other symptoms.
Women who started having periods at a very young age, usually less than 11 years old, are more predisposed to experience menstrual pains. Also, those who have never been pregnant have sharper menstrual cramps than those who have already given birth. Other risk factors include obesity, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and a period lasting for more than 5 days.
Causes of menstrual pain
Basically, the culprit responsible for bringing about menstrual cramps is prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is produced in the tissues lining the uterus, and this becomes the stimulus for the muscles of the uterus to contract. Contraction of the uterine muscles produces pain, and so the more prostaglandin a woman produces, the more painful it will be.
Aside from prostaglandin, menstrual pain is also associated in several reproductive conditions, like the presence of fibroids in the uterus, endometriosis, infections in the reproductive tract, ovarian cyst, narrow cervix, abnormal pregnancy, and intrauterine device for birth control.
There are two types of menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea – primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea is when the woman had menstrual pains from the very start of her period. However, if he menstrual cramps are secondary to a medical condition like endometriosis, then it is called secondary dysmenorrhea. The latter can be remedied once the underlying cause is treated.
Symptoms of menstrual pain
Aside from the obvious symptom that is pain in the lower abdominal region, a woman may also experience low back pain and leg pain. This is because the pain from the abdomen radiates to these parts. Menstrual pain happens just before a woman begins her period, and the symptoms may continue until 2 to 3 days after.
Other less common accompanying symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, weakness, and irritability. In worst cases, a woman may even experience fainting spells. Some women also cannot do their normal activities because of extreme pain.
Menstrual cramps can be prevented. Even though majority of women experience menstrual pain before their period, there are still a few who get to be comfortable during their periods.
Since overweight women are more prone to menstrual cramps, it is advisable to maintain a normal body weight. Also, you must live a healthy lifestyle. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Regular exercise should also become a part of your routine. And finally, you should stick to a low fat diet, which is not only good for avoiding menstrual cramps but also for avoiding a lot of other health problems.
If you are the type of person who experiences severe menstrual cramps, then it might be advisable for you to take painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Ketoprofen. These drugs are available over the counter and they inhibit the release of prostaglandin so that pain will not be felt. Remember that these medications must be taken before the onset of menstruation for optimum results. Also, since these are anti-inflammatory drugs, it is necessary to take these with meals to avoid having an upset stomach.
Of course, you can also just opt to relieve menstrual cramps using non-pharmaceutical methods, such as placing a heating pad to the lower abdominal area so as to relax the contracting uterine muscles. You can also massage the aching areas.
Speaking of less aggressive treatment modalities, why don’t you try taking supplements to aid you in fighting menstrual cramps? The acai berry is said to have a lot of wonderful benefits, and one of them is kissing menstrual pain away. This is because acai berry is rich in calcium content. Calcium coats the lining of the uterus and the stomach, so that there is less pain felt when the uterus releases prostaglandin and starts to contract. Other symptoms associated with menstrual cramps are also alleviated because of acai berry.
Which Acai Berry is right for me?
If you are looking for the right type of acai berry supplement to take, try the freeze dried or powder form. It is more concentrated than the juice form, so you are sure that you are only getting 100% acai berry extract. Also, it is more convenient to bring, since it is very compact and you can take it anywhere. Moreover, you can be sure that there are no preservatives added, and that you are only getting pure acai berry at its finest.