The cramps can feel like knives going into your back. The constant, dull ache sometimes feels like a weight on your lower abdomen. Virtually every woman has experienced menstrual cramps. For some, the level of pain is low, while for other women, the intensity is so high, it interferes with their normal day-to-day activities.
What’s behind the pain of menstrual cramps? During your period, the uterus contracts as it sheds its lining (blood). Under normal circumstances, the contractions cause the cramping. In other instances, conditions or disorders like endometriosis and adenomyosis can trigger period cramps.
Ways to get rid of menstrual cramps
Beating cramps each month may involve trying some different solutions. For instance, in addition to taking safe doses of ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Midol®), consider incorporating a few of these methods for cramp relief:
- Work it out – For many women, exercising (the poses and deep stretching of yoga can be particularly effective) helps to ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
- Apply heat – Did you know? Heat may be just as effective as over-the-counter pain medication for relieving menstrual cramps. Soaking in a hot bath or applying a heating pad or a heat patch on your lower abdomen may help ease cramps.
- Add dietary supplements – Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-6 and magnesium supplements may effectively reduce menstrual cramps.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco – You’ll only make your cramps worse!
- Work on reducing stress – Whether through meditation, yoga or breathing exercises, staying calm is good for you in multiple ways. Besides, psychological stress may increase your risk of menstrual cramps and their severity.
Discover women’s healthcare that’s centered around you and your lifelong health
Don’t be fooled by the fact that Bay Area Physicians for Women is the area’s largest women’s healthcare provider. We are also known for our personalized, family-like care that centers around you and your very individualized needs.
We’ve been in practice for more than 35 years, having cared for more than 15,000 women like they are our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. If you’re looking for a gynecologist in Mobile, Alabama, you’ve found him or her, times 10 board-certified physicians. Each member of our team is proud to provide personalized care for your every need, including specialized medical guidance and total support for infertility, obstetrics and conditions requiring minimally invasive outpatient surgery.
Come see the difference a doctor who really listens and cares can make in your health. To learn more or schedule an appointment, give us a call at 251-344-5900 or use our easy online form.