By: Natasha Archary
While menstruation is a natural cycle most women go through monthly, most women dread the onset of their cycle due to intense period pain.
The technical term for period pain is dysmenorrhoea, of Greek origin the term means difficult monthly flow ‘difficult monthly flow.’ Almost 80% of women worldwide experience a degree of period pain at some stage in their life.
On Midday Joy this Wednesday Unathi wanted to know how women handle their period pain:
Many women shared that some months the pain is debilitating and this is often a sign of endometriosis but cramps are common during menstruation.
When it comes to pain associated with menstruation, what is normal and what isn’t?
- light to moderate cramping,
- OTC pain medication gives relief,
- Bleeding is not irregular and/or heavy
What isn’t normal
- pain is excruciating to the point that getting out of bed is a struggle,
- accompanied by heavy bleeding,
- clots are present,
- cramping is accompanied by diarrhoea,
- nausea or vomiting
According to Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT a woman should consult her medical practitioner if she experiences any of the symptoms above. Three consecutive painful periods is also not considered normal and could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
Healthline suggests these home remedies that may ease the pain:
- using a heating pad on your pelvic area or back
- massaging your abdomen
- taking a warm bath
- doing regular physical exercise
- eating light, nutritious meals
- practicing relaxation techniques or yoga
- taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen several days before you expect your period
- taking vitamins and supplements such as:
- vitamin B-6
- vitamin E
- omega-3 fatty acids
- raising your legs or lying with your knees bent
- reducing your intake of salt, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar to prevent bloating