Bleeding every month can be hard enough for some women, especially those with premenstrual syndrome or a heavy flow that requires a tampon, pad, and back-up pants “just in-case.” But to throw in cramps on top of everything is just wrong.
There are a wide range of the types of cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea, experienced by women from mild twinges to full blown contraction-like spasms needing serious pain medication. While many do not require any intervention, it is nice to know that with up to 90 percent of women experiencing some type of pain , there are a variety of natural options available.
It is important to note that those who suffer with severe or increasingly worsening pain should see their health care provider for further workup.
1) Epsom salt baths
The uterus is a muscle, and like any muscle creating cramps, relaxation is the name of the game! Warm water is well known to be a general muscle relaxer as anyone who has taken a bath or sat in a hot tub can attest to.
However, with the addition of Epsom salts (a form of magnesium) to the water, further relief can be had. Magnesium is both a muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory and helps block pain receptors. Combine the two and it is a recipe for uterine happiness.
2) Take magnesium orally or apply magnesium topically
Magnesium, known for its muscle relaxant anti-inflammatory and pain-blocking properties.
When taken orally in the days leading up to menses, or if applied topically right on the belly, it may help improve symptoms dramatically. Be aware that oral magnesium can cause looser stools, so be careful with the dose.
3) Try ginger
This warming herb has been used for centuries for its many healing properties as an anti-inflammatory and a pain reliever. Consider taking ginger capsules, eating more ginger, or drinking ginger tea in the days that typically lead up to menstrual cramps.
4) Cut out the junk
1) Chen C, Barrett B, and Kwekkeboom K. (2016). Efficacy of Oral Ginger (Zingiber officinale) for Dysmenorrhea: A systematic Review and Meta-analysis.Retrieved on June 15.
2) Coco, A. (1999). Primary Dysmenorrhea. Retrieved on June 14, 2016.
3) Demiroglu M, Un C, Hatice Omek D, Kici O, Erdem Yildirim A, Horasanli E, Baskan S, Fikir E, Gamli M, and Dikmen B. (2016). The Effect of Systemic and Regional Use of Magnesium Sulfate on Postoperative Tramadol Consumption in Lumbar Disc Surgery. Retrieved on June 14, 2016.
4) Rahbar N, Asgharzadeh N, Ghorbani R. (2012). Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea. Retrieved on June 15, 2016.