Menstrual cramps are one of the most challenging aspects of menstruation women may face. In some cases, changing the products you use can have a drastic impact on the cramps you feel. There are also natural and retail pain-relief products available that may help.
Try Different Feminine Hygiene Products
Some women find either changing the type of feminine protection they use or converting to natural or reusable products helps reduce cramps. If you primarily use tampons, these can increase cramping. Using more sanitary napkins during the month can make your cramps less intense. Another option is to switch to tampons or pads that are made from 100% cotton, which is a natural fiber. Many women who transitioned to natural or organic fiber products notice a reduction in cramps and bleeding. The option of using reusable products, such as cups, washable pads, or period panties might also improve the severity of your cramps.
Use Anti-Inflammatory Products
Anti-inflammatory pain medications are the most common product recommended to ease menstrual cramps. These products are often more potent than acetaminophen and having anti-inflammatory properties also makes them more effective. There are other anti-inflammatory options that might be equally helpful, such as herbs. Dong quai is a popular herb for various aspects of feminine health, including reducing menstrual cramps. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces muscle spasms.
Any herbs known to promote relaxation may also inhibit painful contractions of the uterus, which is the cause of menstrual cramps. Valerian root, hemp oil, and corydalis are among other natural products that have pain-reduction effects. As with any natural product, be careful using them in combination with retail pain-relievers since they are not always safe together.
Buy A TENS Unit
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit is useful to combat menstrual cramps because the device emits a non-painful stimulus. TENS units are based on the "gate control" theory of pain, which means that whatever stimulus reaches the brain first is the one we feel. If a non-painful stimulus can reach the brain first, the painful stimulus will not be felt or felt at a lesser intensity. When using a TENS unit, start with the lowest setting and slowly increase the intensity. If you start at a higher setting, you could cause more pain or induce muscle spasms.
Using a combination of strategies is often the best way to reduce menstrual cramps. In some instances, evaluation by a gynecologist may be necessary if no amount of at-home care is helpful in reducing your cramps.
For more information, reach out to people like George L Stankevych, MD.