It’s a necessary evil that you must bear during your period but dealing with cramps is not as easy as one would think. The pain can be debilitating and hamper your lifestyle significantly.
This article explains the phenomenon of period cramps, and how to deal with them using Cramp Comfort pads and other means.
Why do you get cramps during your period?
The period is a process in which the uterus discards its lining over a matter of four or five days. The lining is discarded after the uterus does not have any need for it – it prepares for the conception of a baby, but if the available egg is not fertilised during this time, the lining is not needed any more.
The uterus must discard the lining by literally dislodging it, so that it can be removed from the body. It does this by contracting and releasing itself, which gradually dislodges the lining. The unused lining is now expelled from the body via the vagina – this is known as the monthly period.
The cramping you feel during your period comes from the uterus contracting and releasing itself. Some women do not experience any pain, while others have cramps severe enough to take time off from college or work to rest at home. It is one of those things that come with the period and must be dealt with in the right way. The following section gives you three options to do so.
How to deal with your period cramps in 3 ways
#1 Use a heating patch.
Most people use heating pads to relieve aches and pains in their muscles. They are most commonly used on the back and thighs. But did you know that a heating patch on your lower abdomen can work wonders during your period? The principle in using heat to relieve discomfort is this: heat relaxes the muscles and regulates blood flow to the site of pain. In turn, this eases the pain reflex and lowers the potential for inflammation, which causes more pain. In terms of using a Cramp Comfort patch like the Nua heating patch, it works to alleviate the pain and discomfort of uterine cramps by letting body heat warm up the patch gradually. The gradual increase in heat relaxes the tense and painful muscles, which reduces the pain associated with menstrual cramps. You can use the Nua cramp comfort patch for up to eight hours to relieve the pain and breathe easier during your period. It makes the period that much more comfortable for you.
However, if heat therapy causes more blood to rush to your pelvis, you can try an ice pack on the lower abdomen. Your doctor can tell you which method works better for you.
#2 Go for a walk…or fall asleep.
It is a contradiction in terms to know that intense activity or blissful sleep can both relieve menstrual cramps. But they are both excellent options to try. This is how exercise works: when you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which are known as the ‘feel good’ hormones. These hormones block pain receptors in the brain, which means that pain signals from the cramping uterus are blocked and thus, you feel less or no pain after working out.
Here’s how resting helps relieve period cramps: when you sleep or rest on your sides, it works to release pressure off tense and painful muscles in your abdomen. In this sense, it is like using a Cramp Comfort patch, where the relaxed muscles don’t feel as sore or painful despite moderate to heavy cramping. Take a couple of days off if you can just to sleep away the pain, and you will feel much better when you do.
#3 Have sex.
Most people are put off by the idea of having sex during their periods, because it can make a big mess of the bed and of each other. But doctors recommend moderate sexual activity during your period, especially if you suffer from cramps. Why sex, though? It’s because when you orgasm, your brain releases endorphins which block the sensation of pain from the cramping uterus. Meanwhile, the orgasm makes the uterus contract and then release, which further relaxes the muscles and alleviates the pain response. On a side note, most couples use period sex as an opportunity to have unprotected sex, but we must caution you against doing so. You can still get pregnant if you have unprotected sex on the fag end of the cycle – sperms remain active for five days till they die out, so you can conceive a child if your ovulation cycle kicks in just then. Also, the risk of transmitting STIs and STDs is always there.
If the pain is too severe, your doctor might put you on a two- or three-day course of antibiotics and painkillers. An internal check is also advised to rule out underlying problems like PCOS and fibroids.