Menstrual Cramps: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
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While there are a few things that are rather inconvenient when dealing with the monthly ritual of menstruation, perhaps the most trying aspect is the menstrual cramps. Scientifically referred to as dysmenorrhea, the pain can be excruciating and debilitating to the point that all the sufferer wants to do is curl up in bed and writhe with pain till it passes. While it is recurring and severe pain, it is considered normal and is experienced by majority of women at some point in their life.

Causes

Menstrual cramps are caused when the uterine lining is shed which was initially developed in order to receive a fetus during the period of fertilization. When this does not occur, chemicals are released that encourage contractions within the uterine walls in order to shed the lining from the uterus. This and some other chemicals during this period are the causes of the pain.

Symptoms

The symptoms behind menstrual cramps are quite self-explanatory. The most typical symptom is pain generally in the abdomen. The pain can range from mild to very severe depending on the individual or instance. Another common symptom is a feeling of pressure in the abdomen, similar to certain types of headaches except that the pressure is directed towards the abdomen, which can be very uncomfortable. The pain can also radiate to all other regions surrounding the uterus such as the hips and thighs. Certain other symptoms that are not common but still present in several women include weakness and dizziness. If a woman is experiencing severe cramps, it can also cause digestive symptoms similar to a bout of food poisoning such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Treatment

As menstrual cramps are a normal part of the cycle, there are no treatments as such. However, there are ways to reduce symptoms temporarily or even certain lifestyle adaptations that can reduce the overall effect of the symptoms. Painkillers are commonly used and have varying success. For some women, almost any painkiller would be sufficient. Others may only benefit from certain types of drugs without prescriptions like analgesics or anti-inflammatory while some women do not benefit from painkillers at all. Getting rest, staying hydrated and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also contribute to less prominent symptoms. There is also evidence to suggest that regular exercise can reduce the effect of pain when menstrual cramps occur.

Painful, menstrual cramps are harmless and for most women, there are effective means to cope with the pain and alleviate symptoms as mentioned above.


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