Dealing with a bloody mess, discomfort, and oscillating moods—all at once—month after month is no easy feat. But for some of us, this monthly hassle is even scarier and tougher to deal with due to menstrual pain. Scientifically called primary dysmenorrhea, it can knock us down a day or two before our period and can last for two-five days. Now, it’s usually a very common and a normal period affliction. However, if the pain is too intense, (secondary dysmenorrhea), a medical intervention is non-negotiable. So when exactly do you need to worry? Let’s find out everything there is to know about primary dysmenorrhea :
What Is Dysmenorrhea?
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the pain associated with menstruation. It affects more than 80% of women of childbearing age. It is characterised by abdominal cramps or pelvic pain before or during your period and can be accompanied by symptoms like bloating, gas, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Now, dysmenorrhea can be primary or secondary depending on the cause and the intensity of pain.
Primary dysmenorrhea is defined as the cramping or dull ache that occurs before or during your period. It is caused by the contractions in the uterus to expel the uterine lining and the hormone-like chemicals (prostaglandins) that trigger these contractions. Prostaglandins are also associated with heightening the sense of pain and causing inflammation in the body. Higher the prostaglandin levels, more the pain. Since their level is high during the first day of shark week, the pain usually peaks during the first 24 hours of your period. It lessens automatically as prostaglandins decrease in the subsequent days. Primary dysmenorrhea is bearable and doesn’t disrupt your everyday life.
Secondary dysmenorrhea is characterised by severe menstrual pain that disrupts your daily life. It is caused by an underlying health condition involving a disorder in the reproductive organs like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In this case, the pain tends to worsen as the period continues and may not even go away even when your period ends. The disorder causing these health conditions can also lead to heavy or irregular periods along with severe pain.
What Causes Primary Dysmenorrhea?
Primary dysmenorrhea is mainly caused due to high levels of prostaglandins and uterine contractions during your period. It can also be aggravated by premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For the unversed, PMS refers to a host of symptoms like mood swings, fatigue, bloating, and breast soreness–that one may experience a week or a few days before their period. It happens due to hormonal changes in the body and can cause menstrual pain too.
Signs & Symptoms Of Primary Dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea typically begins when your ovulatory cycles begin. This usually happens within six-12 months of menarche (first period). Signs and symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea include cramping or pain in the lower abdomen, low back pain, pain spreading down the legs, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, weakness, headaches, mood swings, and breast soreness.
How To Manage Primary Dysmenorrhea
Primary dysmenorrhea can be managed easily with OTC painkillers. But we suggest you try these home remedies instead as popping painkillers have serious health implications in the long run. Here are five effective ones to the rescue:
According to a 2018 study, applying heat to your lower abdomen and back is as effective at treating menstrual pain as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). So instead of popping a painkiller, use a hot water bottle or a heat patch on the effected area for some side-effect free relief from period pain.
Cash in on the calming effect of aromatherapy with the anti-inflammatory effect of massage therapy by using an essential oil to massage the area in pain. This can help lower down your stress levels and provide relief from primary dysmenorrhea. Get your hands on a bottle of lavender, peppermint, or fennel seed oil for best results.
Sip On Herbed Teas
Sipping on ginger, chamomile, and cinnamon teas can help alleviate period cramps. That’s because these herbs have a calming, anti-inflammatory effect and can thus provide relief from menstrual pain.
Low-to-medium intensity aerobic exercise may help reduce menstrual pain by boosting blood circulation and releasing feel-good hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins. So squeeze in a 30-minute walk in the park or a 20-minute stretching session into your schedule and you’ll feel better for sure.
Have Some Dark Chocolate
Eating between 40–120 grams of dark chocolate daily during your period can help reduce pain. This is because dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which helps relax muscles and ease aches. A perfectly yummy home remedy for period pain, don’t you think?
Sirona Recommends Best Products To Manage Primary Dysmenorrhea
Sirona Feminine Pain Relief Patch
You can ditch painkillers and count on Sirona’s feminine pain relief patch to deal with primary dysmenorrhea. Sticking this sleek patch can provide instant relief from pain without causing any side-effects. That’s because it is made with natural pain-relieving ingredients like menthol and eucalyptus oil. It is easy to carry and stays effective for eight-10 hours.
Sirona Pain-Relief Heat Patch
Made with 100% natural ingredients, the Pain Relief Heat Patch by Sirona is the perfect, side-effect free alternative to dealing with period cramps. Sticking this patch on your abdomen can work like a soothing balm. This portable wonder can provide heat relief for up to eight hours straight and can be disposed of easily after each use. No hot-water-bottle hassles involved!
Sirona Herbal Headache Relief Patch
Period stress and hormonal changes can manifest as a full-fledged headache. But instead of popping painkillers, you can count on Sirona’s Herbal Headache Relief Patch for instant relief. Packed with the goodness of menthol, camphor, and clove oil, it is a much-needed break from messy balms with a burning sensation.
Sirona Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On
The Sirona Cramp Relief Roll On can be used on your lower back, abdomen, and legs. Packed with all-natural ingredients like lavender oil, clove oil, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, it helps relieve period pain even on the go. It’s calming aroma helps relax your muscles and the smooth roll-on application makes it super handy and convenient to use. No side-effects, no pain! Cool, right?
With these products and home remedies by your side, you’ll be able to manage the primary dysmenorrhea like a boss. We assure you!
Featured Image: Pexels
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Period Cramps Before Periods: Find out why you suffer from period cramps before shark week and how to deal with them.
PMS Causes & Symptoms: Here’s everything you need to know about premenstrual syndrome.
Home Remedies for Irregular Periods: Try these effective home remedies to restore your hormonal balance and get periods regularly.