WELLNESS WEDNESDAY - MENSTRUAL CYCLE PAIN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW 1

A recent survey found that over 50% of women had experienced pain during menstruation or ovulation that affected their ability to work or have fun. On the contrary, another research shows women are more empathetic, agile and have more self-control during their periods(menstruation). It is important to know that pain during the menstrual cycle can be as severe as affecting your lifestyle, daily activities and work productivity. Hence, learning about the pain may come in handy during your next cycle. Here are some tips to boost your knowledge.

You are likely to experience pain during two phases of your menstrual cycle:
There are four major phases during the menstrual cycle; however, pain is experienced during the menstruation phase (28th day from the first day of the last menstruation) and ovulation phase (14th day from the first day of the last menstruation). If you are the type that experiences severe pain, it is important to understand your cycle so as to take precautions or visit your doctor earlier to avoid any form of emergency or embarrassment at your workplace.

Pain during the menstrual cycle can be eased by certain lifestyle modifications.
Research has shown that habits such as smoking may increase the incidence of menstrual pain by reducing oxygen supply to the pelvic area, as well as alcohol consumption which increases some hormones that may prolong the pain. Hence, it is advised to stay off such habits while menstruating.

You may have been advised to cut down sugary foods during your period, reason is that the body reacts to a high level of sugar by releasing a variety of inflammatory chemicals including prostaglandin which is known to induce pain. Hence it is advised that you replace sugary foods with fiber-rich foods and lots of salads and vegetables.

Also, drink more water and eat natural fruits in place of processed fruit juice. Taking vitamin E supplements have also been shown to help.

If your pain isn’t relieved by over the counter drugs visit your doctor
Over-the-counter drugs have been known to help reduce menstrual pain. However, the case may be different in someone that has secondary dysmenorrhea(menstrual pain) a type of menstrual pain experienced by someone that has an underlying medical condition such as; endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease(PID) Uterine fibroid, and others. In such cases, the pain is usually intense and prolonged. It is also important to note that someone who developed a sudden onset of menstrual pain at a later stage in life may be experiencing secondary dysmenorrheal. On contrary, primary dysmenorrhea is due to physiological changes that occur during menstruation.

Between contraceptive pills and dysmenorrhea

Research has shown that combined contraceptive pills can alleviate symptoms of painful menstruation. However, some women can experience some side effects using this pills. Hence, do not use if it is not prescribed by your doctor.
Other treatment of painful menstruation includes; exercises, effective massage, herbal remedies and heat therapy. However, these treatments are best prescribed by professionals.

Note that menstrual pain may not always have to be at the pelvic region but the back, or upper and lower parts of the legs, pain may also be accompanied by mood swings, Irritation, and other symptoms.

EM WELLNESS Contributor- GENUINE HEALTH AFRICA

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