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How to relieve discomfort caused by menstrual cramps? See 5 tips

The menstrual period, although temporary, can bring discomfort that affects quality of life, such as cramps.

Due to the pain, which can be intense, many people are unable to carry out daily activities and need to resort to medication to alleviate the pain.

“Some women experience only mild discomfort, while others suffer from intense pain that can be debilitating and make everyday activities impossible. Cramps may last just a few hours or persist for several days. Some women start to feel cramps before the start of their menstrual period and continue to experience discomfort throughout the day of their period”, explains gynecologist Mila Miranda.

When cramps are frequent and pain is severe, it is important to see a doctor to understand the causes, as this discomfort is often related to other diseases, such as endometriosis, for example. Changing some eating habits also helps to alleviate pain.

“If the patient has endometriosis, they should avoid eating meat in general, especially red meat. Foods considered inflammatory should also be little consumed or replaced. It is important to maintain a daily bowel habit and, for this, eating vegetables is important”, adds Reginaldo Guedes Lopes, gynecologist and service director at Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual (HSPE).

What can cause colic?

  • Action of prostaglandins: chemical substances that promote uterine contractions. High levels of prostaglandins are associated with more intense contractions and more severe pain;
  • Endometriosis: in this condition, tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, causing intense, chronic and stronger pain during the menstrual period;
  • Uterine fibroids: benign tumors in the uterus that can cause pain and pressure in the pelvis;
  • Adenomyosis: Endometrial tissue grows within the muscular walls of the uterus, resulting in cramping.

According to experts interviewed by the report, some foods and drinks can worsen the pain caused by cramps and should be avoided during the menstrual period. Some of them are:

  • Caffeinated drinks: coffee, black tea, soft drinks and energy drinks. Caffeine can cause blood vessels to constrict and intensify menstrual pain;
  • Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can promote dehydration, increased swelling and fluid retention. It can also interfere with hormonal levels and impact the intensity of cramps;
  • Ultra-processed foods: fast food, snacks, cookies, canned foods and sausages can intensify inflammation in the body, worsen fluid retention and increase pain;
  • Foods rich in fat: fatty meats, butter, margarine, ice cream and fried foods increase the production of prostaglandins, worsening uterine contractions.

How to relieve the discomfort of colic?

If you suffer from menstrual cramps, know that it is possible to control and minimize the pain in a simple way and done at home. With the help of gynecologists, we have listed five of them. See below.

  1. Heat application: the famous hot water bottle, heating pad or hot water bottle can be placed on the abdomen. The heat helps relax the uterine muscles and improves blood flow to the area, relieving pain.
  2. Abdominal massage: Massaging the abdomen with your fingers helps with a calming and even anti-inflammatory effect. To perform the massage, you can use creams or essential oils.
  3. Natural teas: Chamomile, ginger, mint or cinnamon tea have anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve cramps. Additionally, hot teas provide comfort and relaxation.
  4. Physical exercises: Even though most women do not feel like doing activities during this period, it is recommended that they do some light exercise such as walking, stretching or yoga. Physical activity improves circulation, reduces fluid retention and also releases endorphins, a hormone that brings well-being.
  5. Medicines: analgesics and anti-inflammatories help reduce cramps. But it is important to use it only with medical advice.

Source: CNN Brasil

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