The menstrual cycle is a common and the most important phenomenon in a female’s reproductive system. The period pain that most females go through every month, if hit the severity, may urge them to take painkillers. What causes this severe pain, and how to treat it effectively? Should painkillers be taken to reduce the pain sensation during the period? Let us find out everything in the blog post.
What causes period pain?
Almost over half of the females have reported going through some kind of pain during periods. Some have reported having it severely, while others do not even feel it. The severity of pain is different in different females and is referred to as the cramping of the muscles in the tummy, which gradually takes over the lower back and thighs.
In some cases, the pain arises in the spasms; sometimes, there is no pain. The mild contractions which occur during the menstrual cycle are the primary cause of the shooting pain around the tummy. When a female reaches the menstrual cycle, the womb contractions occur vigorously to shed down the womb’s lining.
The womb contractions suppress the blood vessels inside the womb lining, which eventually temporarily cuts down the oxygen and blood supply to the womb. Due to the lack of enough oxygen, the tissues inside the womb trigger the painful sensations which females feel during their period cycle.
Releasing another chemical just before the start of the menstruation cycle, prostaglandins raise the pain level. Females with more prostaglandins released during their periods are more likely to develop more painful sensations. The level of prostaglandin is higher on the first two days of the period, so the period pain is usually the maximum during these days.
Not only that, certain medical conditions may be linked to extreme period pain, such as shedding of endometriosis, fibroids, and inflammation in the pelvis. The pain from these conditions stays longer and is usually more debilitating than the regular period cramps.
Should painkillers be taken to reduce period cramps?
Obviously, the first thing any human would do to reduce pain is run to get some painkillers. Wouldn’t you do the same? In the case of menstrual pain, certain over-the-counter medications help in relieving the period pain. Some of the OTC medications which are proven to mitigate the pain during menstruation are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. The painful cramps can be controlled if these medications are taken during the first 2 to 3 days of menstrual bleeding.
But the prolonged and continuous use of these OTC painkillers may actually trigger various uncontrollable side effects. Although these medications may control gut-wrenching cramps, they may put your health at risk. Some of the medical conditions which may arise due to the intake of painkillers every month during periods are:
- Acid reflux which may lead to Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Stomach pain
- Stomach ulcer
While trying to reduce period cramps with pain relievers, you may get into various other complications. The nature of these OTC medicines is effective temporarily, but for a prolonged duration, these may lead to serious health impediments.
Alternative ways to reduce menstrual cramps
Cannot stand the pain of menstrual cramps? Here are a few effective remedies better than taking painkillers.
- You may place a hot compress on the pelvic area to reduce cramps.
- Intake of lukewarm water as it helps control the uterine contractions and relaxes the muscles.
- You may practice a few light exercises as exercising helps de-stress the tense muscles.
- Body massaging during periods helps increase blood flow that, eventually controls the period pain.
- Instead of taking painkillers, you may take herbal teas. The anti-inflammatory properties of herbal tea reduce muscle spasms and manage painful contractions.
So is it time to ditch your painkillers to control the debilitating period pain that drains out your energy? Yes, it is. While you may look for other helpful remedies to combat the cramps, it is not advisable to look for painkillers as your ultimate solution to getting rid of the pain. You may also look for therapeutic solutions, which are medically recommended, and de-stress your tense muscles to make you feel happier and healthier even during the tough days of your menstrual cycle.