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Health and beauty lifestyle for women.

How to deal with Menstrual Cramps

A menstrual cramp is a painful sensation experienced by a woman before and during her monthly menstruation.

The pain is known as dysmenorrhea. It begins after ovulation - when a released egg from the ovaries moves to the fallopian tube. 

The pain begins a few days before menstruation and lasts between two to four days.

The pain can be called primary dysmenorrhea or secondary dysmenorrhea. It is termed secondary dysmenorrhea when caused by a disease or abnormality in the body.

Symptoms of menstrual cramp

Menstrual cramp is a pain mostly felt in the lower abdomen. However, there are other symptoms. They include:
· Nausea and committing
· Dizziness
· Bloating
· Headache
· Constipation
· Sweating
· Pain in the lower back
· Pain in the thighs

Causes of menstrual cramps

Once every 28 days, when there is no sperm to fertilize the woman's egg, there is a contraction of the uterus to expel its lining.

A substance called prostaglandins influences this process. During menstruation, prostaglandins form in the uterus lining. They cause nausea and cramps that are almost similar to Labour pain. The muscle contractions caused by this prostaglandin forming in the lining of the uterus inhibits blood flow.

There are also some conditions in the body that can worsen these menstrual cramps.
These include:

· Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
This is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause menstrual cramps.

· Uterine Fibroids
These are growths and noncancerous tumors in the wall of the uterus.

· Endometriosis 
This occurs when the tissue lining the uterus forms outside the uterus.

· Adenomyosis
Here, the tissue lining the uterus grows into the uterus muscular walls.

· Cervical Stenosis
The cervix opening is small, which limits menstrual flow.

Prevention of menstrual cramp 

To prevent menstrual cramp, do the following:

· Eat vegetables and fruits
· Exercise regularly
· Quit smoking 
· Reduce stress
· Limit intake of alcohol, salt, sweets, caffeine and fat.

Treatment of menstrual cramps

Menstrual cramps can easily be treated by tablets in a pharmacy.

Some of these tablets are:

· Anti-prostaglandins
These tablets help to reduce cramps in the uterus, reduce blood flow and relieve discomfort.

· Pain killers
Naproxen and Ibuprofen are good pain killers that can reduce menstrual cramp. They are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

· Hormonal birth control pills
Hormonal birth control pills prevent ovulation and also reduces menstrual cramps. It reduces the lining of the uterus where prostaglandins develop thereby reducing bleeding and cramps.

Birth control processes that can help prevent menstrual cramp include different types of hormonal IUD, patches, vaginal rings and injections.

If the cramp is due to an infection, visit the clinic for treatment. If it is caused by fibroids or other medical conditions, then surgery will be needed to eradicate abnormal tissues from your body.

Menstrual cramp can cause great discomfort, it is therefore advisable to prevent it. Eat healthy diets, reduce stress, engage in exercise regularly, quit smoking and go for a regular check-up in the hospital. If any abnormality or infection is found, treat immediately. 

The best home remedy to relieve this pain is a hot bath.

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