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Around 80% of women experience period pain in their lives.¹
Period pain, known technically as dysmenorrhoea, is a common side effect of the menstrual cycle that most women will experience in their lifetime. Period pain often takes the form of uncomfortable muscle cramps in the tummy, but the discomfort can also spread to the back and thighs. Period pain may come in shooting spasms, or it may feel more like a dull, ongoing ache.
Contractions occur continually in the uterus; however, they are usually so mild that most women can’t feel them. During a menstrual period, the muscular wall of the uterus starts to contract more vigorously to help the uterus shed its lining.
The more vigorous contractions compress the blood vessels in the uterus, which then temporarily cuts off both the blood supply and the oxygen supply to the organ. Without oxygen, the tissues in the uterus release chemicals that trigger pain. This becomes a vicious cycle: the more the uterus contracts, the more that pain-triggering chemicals are released.
Mild period pain, sometimes referred to as menstrual cramps, is a very common form of discomfort. However, if someone finds themselves suffering intense pain during a period, there may be an underlying medical reason for this. For example:
Period pain differs in severity from person to person and can occur in several different areas of the body. Although the predominant symptom is menstrual cramps around the stomach, in 40% of woman, period pain is accompanied by other pre-menstrual symptoms, such as:
There are many tried and tested ways to stop, or at least reduce, period pain. Not simply using pain management techniques, but also making small lifestyle changes or engaging in a combination of both.
Period Pain Relief
Many common pain-relieving methods help to relieve the discomfort of period pain. For example:
Natural Pain Relief for Periods
Natural pain relief means effective ways to remedy pain, without resorting to chemicals or surgery. There are several recommended treatments to ease the pain of menstrual cramps: