What Are Cramps And How Can They Be Managed?

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Menstrual cramps, otherwise known as dysmenorrhoea is the excruciating pain that comes with menstruation. Every woman has had her own fair share of it. Some people begin to experience theirs some months after menarche (first menstruation) with peak prevalence occurring in the late teens or early twenties.

For some, it serves as a fore-runner for their menstruation signalling to them that ‘this thing’ is very much around the corner whereas some others don’t so much as feel anything until the D-day. Dysmenorrhoea can either be primary or secondary.

Primary dysmenorrhoea is the type common in adolescents and is usually without any underlying pathology/disease state. Secondary dysmenorrhoea is low back/pelvic as a result of inflammation of the lining of the womb known as endometrium (the disease state called endometriosis). This is usually uncommon except in older women.

Characteristic symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea include lower abdominal or pelvic pain that may extend to the back or legs. Pain typically lasts 8 to 72 hours and usually occurs at the onset of menstrual flow. Other associated symptoms may include low back pain, headache, diarrhoea, fatigue (tiredness), nausea, or vomiting.

A lot of fallacies have surrounded the management of menstrual pain. Some young girls have been deceived and lured into premarital sex in a bid to widen their vagina so that the pain will ease. They have been deceived by their peers that the pain will only go when they have intercourse.

That is a lie from the pit of hell. My dear, it has nothing to do with whether you have a tight vagina or not. It is simply our different body make-ups. There are hormones in your body responsible for all of that. It may not always be like that. I for one, belonged to that category that won’t feel a thing until the D-day. But the table has turned now.

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There is a common practise that I have observed with people who do self-medication in a bid to manage their pain. A class of drug known as NSAIDs are commonly used to manage menstrual pain. I have observed that young girls abuse these drugs a lot especially the most popular of them, Felvin.

This is not proper because apart from the fact that you are exposing yourself to an unsafe high dose of these drugs, they have a tendency of leading to ulcers in these women especially with those of them that are already pre-disposed. Instead of taking a higher dose than has been prescribed for you, request for a change of medication from your doctor or speak with a Pharmacist. Paracetamol remains the safest pain reliever that one can use.

There are some practises you can engage in that will help ease the pain a little. These include but not limited to:

  • Staying away from sugary foods, snacks and drinks before or during menstruation.
  • Drinking hot liquids (coffee, tea, etc).

The thing is this: discover what works for you and stick to it. Do you know of some other practises that can help, drop them in the comment box below.

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