If you’re a woman, you probably don’t need us to tell you how painful and challenging it can be to deal with menstrual cramping. Cramping is an incredibly common and natural part of menstruation. For some women, the pain is mild for a day or two. For others, cramping can be debilitating. Menstrual cramping is also sometimes associated with gynecological conditions like endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Although we offer treatments that can help women who experience severe menstrual cramping, there are things that can be done at home to help manage these symptoms as well.
Heat can help ease menstrual cramping by helping the uterine muscles relax. We recommend applying a hot water bottle or a heating pad against the abdomen during periods of severe menstrual cramping. This can also help women who experience lower back pain during menstruation. Taking a warm bath may also be able to provide relief, although some women may prefer to avoid this if bleeding.
We understand if exercising may be the last thing that many women feel like doing when they are cramping, but light exercise can be highly beneficial. Activities like walking, stretching, and yoga can help by releasing pain-relieving endorphins. However, more strenuous exercise like running or weight lifting may not be as helpful, so try to take it easy.
Making some simple dietary adjustments changes may also help reduce menstrual cramping. We recommend fatty fish like salmon that contain omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean proteins, and whole grains. Dehydration can also trigger or exacerbate menstrual cramping, so make sure to drink plenty of water every day and cut back on too much salt intake.
Cramping is normal, but if your cramping is causing distress and having a negative effect on your quality of life, we recommend following these steps or reaching out the gynecological healthcare providers at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. We will work with you to assess your condition and find the most helpful treatment plan possible. For more information or to request an appointment with one of our providers, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional reproductive healthcare tips, news, and more.