Period pain or menstrual cramps are something most women face each month. Usually, they’re not a bad thing. They are a sign that your body is starting another healthy menstrual cycle. But it’s helpful to understand exactly what is happening in your body.Period Pain
Usually, period pain is mild. But sometimes it can be severe. The pains can vary from sharp stabs that make you double over to a nagging pain that spreads through your belly and lower back. Some women also experience dizziness, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. Severe period pain is called dysmenorrhea.Two Types of Menstrual Pain
There are two types of period pains: primary and secondary.
This is a big word for common menstrual pains caused by your monthly cycle, not disease. You may feel mild to severe period pain in your lower abdomen, back and thighs. It starts right before your period and usually lasts between 12-72 hours. This kind of dysmenorrhea is more common in young women and often gets less severe from the mid-20s onward and after giving birth.
Secondary DysmenorrheaWhat Causes Period Pain?
This type of dysmenorrhea is usually caused by a disorder in a woman's reproductive organs. Some of these conditions include endometriosis, fibroids, cysts or infection. It can also be caused by using an intrauterine device (IUD) which is a form of contraceptive. The pain usually starts earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than primary dysmenorrhea.
Scientists think that period pains are related to prostaglandins – a substance your uterus makes – that causes the uterus to contract. The cramping feeling is your uterus contracting.
At the start of your period, prostaglandin levels are high, and as you start to menstruate, the levels decrease.Tackling Painful Periods
There are a lot of natural ways to manage your period pain, and many medicine options too. Here are 5 great ways to tackle your painful periods.