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Is your menstrual cycle painful? Reasons and how to deal?

Menstrual cycle or period cycle begins from the first day when the bleeding starts. The length of the cycle may vary from one woman to the other.

What is a normal menstrual cycle?

Menstrual cycle or period cycle begins from the first day when the bleeding starts. The length of the cycle may vary from one woman to the other. The normal time for the regular cycle is 28 days. But a cycle longer or shorter, i.e. from 21 to 40 days is considered normal too. This cycle for the teen is up to 45 days.

A normal menstrual cycle is healthy for some while scary for others. If your menstrual cycle is painful, you’d wish not to have them ever. But having them is also a sign of good.

Also read; Menstrual Cycle: A Detailed Self-Care Guide for Your Period

How do I define menstrual pain?

Menstrual pain is the pain that one feels during vaginal bleeding. It is referred to as dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps that normally occur in the lower abdomen and pelvis, and sometimes stabbing pain on right side of abdomen. To some it begins with the start of the cycle, to others, it begins before the date to arrive. It could be throbbing or aching, ranging from the symptoms, i.e. mild discomfort to serious pain.

Are you one of those having menstrual cramps? I will assume not everyone here is aware of menstrual cramps so let’s just begin with the basics. It is the pain in the lower abdomen which to some begins immediately after the uterus sheds while a day or two later for others.

Why painful periods?

There are several reasons why one is at high risk of menstrual cramps. Some of them include;

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Irregular periods
  • Painful periods history
  • Reached puberty too early
  • Is not a mother yet
  • Too much smoking

With pain, there is of course fear too and if the cycle is like 2 periods in one month, death seems so near. Although expecting it to be the worst time, it also makes one feel endlessly dull. Loose bowels, dizziness, and nausea are also the experiences women may face. In science terminology, these cramps are described as primary dysmenorrhea.

Other medical reasons behind menstrual cramps

According to the studies, the pain during the period cycle is also due to prostaglandin, a chemical produced by the body. It works to promote the uterine muscles to contract. This means the bodies that produce it in an adequate ratio lead to greater pain.

Additionally, infections in the reproductive organs, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cyst, abnormal pregnancy, narrow cervix, etc. also turns out to be the main cause of menstrual cramps.

Do you know that menstrual cramps can be a sign of a serious problem?

Let’s understand the main causes of painful menstrual cycle as below;

Infections in the reproductive organs

Termed as the pelvic inflammatory disease, it is a sexually transmitted infection. It creates scar tissue within the woman’s body along with adhesion in the pelvic region. When the period cycle starts, the imbalanced hormones leave an impact on the uterus and the scar tissue. Thus, resulting in heavy bleeding. If this is the cause behind the pain and is early diagnosed, this can be treated with medicines.

Please note that practising safe sex is therefore doctor’s recommendation.  


This is one of the major causes of painful menstrual cycle. It is a gynaecological condition in which the tissue is found outside the uterus, i.e. on the other structure of the pelvic floor, ovaries, fallopian tubes, lungs, liver, and brain.


Fibroid has been the cause of menstrual cramps among 75% of women. It differs in size, i.e. from being microscopic to large which distorts the shape of the uterus. This turns the period cycle into a nightmare. If this is the cause of your pain, there will be an expel of heavy bleeding.

Please note that such a condition later becomes the cause of uterine cancer.

Narrow cervix

This cause known as cervical stenosis is quite a rare condition in which the size of the cervix is too small and narrow which reduces the blood flow. Hence, causing pain by increasing the pressure in the uterus.

How to deal with a painful menstrual cycle?

If you are among the 90% of woman who faces a painful menstrual cycle, you may be in search of some effective treatment. Alongside the painkiller you intake as recommended by your doctor, below are some of the relieving home remedies.

Heating pad or hot water bottle

A heating pad or hot water bottle that you choose to place on the lower abdomen area helps in relieving pain. Not only it help wonderfully as the pain killer, but the desired temperature relaxes the muscles too.  

Healthy diet

The healthy diet that you intake has a lot to do with your mensural cycle. Research that was conducted in the year 2016 shows that women with a healthy lifestyle are less to have pain during their period cycle.

  • **Foods rich in vitamins such as papaya, brown rice, olive oil, broccoli, etc. should be consumed.
  • **Foods rich in manganese ease menstrual cramps. These include almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • **Foods rich in iron and those with greater anti-oxidant properties should also be consumed.    
  • **Foods rich in calcium are also a must. The greatest example is the dairy product.

Also check; Multivitamin Supplements vs. Whole Foods: What’s Your Choice?

Relaxing exercises

A large number of studies have confirmed that relaxing exercises help ease the pain. Light jogging and walking help reduce bloating and therefore the pain. When you choose to do an aerobics workout, it helps the feeling positive hormone relax and the blood circulates in the body.

menstrual cycle

**5-minute workout is worth your body’s need!

Dermatologist-recommended exercises include; forward bend, switch sides, right-angle forward bend, reclined bound angle pose

Warm water bath

The warm water bath is a wonderful way to relax the body. It soothes the body and help it feel easy and comfortable. Having added the essential oil, the tensed muscle in our body relaxes. The recommended time by the doctors for the bath is evening as it promotes healthy sleep.

Relaxing lower abdomen with massage

Relaxing the lower abdomen with massage therapies is a wonderful option as it encourages blood flow. If done with the essential oil, the extra-ordinary benefits it carries relaxes the area further. If massage creams are used for massage therapy, the other fruitful ingredients add more to the benefits being achieved.

A big no to caffeine

Caffeine in our lives no matter the form is destroying our inner whole. When it comes to dealing with menstrual pain, one of the best herbal remedies is to limit or eliminate caffeine. If it is a part of your daily routine, limiting it every day can be helpful. As an alternative, make smoothies a part of your daily healthcare routine. Protein is even a great way to help relieve menstrual cramps.

As per the gynaecologist, it is not a wise decision to bear too much pain. Instead, it is better to treat yourself as soon as it is diagnosed. Do you know sleeping has a solution to a lot of your health problems? So choose to maintain a healthy lifestyle for a quality life. What did I miss? The birth control pills. Do you know that majority of the gynaecologists recommend the use of birth control pills to help one relieve the painful period cycle? But, it need not be used without consulting the doctor.

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