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Effective home remedies that offer relief from menstrual cramps

Effective home remedies that offer relief from menstrual cramps
For some women, a heat patch may offer better relief than over-the-counter pain relievers. @Shutterstock

Menstrual cramps can be debilitating. Here are a few effective home remedies to help you deal with this condition naturally.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Published : August 14, 2020 4:57 PM IST

Many women suffer from menstrual cramps during their monthly cycles. For some, the pain may be mild, but, for others, it is often crippling. Usually, there is no cause for worry and it may not indicate anything serious. But if the pain is too severe, you must consult a doctor to rule out any abnormalities in your reproductive organs. Your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam, including a pelvic exam, to rule out any abnormalities or infections, which may be causing this pain. You may have to also undergo an ultrasound, a CT scan or MRI scan if your doctor suspects anything serious.

In rare cases, your doctor may also recommend a laparoscopy to rule out endometriosis, adhesions, fibroids, ovarian cysts and ectopic pregnancy. Usual treatment for menstrual cramps involves over-the-counter pain relievers and hormonal birth control. These can reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. If the pain is due to endometriosis or fibroids, you may need to undergo surgery to correct the problem. You can try out some home remedies to ease menstrual cramps. Here, we bring you some effective ways in which you can deal with this condition naturally.

Go for heat therapy

Soaking in a hot bath helps. You may also use a heating pad, hot water bottle or heat patch on your lower abdomen to ease menstrual cramps. This will relax your abdominal muscles and boost circulation in your abdomen. This can reduce the pain and cramps. For some women, a heat patch may offer better relief than over-the-counter pain relievers. Heat therapy will also reduce fatigue and mood swings associated with menstruation.

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Try out some essential oils

Massage your belly in a circular motion with essential oils like lavender sage, rose or marjoram. You can also try oils made from spices like clove and cinnamon. This will ease your pain significantly and also boost circulation. But be sure to mix the essential oil of your choice with a carrier oil like coconut oil.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity can offer relief from menstrual cramps for some women. You can perform some low-to-medium intensity aerobic exercises to get relief. If you exercise regularly or at least 4 times a week, you will notice a marked decrease in your pain intensity. You don't have to go to a gym for this. Instead, try waking for an hour 5 days a week, dance to your favourite music, go swimming or just do house chores. Any physical activity will help.

Watch your diet

You need to avoid certain food during this time. Stay away from foods that are likely to cause water retention, bloating and discomfort. This includes foods with a high sodium content, caffeine, alcohol and fatty foods. Follow a a low-fat, vegetarian diet during your periods. This will help ease your menstrual cramps significantly.

Drink enough water

Dehydration is a major reason why you may suffer from menstrual cramps. So have enough water during this period. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day and supplement your fluid intake with water-rich food like fruits and veggies.

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