Period cramps and pain 101
For many of us period cramps and/or period pain can be excruciating from cycle to cycle and yet, this isn’t normal and shouldn’t be accepted as so. They can be hugely debilitating affecting not just your physical ability to function but also your social, emotional, mental and spiritual abilities also.
Let’s bust some myths and also highlights some things that can make a huge difference to our menstrual cycles and our general well being.
So when and why do period pains and cramps occur?
WHEN? These often occur before or during our period (menstruation). Autumn/Winter phases.
WHY? Our bodies produce prostaglandins that help our blood vessels to constrict so we don’t bleed too heavy with our periods, in theory.
But, they can also cause Pain.
This message can spread beyond the Uterus for example to our digestive tracts which is why many of us experience Period Poos 💩 which has us running for the nearest loo!
😢 Some people produce stronger uterus contractions that have been measured to be stronger than those felt in the second phase of labour (when labour is at its most intense)!
‼️Let’s just reiterate here period cramps may be “common” but THEY ARE NOT NORMAL.
WHAT helps? Managing our…
🌿Our stress levels.
🌿And our lifestyle management can all affect period cramps.
Period pains can often be worse in our teenage years and at peri-menopause (the stage before actual menopause when our periods stop).
Due to our hormones.
Oestrogen is our BIG hormone that helps us to find a mate, be seen and want to reproduce but in the second half of our cycle we need to have used it and then LOOSE it.
🌿During our teen years, we don’t ovulate every period. Our menstrual cycle is finding its rhythm which means that not enough progesterone is produced to balance ovulation some months.
❗Progesterone is only produced after ovulation.
😢Therefore the first few years can be troublesome, heavier and symptomatic as our bodies find their rhythm.
🌿Our bodies are sensitive to our reproductive hormones because our hormone receptors are getting used to them.
😢This heightened response is also noted in Peri-menopause as our hormones start to decline.
❗Often peri-menopausal people live with teenage daughters so they co-exist together in these hormone dances which as you can imagine can be interesting times.
✅ Detox excess Oestrogen safely.
Sweating; so think saunas or hot yoga or HIIT exercise helps.
Eat cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, pak choi, brussel sprouts, etc.
⚠️Note early post natal people are often the opposite of this & show signs of low Oestrogen so avoid the above if you have vaginal dryness, painful sex and poor memory!
The biggest changes you can make are small and affordable.
🌿Your stress levels.
🌿The amount of movement you are getting.
💕We all have areas we can improve on here.
🤔What helps you manage period cramps? Mine was definitely my hot water bottle.