SOME women endure cramps so bad each month, that they are forced to stop regular activities for a day or two.
Severe cramping can be caused by a number of things, like disease in the reproductive organs; endometriosis; pelvic inflammatory disease; narrowing of the cervix; or fibroids or growths on the inner wall of the uterus.
But whatever the cause, the recommended remedies are the same.
Gynaecologist and obstetrician at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Professor Horace Fletcher, said young women don't need to suffer horrible pain that keeps them away from work and school.
1. The best way to treat severe menstrual cramps is to take oral contraceptives. This kind of pain responds to contraceptive pills taken in the normal way — once daily for 21 days. The woman should be first evaluated by her doctor to make sure there are no contraindications.
2. Mild cramps respond to normal painkillers like Paracetamol, Panadol, Tylenol, or any of the non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. All of these have some side effects.
3. Antispasmodics like Baralgin or Buscopan can work as well, usually in conjunction with the treatments above.
4. A hot water bottle or heating pad compress against the stomach helps.
Other remedies you could try are:
1. Drink herbal teas like chamomile, mint, raspberry and blackberry, which may help soothe tense muscles and anxious moods.
2. Exercise. Regular workouts decrease the severity of cramps. It is therefore recommended that you start exercising the week leading up to the start of your period.
3. Empty your bladder as soon as you have the urge to urinate.