Have you ever got a severe cramp in your lower abdomen before a period and go along with physical and emotional changes? It exactly is an unpleasant feeling that up to 80% of women encounter with every month. Cramp before a period is known as a premenstrual syndrome which occurs in the one to two weeks before a woman’s period which different levels. Let’s refer to the article below to get more information and knowledge about cramp before period!
Levels of cramp before a period
Each people have a different level of pain. Based on that characteristic, abdominal pain before menstruation is divided into three levels:
- Mild pain: you may feel mild, persistent pain in the lower abdomen and lower back, along with symptoms such as tender breasts, feeling tired but it can disappear after a few day and pain medication is not necessary.
- Moderate pain: women will experience abdominal pain, gastrointestinal disturbances, breast tenderness and prolonged back pain, body aches. Sometimes you may get nausea, numbness, cold hands, and feet but if taking pain medication, heat and rest, it can disappear.
- Severe pain: your body may suffer from stinging pain, feeling uncomfortable with abdominal and lower back pain, sweating, pale skin, cold hands and feet, accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, dysmenorrhoea may last up to several hours or one to two days. The abdominal pain will be decreased when menses was excreted.
On the other hand, depending on the causes and the condition, there are two stages of the cramps that you experience before your period begins:
- Primary stage: This stage is the most common that happens mostly in puberty and childbirth of women. It is physiologic abdominal pain and not caused by any real cause. You will feel pain in your lower stomach. It occurs within one or two days before your period has started.
- Secondary stage: This stage can be seen in the majority of married and inborn women with physical causes, such as the retroverted uterus, cervical stenosis, uterine fibroids, endometriosis. These cramps appear in your lower back and typically occur from three to five days before your period.
What happened to your body if you got cramp before period?
There are many problems that occur in your body but here are some main signs and symptoms that you may get:
- Physical changes: you may have pain in joint or muscle, fatigue, headache, weight gain results from fluid retention, breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, gastrointestinal disorders, acne
- Emotional and behavior change: you may feel nervous or anxious, have a depressed mood, anger or irritability, mood swings, anorexia or food cravings, insomnia, withdraw from social, reduce concentration
Which are the causes of cramp before period?
Although dysmenorrhoea affects the quality of life, health and reproductive function of women, few people find the causes of this phenomenon. There are also many women who have lived with it for a long time becomes subjective and ignore it.
Doctors indicate that cramp before menstrual period can completely be a warning sign of dangerous gynecological diseases. Therefore, if you have severe dysmenorrhea, you should seek medical attention to determine the cause. There are many factors can affect this phenomenon, here are some main causes that you may encounter with:
- Uterus contraction: Abnormal spasm or excessive contraction of the uterine muscle causes anemia and leads to spasm, even cervical spondylosis, which results in abdominal pain before menstruation. The gynecologic specialist said that high blood pressure is an important factor in the abnormal contraction of the uterus.
- Psychological problems: If before the menstrual period you experience a psychological shock, nervousness, anxiety, stress, over-excitement or panic caused by the pain of the previous cycle make the hypothalamus secrete a substance can lead to excessive uterine contractions and abdominal pain before the menstrual period.
- Increased Prostaglandin (PG): Increased levels of PG in the menstrual blood and uterine endometrium can cause the cervix to contract more vigorously, squeeze the uterine blood vessels and lead to the organization to lack of oxygen due to the insufficient blood supply. Therefore, cramp will occur. The higher the PG, the more severe the dysmenorrhea.
- The foreign object inside the uterus: People who have had used a contraceptive device or have a scar, the cramp will be more severe.
- Gynecological diseases: The diseases that cause abdominal pain before menstruation can also be gynecological diseases. These include hormonal or hormone disorders, gynecological infections, endometriosis, oviduct inflammation, inflammation of the gland, fibroids, ovarian cysts or even cancer.
How to cope with cramp before period?
The most effective way to deal with cramp before the menstrual period is using medication. Depending on your situation or the severity of pain, the doctor will prescribe you one or more medications but it commonly includes Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidepressants, diuretics, hormonal contraceptives
It can deny the benefits of medication brings to you but it also can be “a double-edged sword” with the side effect. Therefore, besides the medication, cramp before a period may be decreased by changing lifestyle, exercises, diet like some tips below:
- Decrease the salt, salty foods, eat smaller and more frequent meals to reduce the bloating and fullness sensation.
- Choose foods rich in calcium and carbohydrates, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Avoid the stimulating substances like alcohol, caffeine
- Exercise regularly at least 30 minutes most days of the week like walking, jogging, swimming, aerobic activity to improve your health condition, alleviate the symptoms or promote the mood
- Sleep enough 8 hours a day, deep-breathing or muscle relaxation exercises to reduce anxiety; or massage and yoga is a good one that you should try.
- Supply more calcium (reduce the psychological and physical symptoms); vitamin E (limit producing of prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that lead to breast tenderness and cramps), magnesium (reduce breast tenderness, bloating and fluid retention)
- Herbal remedies also are a good choice to alleviate the symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome, such as chaste berry, ginkgo, ginger, evening primrose oil
Cramp before a period actually is “a nightmare” with the women every month. Hope this article can partially support you in coping with the “battle” named premenstrual syndrome.