Cramps are uterine contractions caused by prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance. The contractions help get rid of the uterine lining that is shed during your period. Usually cramp pain is mild. But sometimes it can be severe. The pains can vary between either sharp stabs that make you double up, or a nagging pain that spreads through your belly and lower back. Some women also experience dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting.
How to stop period cramps
If you’re starting to feel menstrual cramps, try a combination of these to ease the pain:
- PAIN RELIEVERS Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium inhibit the formation of prostaglandins and can make the cramps less severe. If you have bleeding disorders, liver disease, stomach disorders or ulcers, talk to your doctor before taking this type of medicine.
- EXERCISE & STRECTH Regular exercise and stretching are very effective
- RELAX: Relax by meditating or practicing yoga. Get enough sleep before and during your period to help you cope with any discomfort. Try to pamper yourself.
- TAKE VITAMINES: Vitamin B1 or a magnesium supplement can reduce pain
- WARM UP Take a warm bath or apply a heating pad on your lower abdomen or back
- CONTRACEPTION Hormonal contraception may also reduce menstrual pain. Only take these with your doctor’s approval.
If the symptoms are too severe, check with your doctor to see if there is anything else going on with your body and to learn about other medical options that may be right for you.