Relieve menstrual pain yourself

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The same misery, month after month: many women experience menstrual pain that can be very severe. This can be avoided: various household remedies provide relief, including some from the herbal pharmacy.

Period pains are common

Approximately 60 percent of women experience menstrual pain, ranging from mild to very severe. Sometimes the agony is such that the woman is unable to work. «And yet menstruation is, in principle, a painless event,» says naturopath Annina Kramer from the Frauenpraxis Spiez. If discomfort is felt, something is wrong – and this can be discovered and treated.

The reasons for severe menstrual pain

As a rule, the reason is a hormonal imbalance in which cramp-inducing prostaglandins have the upper hand. This can lead to severe cramps and other complaints. If, on the other hand, everything is in balance, the uterine lining is expelled without pain. A hormonal imbalance can be caused by internal and external stress, for example.

Studies have shown that how women think about their periods affects how they experience them. «Menstruation is still a taboo subject in our society,» says Annina Kramer. Even adolescent girls learn that it is supposedly something disgusting, embarrassing and unpleasant that is best not talked about. On the other hand, «positive images and a gentle explanation of the qualities of the different phases of the cycle» can help them manage their periods with a more relaxed attitude. Although this alone will generally not be enough to eliminate the pain, it can help to a certain extent.

These menstrual complaints are common

  • lower abdominal pain and cramps, which can also radiate to the back or legs
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach and intestinal pains
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • mood swings
  • heavy bleeding

These healing methods can relieve period pains

  1. In cases of excessive bleeding or cramps, herbal medicine is worth a try.
  2. If the symptoms have existed for a long time, it often takes more than herbal remedies such as teas or drops to provide relief. This is when other alternative medical methods such as Traditional European Naturopathy (TEN), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda or homeopathy may be considered. Therapies such as foot reflexology or shiatsu can also help.
  3. Also often effective is a change of lifestyle in the form of periods of deceleration and relaxation introduced into the daily routine, preferably already in the days before the period begins.
  4. What’s important in the whole process is to keep at it and be patient. It generally needs time until the desired result is achieved. And: don’t suffer unnecessarily. Until the right method is found, use painkillers. However, synthetic painkillers should not become the permanent solution.
It is both unsatisfactory and futile to instantly prescribe the pill for period pain when the woman doesn’t actually need contraception.
Ggynaecologist Regina Widmer from the Runa group practice in Solothurn

When it is advisable to see a doctor

  • In cases of moderate, severe and very severe pain and complaints.
  • If the complaints already begin to appear days or more than a week before the period starts, or are felt on all or many days of the cycle.
  • In cases of heavy to very heavy and/or long-lasting bleeding. Periods normally last 3 to 7 days.

Household remedies that enable women to help themselves

The important thing to remember with all herbal remedies: first seek advice from a specialist on application and dosage.

Warmth

for cramps, place a hot water bottle on the belly or apply a heat patch. Take a warm bath, preferably as early as 1 to 2 days before the period starts.

Rest

if possible, allow yourself times of withdrawal during menstruation and lie down.

Hormonal balance

To combat cramps and achieve hormonal balance: drink lady’s mantle tea, or a mixed herbal tea with lady's mantle, silverweed, yarrow and chamomile.

Herbal pain relievers

are also available as tinctures, which have a stronger effect than teas. Silverweed tincture has proven effective, especially when used early and in high doses.

Shepherd's purse or sage

are remedies known to counteract heavy menstrual bleeding.

Monk's pepper extract

not only acts against premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but also alleviates complaints such as headaches during the period.


More tips on menstruation:

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