Did you know that a school in Kerala was known to give menstrual leaves as early as 1912? Menstruation, period or monthly, is the periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. Observed on May 28, to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle, Menstrual Hygiene Day aims to create awareness and change negative perceptions around menstrual hygiene. It was initiated by a German-based NGO WASH United in 2014.
One of the side effects of menstruation is dysmenorrhea or period cramps that occurs as a result of the oxygen inability to reach the uterus tissue due to muscle contraction of the uterus walls. Though painful, there are ways one can relieve period pains.
Here are 6 tips that can help you relieve pain during your cycle.
- Drink enough water: Water intake can help to regulate the proper functioning of the body cells. According to researchers, the reduction in the amount of estrogen and progesterone during periods can cause retention of water in the body. Drinking enough water can help to flush your system and keep you hydrated always.
- Follow a diet high in fibre and essential fats: Craving for junk food during the period is a result of hormonal changes of the estrogen and progesterone getting reduced. A well-balanced diet can help fight against cramps and keep the body healthy. One should eat fruits and other foods high in fibre and essential fats, Having boron and calcium during the period is also important. Foods like broccoli that has high fibre content or edibles rich in calcium like dairy products and leafy green vegetables should be eaten during periods to reduce muscle cramps. Walnuts, avocado, Salmon, etc contain omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce muscle cramps during menstruation. Ginger tea has been found to serve as an anti-inflammatory substance which reduces pain, while cinnamon tea also has anti-spasmodic properties.
- Exercise and Yoga: Exercising and doing yoga can help to relieve pain and tension. Exercising or yoga makes the body release endorphin which helps in pain management as it possesses morphine-like effects.
- Applying heat: Application of heat can help to reduce menstrual pain. A hot bath or shower can help ease the pain. Other heat sources like the use of heat pad, warm water bottle, can also provide relief.
- Having vitamin D: Vitamin D can help you to reduce the production of prostaglandins which initiates menstrual periods. Vitamin D supplements are what you take for bad menstrual cramps.
- Have an orgasm to reduce pain: Orgasm releases oxytocin and endorphin that helps to reduce menstrual pain. The endorphin released can help to reduce menstrual pain up to 70 percent.