Dysmenorrhea: Understanding and relieving painful periods
Some of us are unlucky on this side: menstruation can be a complicated, difficult period, accompanied by a lot of pain. This would also be the first cause of school absenteeism for adolescents and professional absenteeism according to Ameli.fr.
Dysmenorrhea , commonly known as period pain , is a condition characterized by painful abdominal contractions that occur before menstruation or during menstruation .
Dysmenorrhea can vary in intensity, ranging from mild to severe pain , and can have a significant impact on the quality of life of those affected. Fortunately, there are various natural methods to relieve painful periods and improve your well-being during this period. Our role at Gapianne is to help you find the best natural, non-toxic treatments for health that soothe this suffering. Let's look at this together:
Dysmenorrhea: what is it?
Types of dysmenorrhea
Dysmenorrhea is generally classified into two types:
Primary dysmenorrhea: This type of menstrual pain is common in teenage girls and young women (usually up to age 20) . It appears in the months following the first period. According to Ameli.fr, 50 to 70% of teenage girls have painful periods either permanently or occasionally.
Secondary dysmenorrhea: This type of painful period appears later in a person's reproductive life (around age 25) and is often associated with pelvic abnormalities , such as endometriosis , uterine fibroids, uterine adenomyosis or pelvic infections.
What are the causes of dysmenorrhea?
Dysmenorrhea is mainly caused by uterine contractions that occur during menstruation causing painful cramps.
However, other factors can also contribute, such as:
Having a high level of prostaglandins: Prostaglandins are chemicals naturally produced by the uterus. Their increase during menstruation can cause more intense contractions, which leads to pain.
Hormonal imbalances : In particular an increase in prostaglandins and a decrease in the levels of natural anti-inflammatories, can contribute to dysmenorrhea.
A narrowing of the passage of the cervix: Some women have a cervical stenosis, ie a narrow cervical opening, which makes it more difficult the flow of the menstrual flow causing more intense pain.
Genetic factors: Studies suggest that there may be a genetic predisposition to dysmenorrhea, which may explain why some women are more likely to suffer than others.
Symptoms of painful periods
This pain can be accompanied by different symptoms, such as:
- painful abdominal contractions
- Lower back pain
- Migraines or headaches
- breast tenderness
It is essential to consult a healthcare professional if your period pain is severe, interferes with your daily activities or is accompanied by unusual symptoms ( depression, anxiety, anger ...). Having a gynecological follow-up is also important if these symptoms are too intense to bear.
Treatment of dysmenorrhea to relieve period pain
Although it is not possible to completely eliminate these symptoms, several remedies can help ease the discomfort and improve your quality of life. Let's take a closer look:
Use heat to soothe your period pains
Applying heat to the abdominal area can help relax the uterine muscles and relieve cramping . We all know the trick of the hot water bottle to get temporary relief, but at Gapianne we favor the Jho balm for its effectiveness . This certified organic solution composed of 100% natural ingredients is applied locally to sensitive areas to relieve pain. Its hot-cold effect will calm your pain in the lower abdomen or back.
Recently, Nidéco , one of our flagship brands, released an oil concentrated in essential oils and CBD that soothes pain . With its warming effect, this oil helps you relax your muscles and relieve spasms.
Discreet, you can use them at work or on the go.
Relaxation is also important for reducing stress and promoting a relaxed state. Trying relaxation techniques such as yoga allows you to better live your menstrual cycles.
Engage in light physical activity
Although the idea of exercising may seem counterintuitive when suffering from pelvic pain, light physical activity can actually help reduce cramping. Exercise releases endorphins , which are natural chemicals that make you feel good. Opt for gentle activities like walking, yoga, or swimming .
If you have heavy or medium flows, we recommend period leggings or menstrual cycle leggings from our range of period panties from the beloved brand Smoon . That way, no worries during the sports session;)
Choose your herbal teas and food supplements
Certain herbs and supplements may have anti-inflammatory properties and help relieve period pain. For example, Mijane's Painful Periods herbal tea composed of hemp, peppermint and chamomile in particular relieves premenstrual symptoms (or PMS) .
Please note: it is important to consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplement, as some may interact with other medications or have adverse effects.
Have you tried electrostimulation?
If you want to go further, we advise you to discover the Bluetens device : it is a medical device that naturally and immediately relieves the pain associated with your menstrual cycles thanks to electrostimulation. The box is connected to 4 electrodes that you control from a mobile application to adapt the program to your pain. This replaces all unnatural treatments ( contraceptive pill , ibuprofen, hormonal supplements...) and calms the pain of endometriosis.
Pain during menstruation: conclusion
Although it is not possible to eliminate them completely, there are remedies to alleviate period discomfort and improve our daily lives. Methods such as the application of heat, light physical activity, relaxation methods such as yoga, the use of herbs, essential oils and supplements can help relieve them. We hope you find the solution you need, and if you still have questions, contact us by chat (bottom right 💬)
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the difference between primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea?
Primary dysmenorrhea is common in adolescent girls and young women and is not associated with a medical condition. Secondary dysmenorrhea appears later in the reproductive life of a woman and vulvar person and is often linked to a pelvic abnormality.
Is it normal to have intense menstrual pain?
Mild to moderate pain is considered normal, but if the pain is severe and interferes with your daily activities, it is recommended to consult your gynecologist or other healthcare professional.
What foods should you avoid during your period to reduce period pain?
It is best to avoid foods high in saturated fat and salt, such as fried foods, fatty dairy products, and salty snacks. Indeed, these foods can promote water retention and aggravate cramps.
How can I manage stress during my period to reduce period pain?
Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, massage, or listening to soothing music to relax and reduce stress.