Easing the aches of Menstruation

The Tribune

Published On:Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Tribune Features Writer

FOR most women, the monthly period is probably their worst time of the month simple because it offsets schedules, and is accompanied by extreme pain and discomfort.

The website www.medicinenet.com explains what is actually happening in the body and what cause painful cycles.

“When the old uterine lining begins to break down, molecular compounds called prostaglandins are released. These compounds cause the muscles of the uterus to contract. When the uterine muscles contract, they constrict the blood supply (vasoconstriction) to the endometrium. This contraction blocks the delivery of oxygen to the tissue of the endometrium which, in turn, breaks down and dies. After the death of this tissue, the uterine contractions literally squeeze the old endometrial tissue through the cervix and out of the body by way of the vagina,” the website explained.

The cramping sensations intensify when clots or tissue is passed through the uterus. Some women may have more intense pain if they have a narrow canal.

Tribune Health spoke to a few woman who provided some home remedies to their aches that can aid others when it comes to menstrual pain.

Tameka Grant said from the beginning her menstrual cycle were characterised by heavy bleeding and extreme pain.

“I have menstrual periods very bad. They would have me in pain and I would even throw up. What I do is take some Advil even though they do not really stop the cramps, I take them just so they could put me to sleep and then I would go to see the doctor so I could calm me down. I still have intense pains and my menstruals are fourteen days so I go through so much when that time of the month comes again,” she said.

For Shakira Ferguson ,a little activity does her body good as it improves her sleep and lessens the intensity of cramps.

“Most women think when it is their time of the month they must be bed ridden. Though there are some women whose menstruals are so extreme that they don’t have the energy to move. What I do during the onset I do some low intensity exercise. I go walking or jogging and even if I have cramps that aren’t so extreme I do a little aerobics as well,” she said.


She added: “For me exercise actually works I don’t know if it will work for anyone else,”

Precious Brown relies on the healing power of herbs as her remedy during menstruation.

“I don’t usually have painful menstrual periods. But what I don’t like is that most of the time menstrual cramps would wake me up in the middle of the night and when it does, I do what my grandmother did for me. When I lived with her she would get a piece of fresh ginger boil it for me and put it in a cupful of water. And to prevent the pain from coming back I would drink this sort of ginger tea three times a day after all of my meals,” Precious Brown said.



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.