Why Your Period Cramps Hurt So Bad

by Selina Luo
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Why Your Period Cramps Hurt So Bad

It's not known why some women experience more period pain than others. The reason can be multiple.



Some women are at a higher risk for having painful menstrual periods.

These risks include:


being under age 20

reaching puberty early (before age 11)

having a family history of painful periods

having irregular periods

smoking and drinking

having heavy bleeding

never having had a baby


A hormone called prostaglandin triggers muscle contractions in your uterus that expel the lining. These contractions can cause pain and inflammation. At the start of your period, prostaglandin levels are high, and as you start to menstruate, the levels decrease. High levels of prostaglandins may also cause nausea and lightheadedness.

It's not known why some women experience more period pain than others. It may be that some women have a build-up of prostaglandins, which means they experience stronger contractions.




Period pain caused by a condition

Less commonly, period pain can be caused by an underlying medical condition. Doctors sometimes call this secondary dysmenorrhoea.

Conditions that can cause period pain include:


Endometriosis - a painful medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus grow in other parts of the body, such as on the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or tissue lining the pelvis. These cells can cause intense pain when they shed and fall away.


Adenomyosis – a rare condition in where the tissue that normally lines the womb starts to grow within the muscular womb wall and can be painful because it causes inflammation and pressure, making your periods particularly painful


Fibroids In The Uterus: noncancerous tumors that can put pressure on the uterus and can make your periods heavy and painful.


Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries often caused by sexually transmitted bacteria that causes inflammation of the reproductive organs and pain





Home Remedies


You may be craving fat, sugary or salty foods, but these foods are not your friends. Anti-inflammatory foods such as cherries, blueberries, pumpkins, tomatoes and sweet peppers are good choices. Cold water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also a healthy choice. Eat more calcium-rich beans, almonds and dark green leafy vegetables. These foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Some women report that eating this way can help alleviate menstrual pain and promote health. It's best to eat a healthy, balanced diet all year round, instead of just a few days a month.



Vitamin D

A large dose of vitamin D was found to significantly relieve menstrual pain and cramps.

Vitamin D can reduce the production of prostaglandins, which can cause periodic paralysis. However, due to limited research, it is best to limit the dose of vitamin D supplements. But you can increase your vitamin D intake through diets such as fish, cheese, egg yolks, orange juice and cereals.





The researchers believe that fennel can inhibit prostaglandin-stimulated uterine contractions.

In one study, approximately 80% of young women took capsules containing 30 mg of fennel extract four times a day for 3 days before the start of menstruation, with less pain than women taking placebo. The researchers believe that fennel can inhibit prostaglandin-stimulated uterine contractions. For about 10% of women, fennel extract may be a good choice. They are unable to move normally for 1 to 3 days due to severe menstrual cramps during the menstrual period.



Treatment of curcumin

Curcumin, a component of the root tumor, may help relieve symptoms of PMS. Compared with women taking placebo, PMS symptoms were alleviated in women taking 2 capsules of curcumin daily 7 days before menstruation and 3 days after menstruation. Scientists believe that beneficial compounds in curcumin can fight inflammation and alter neurotransmitter levels, all of which can lead to a reduction in PMS symptoms. Women who received curcumin reported improvement in behavior, mood and physical symptoms due to premenstrual syndrome. Curcumin is also beneficial for people with arthritis, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases and other diseases.




Foot Massage

Your foot has a pressure point that can help you in getting immediate relief from period cramps. This point is usually located about three finger widths above your ankle bone. Gently massaging this point with your thumb and fingers can help relieve period cramps and their symptoms like bloating, insomnia, and dizziness. This massage is known as reflexology or zone therapy.




Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves sticking the skin with small needles to stimulate the body at certain points. Researchers from the Oriental Hospital at Kyung Hee University Medical Center in South Korea found that acupuncture might have positive effects on menstrual cramps. The study was based on 10 trials with 944 participants. "There was an improvement in pain relief from acupressure compared with a placebo control," according to the study.




Moxibustion is a kind of treatment that uses wormwood to stimulates the body's acupuncture points or specific parts, and do good to the physiological and biochemical functions of the human disorder through the activity of the Qi (an energy in our body). Moxibustion is similar to acupuncture and acupressure,and all of them  helps to relieve periodic pain by stimulating acupuncture points.


If you don't like the smell of moxibustion, or feel that moxibustion is not convenient, you can try iJoou,which is the world's first smart gear and app that brings the ancient healing power of Moxibustion to the modern world.



by Selina Luo



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