If you dread “that time of month” because you know you’re going to be dealing with the cramps that accompany your period, I’d like to pass on a fewtips that have worked for me, my friends and family!
Why do we get menstrual cramps?
Each month, the female body prepares itself for possible pregnancy in a number of ways, including building up the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) to provide a place to accept a fertilized egg. If no egg is fertilized, the body has no use for the extra lining, and has to rid itself of the extra tissue. As the woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels start to dip, the lining becomes inflamed, detaches and is eliminated as the menstrual flow – or period.
In order to rid the body of the excess tissue and mucus, prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract, and when the tissue, or clots, pass through the cervix, they can cause a cramping sensation.
It is also important to note that some women also experience period pain as a result of emotional stress, fibroids, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Please never pass on an opportunity to see your doctor if you cannot get relief from your period pain, or if your body is just telling you that you need to.
Where do women feel period pain?
No, this is not a stupid question by any means! I went through most of my adult life thinking that lower back pain was just lower back pain, and it just happened to by in rhythm with my menstrual cycle. Nobody ever told me that you could experience period pain in your lower back! I thought that it was always an abdominal pain, so I never connected the two.
Please know that period pain can manifest either in your abdomen, or as lower back pain.
How do we get through the discomfort?
Personally, I’ve always found that chamomile tea helps lessen the discomfort of period pain, and I know of others who have had the same experience. I have friends who find that yoga or relaxation therapy helps to ease the pain.
Often, a warm compress placed over the abdomen can help. A favorite of my daughter’s is a rice bag. I felted an old wool sweater a, and cut one of the sleeves off. I sewed one end closed and put uncooked rice and a few drops of Lavender oil in the sleeve before sewing the other end closed. When she needs to use it, I put the whole thing in the microwave for a minute and it makes a great warmer, that’s just the right size for her tummy!
And, of course, you can use essential oils.
Oils to apply topically
Apply any of the following oils or blends to the abdomen. You may get relief more quickly by applying a warm compress on top of the oil, or hug a hot water bottle.
- Clary Sage
- Soothing blend b
- Tension blend c
- Womens’ monthly blend d
It does get better!
Although your period might seem like, and is commonly referred to as the curse, know that your menstrual cramps will ease with time. In the meantime, slather on a bit of oil, put your feet up, and drink a cup or two of chamomile tea!
- I washed it on the hot cycle in the washing machine and dried it in a really hot dryer (back)
- Blue Chamomile, Blue Tansy, Camphor, Helichrysum, Osmanthus, Peppermint, Wintergreen (back)
- Basil, Cilantro, Frankincense, Lavender, Marjoram, Peppermint, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Wintergreen (back)
- Clary Sage, Lavender, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Fennel, Carrot Seed, Palmarosa and Vitex (back)