For some, menstruation can be extremely uncomfortable, while for some others it may not be a discomforting experience. “Period pain is often mild but can be severe in some cases. Not everyone experiences it in the same way,” said Dr Namita Jain, Consultant- Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram.
Anshula Kapoor seconded that as she recently shared her struggle with menstrual pain on Instagram. “There’s no way to sugar coat this — periods are uncomfortable and for me, most months they are excruciatingly painful,” she captioned the post.
She added that every month, “I end up burning the skin on my back and belly because I need to use hot water bags for hours on end in search of some kind of non-medicated pain relief.”
Speaking with Indianexpress.com, Dr Jain said that such pain is common in teenagers and is not associated with any underlying problem. She explained that menstrual blood and tissue flow from the uterus through a small opening in the cervix and pass out of the body through the vagina.
“Excessive prostaglandins (lipids made at sites of tissue damage or infection that are involved in dealing with injury and illness) can cause severe menstrual cramps and inflammation. This triggers uterine muscle contractions,” she added.
However, “secondary dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps) is less common and usually happens due to several underlying pathologies like endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, polyps (outgrowths of the uterine lining),” she informed, adding that “backflow of periods blood leads to conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis which can lead to excruciating pain during periods.”
Agreed nutritionist Dr Rachna Agarwal and said, “Pain in periods is usually due to bloating and constipation along with periods cramp.”
She informed that natural foods like “roasted ajwain with black salt, soaked methi dana water, kesar in milk, soaked munnaka with warm milk,” are some non-medicated remedies for reducing period pain.
“These foods stimulate the passing of stool and help relieve abdominal gas which further helps the natural flow of periods,” she added.
Concurring, Dr Jain also said that home remedies are good options for pain relief.
“Heating pad over the abdomen, acupuncture, massage in the abdomen, avoiding caffeine, ample amount of sleep, avoiding junk foods, and sticking to a healthy routine without stress will work best for the body and in favour your menstrual cycle,” she added.
However, she also said that one must consult a doctor as soon if the pain becomes unbearable. “If there are any more issues like nausea, migraines, or repetitive digestive issues, mention that as well for the doctor to understand the condition properly,” she suggested.