Periods didn’t embitter my soul in the primeval years of puberty; in fact, I barely surveyed the wine-red stains on my panties, but little did I know that it would grow up to become a tyrant in my life!
An incremental layer tightening my bikini bottoms was queasy at first, and there were times when I sneaked out of my study to peel off the sanitary pad without being caught. Back then, my happiest days were spent with my grandmother, piling my platter with traditional rich delicacies. Her most treasured gift to me was the menstrupedia comic, which taught me a lot about the age of adolescence.
Threshold of dysmenorrhea
With the end of pain-free periods began the season of the real torment; it all commenced with body pain and stomach ache. Period cramps or dysmenorrhea is a result of excessive muscular contraction in the uterus during menstruation, choking the nearby blood vessels of oxygen and causing cramps.
According to the mayo clinic, while the uterus contracts to expel its lining, soaring production of the prostaglandin hormone can drive to severe-period cramps. One might be at risk of dysmenorrhea if: you attained the stage of puberty before the age of 11, over-bleed during periods, irregular bleeding, inherited a family history of dysmenorrhea, smoking. Out of the above risk factor, I could make out the reason behind my period of agony; if you haven’t yet found yours, feel free to meet your gynecologist and disclose your worries about the same.
Periods cramping school life
Every adolescent who has struggled with dysmenorrhea prays to the Lord for her periods to arrive on weekends so that she can be productive on her academics on the school days.
During PE sessions, I’ve sat near the sun-kissed playground, watching my friends play basketball while casting a compassionate peek over my shade every 2 minutes. I would think that I had been cursed to suffer this agony during lectures and often complain to my mother of irritation. What on earth have I sinned to earn this torment?
I tried these simple home remedies to survive pain-free periods.
1. Heating pad
A heating pad relaxes the uterine muscles, increasing blood flow and curbing cramps. Don’t keep for long; 15-20 minutes would just do. Otherwise, you would end up burning your skin.
2. Dark chocolates could raise your spirits while you moan with cramps
This antidote reminds me of summer vacation when my best friend and I stayed at her aunt’s summer house and got periods on the same evening we arrived. We thought it would ruin our entire summer, but her aunt came to our rescue. She handed us two heat pads and two dark chocolate bars, telling us, “Girls, lay down on your backs, and keep this heat patch on while you munch a bite of dark chocolate, and don’t worry, they won’t cost you pimples.” Dark chocolates with a touch of sea salt are a powerful source of magnesium, and iodine can heal breast pain which often women complain about.
3. Netflix and naps
Taking naps in between could make you feel better for the rest of the day, so take a cozy nap tucked in your blanket and watch your favorite Netflix show.
4. Having an orgasm
You can either have it yourself or with your partner; according to womenshealthmag, “Sex helps with to have pain-free periods,” says gynecologist Maureen Whelihan, M.D. of Elite GYN Care of the Palm Beaches. She adds that having an orgasm increases blood flow to the uterus, which can help with cramps; furthermore, orgasms cause the release of feel-good pleasure hormones such as dopamine. For safety, she urges to use a condom; since ejaculation on the cervix will cause an increase in inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins in response and can aggravate cramping.
5. Say no to coffee, and enjoy your tea time!
Scientifically, caffeine contributes to the narrowing of your blood vessels and can aggravate cramps. Tea, particularly ginger tea, could very well relieve some abdominal tension due to its well-known anti-inflammatory properties. To warm your soul, drink a cup three times a day with a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Period pain is experienced by all women; we have all rolled through that life stage. It takes time to adjust to hormonal changes, but once you figure out what works best for your body, you’ll be fine. Women are born warriors, so the next time you have a period, put on your armor and prepare to fight back. #painfreeperiods