Period pain is also known as dysmenorrhoea.
Is period pain normal?
No! While it is extremely common, it is never normal.
Should I be concerned about period pain?
If it is affecting your ability to work or do your normal activities, or if you are experiencing vomiting due to the pain then this is a cause for concern and further investigations. If you are having abdominal pain outside of the time when you have your period this should be investigated.
Endometriosis is where you have extra growth of the endometrial tissue in other parts of the body besides your uterus. It can grow in the fallopian tubes, pelvic cavity, lungs and even the brain. Pain during sex (dyspareunia) can in some cases be caused by endometriosis.
Fibroids is the growth of the uterus tissue either on the outside of the uterus or further to the inside of the uterus. Fibroids can also cause dyspareunia.
High levels of prostaglandin 2 can cause period pain due to the inflammation created.
Magnesium deficiency can cause period pain due to magnesium's roles in hormonal balance and smooth muscle relaxation.
Some ways to acutely relieve period pain:
- Magnesium (citrate or diglycinate/bisglycinate)
- Vitamin B6
- Ginger internally as a tea, tablet or tincture, or topically as a compress or poultice (also alleviates nausea)
- Hot water bottle or heat pack/wheat bag, or hot bath (add epsom salts for magnesium)
- Turmeric (contraindicated if you take blood thinners)
- Cramp bark
- Devil's claw, Cat's claw or Boswellia
Simmer 2tbsp fresh ginger root in 500ml on the stove for 15 minutes. Soak a cloth in the ginger and wring it out. Rub any oil into the tummy then lay the compress over the tummy and add a hot water bottle or heat pack over the top.
Ongoing Preventative Management and Rebalancing Hormones Long Term:
- Antiinflammatory diet (increase avocado, dark leafy green vegies and herbs, fish, ginger, garlic, pineapple. Reduce alcohol, sugar, refined grains)
- Avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals (parabens in cosmetics, plastics in food storage/packaging, pesticides)
- Vitex agnus-castus (aka Chaste Tree) is a hypothalamic pituitary ovarian axis regulator, which restores hormonal balance
- Dong quai is antiinflammatory and reduces muscle spasms
- Fish oils
- Vitamin B1
- Manage stress
- Eat organic
- Live a low-tox lifestyle and boost your liver function with cruciferous vegetables and liver detoxification herbs like St. Mary's Thistle
- Peony and cinnamon are helpful in cases involving PCOS.
Please get in touch with me if you have questions on this topic or need help healing your period pain for good.