For girls and women, the menstrual cycle is the natural process that happens every month as the body prepares itself for a possible pregnancy. During this time when the lining of the womb is being shed, it’s perfectly normal to experience some cramping pain in the lower abdomen which may spread to the lower back and thighs.
Applying a little bit of heat to the abdomen may help to relax cramped muscles.
Regular exercise releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins, which can help to ease menstrual pain.
For menstrual cramp relief, try massaging the painful area of your abdomen with gentle, circular motions.
WHAT CAUSES MENSTRUAL PAIN?
What is the menstrual cycle?
The menstrual cycle is the natural process that happens once every month as the body prepares itself for pregnancy. At the start of each cycle, the uterus begins to develop a soft lining of blood-rich tissue in preparation for an egg that will be released from the ovaries (this is called ovulation).
If fertilised, the egg would develop into a baby. If fertilisation does not occur, then the blood-rich lining of the womb is shed as it’s no longer needed. This is called a period, or menstruation.
Why menstrual pain happens
During menstruation, it’s normal to experience some cramping pain in the lower abdomen, the lower back and the top of your legs. This is often referred to as period pain.
The pain occurs as a result of the womb contracting (or squeezing) to remove the lining that it no longer needs. Chemicals called prostaglandins are known to be involved in period pain and are involved in helping the womb contract.
For some women and girls menstrual pain is mild, but in others the pain can be more severe. No one really knows why, but it could be that certain women have a build-up of prostaglandins or are more sensitive to period pain than others.
As a rule, menstrual pain is nothing to worry about – all you have to do is learn how to manage it, perhaps with a pain reliever such as Panadol®, or other tried and tested methods include gentle exercise or applying heat