Menstruation is a condition or a cycle that is only experienced by women wherein monthly bleeding happens. This bleeding is the menstrual blood that flows from the uterus through the cervix in its small opening. This blood then flows and excreted by the vagina. The normal period of menstruation lasts from 3 to 5 days of every month.
Women undergo through this cycle as a way to prepare the body for the possibility of becoming pregnant. The ovary functions to release egg each month during ovulation, at this point, there are also hormonal changes taking place in a woman’s reproductive organs particularly in the uterus. During ovulation, when the egg released was not fertilized, the uterus and its lining shed blood through the vagina.
Not all women experience the same menstrual cycle, the condition varies. Sometimes, a woman can experience normal or regular monthly cycles while others do not experience it on a monthly basis or the cycle is irregular. Some will experience shortened period while some have to deal with period longer than 5 days.
There are several symptoms that a woman may experience before and during menstruation. Some of the symptoms are mild while some will experience pain and some difficulty. There are also other conditions that might become present during menstruation that needs to be treated. The symptoms are as follow:
Prior to the actual menstruation (pre-menstrual symptoms) some women may experience the following:
• Bloating of the abdominal area
• Abdominal pain or menstrual cramps
• Appearance of acne and breakouts
• Tender breast
• Desire or craving of certain food
• Restlessness and fatigue
• Constipation and/or diarrhea
• Mood swing and irritability
• Sleep disorder
• Becoming emotional
During menstruation, there are possibilities of other conditions to take place particularly when hormonal changes occur and excessive blood flow. These conditions are:
• Anemia or IDA (Iron deficiency anemia)
• Thyroid disease
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Chronic fatigue
• Conditions in the connective tissue
It is important that you take note of the common symptoms you are experiencing during menstruation so you would know how to prepare and treat them better. If symptoms and other conditions aggravates, it is important that you seek the help of your healthcare provider. You may also refer to the home remedies below to help you ease the symptoms and body conditions that you experience during your menstrual period.
Home Remedies to Make You More Comfortable During Menstruation
Over the counter pain medication can give unwanted side effects that you may need to deal with aside from the other symptoms of menstruation. Try first these home remedies as most of them are already available in your kitchen. These remedies are proven to help you deal with your monthly period and make your days more comfortable.
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are excellent source of vitamin C and other nutrients needed by the body. This is also very good in enhancing your body’s capacity to absorb iron. Drink juice from fresh citrus fruits or eat these fruits during menstruation because iron is depleted easily during this menstruation.
2. Hot compress
Applying hot compress like a bottle filled with hot water on your abdominal area will improve the symptoms of menstrual cramps. The heat helps in relieving the pains and relaxes your abdominal muscles.
3. Dried Apricots
Eating dried apricots during menstruation helps in providing the body with iron. This is very important because heavy bleeding during menstruation depletes the iron supply in the body that leads to Iron Deficiency Anemia. Aside from dried apricots you can also add in your diet other foods that are high in iron like legumes, shellfish, liver, cereals, and fortified breads.
4. Water therapy
Avoid dehydration especially during menstruation by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration promotes the production of the vasopressin hormone that contributes to the pains and cramps. Always bring a bottle of clean water with you wherever you go.
5. Red meat
It is good to eat red meat during menstruation because this type of meat is rich in iron and zinc. These two important nutrients can be depleted during your menstrual cycle. Lack of zinc in the body can make the bones weaken and can also lead to amenorrhea. Aside from red meat you can also source zinc and iron from poultry foods, green leafy vegetables, and fish.
The pains associated with menstruation such as headache and menstrual cramps can be treated naturally using this herbal spice. Basil contains caffeic acid which has an analgesic or pain relieving effect. Add this spice to your favorite dish to give it a hint of Italian taste or drink a tea with some basil on it. Aside from basil, thyme also has the same effect and contains ceffeic acid too.
Another natural remedy to treat menstrual cramp is by consuming fennel seeds because it promotes better blood circulation in the ovaries. Simply put 1 teaspoon of powdered fennel seeds and add it to a cup of boiling water. Steep it for about 5 minutes until the seeds are dissolved. Strain the extra seeds and drink the tea while it’s still hot.
This famous spice is also excellent in reducing the symptoms of menstrual cramps due to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic compounds. During heavy period drink cinnamon tea to relax your abdominal area. You can also sprinkle some cinnamon on your dish.
Ginger is known to have multiple health benefits and one of them is to treat the pains during your monthly period particularly abdominal cramps. This is also useful in treating irregular menstruation. Drinking ginger infused tea or eating food with ginger contents provides you with the health benefits you need during your period.
10. Exercise and other relaxing physical activities
It is said that a rigorous exercise can do more harm than good when you have hormonal imbalance and same goes when you have menstruation where hormonal changes are taking place. Mild and relaxing exercise is much better than the more physical ones. These mild exercises include walking, swimming, and yoga.
Clinical studies reveal that consuming chasteberry before and during menstruation greatly reduces the symptoms associated with this condition such as tenderness and pain in the breast, constipation, edema, mood swings, head ache, and others. You may drink chasteberry in tea form or take chasteberry supplements.
12. Ginkgo biloba
This herb is known for its memory enhancing effects especially for aging people. It also has numerous health benefits including treatment for premenstrual symptoms such as replenishment of body fluids and relieving of breast pains and tenderness.
13. Vitamin B6, Calcium, and Magnesium
These are important vitamins and minerals in the body that could help in dealing the negative effects of menstruation. Eating foods that are rich in these nutrients provides positive effect particularly in pain, mood swings, and other general symptoms.
Note: It is said that chocolate craving is brought by lack of magnesium in the body. Eating magnesium rich food helps you avoid craving for chocolates especially during menstruation.
Burdock contains a small amount of plant steroids that aids the ability of the liver to metabolize hormones like estrogen. This ability helps in improving the negative effects brought by hormonal changes during menstruation. Aside from this benefit, burdock also has anti-inflammatory effect that can help you deal with menstrual cramps and pains.
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