If you have severe period cramps, you know how disruptive it can be. It’s really difficult to carry on with your normal, daily activities when you’re in terrible pain! Especially bad cramps may not respond to over-the-counter medications, leaving you wondering what to do.
Dr. Parisa Pourzand has helped many patients deal with severe cramps. She can evaluate the underlying cause of your severe cramps, and rule out conditions like fibroids or endometriosis. In this post, we describe some of the immediate things you can try to ease your cramps.
1. Make an appointment to see Dr. Pourzand
Severe cramps, called dysmenorrhea, can be caused by several different conditions, and can simply be part of your menstrual cycle. During your period, your uterus sheds its inner lining, the endometrium, and part of that process involves your uterus contracting, which is the source of your cramps.
If you have endometriosis, part of the lining of your uterus grows in areas it shouldn’t be, which can cause extreme cramps. Fibroids, which are very common and usually don’t cause problems, can also cause severe cramps. It’s important to rule out any kind of underlying medical condition, and the best way to do that is to see Dr. Pourzand.
2. Evaluate your lifestyle
Eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as blueberries, greens, and many others, may help. Even if you crave fatty, salty foods, you should try to avoid them. Cleaning up your diet could be a good first step toward lessening the severity of your cramps.
Some women find that certain supplements are helpful as well. You may want to discuss your diet and nutritional needs with Dr. Pourzand. If you have any deficiencies, supplements may be especially helpful.
There’s evidence that women who exercise regularly don’t experience severe cramps as often as women who are more sedentary. There are many other benefits to a regular exercise routine as well, such as lower stress levels and better heart health.
3. Try some home remedies
There are plenty of tried-and-true remedies for severe period cramps. You may find a heating pad helpful, or a hot bath. Chamomile tea and extra rest can help as well. Some women find that having an orgasm, either alone or with your partner, can bring relief from cramps.
4. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
As long as it’s safe for you, over-the-counter pain relievers may be the best way to deal with your cramps. Taking a pain reliever at the first sign of pain and taking it as directed throughout the first day or two of your period may be the best approach to keep the pain from getting out of control.
5. Discuss hormonal birth control with Dr. Pourzand
Women who take oral birth control tend to have less severe cramps. This is not an option for everyone, but it’s certainly worth considering if your cramps are severe enough to disrupt your life.
Although cramps are quite normal, you don’t have to live through days of debilitating pain every month. Book an appointment with Dr. Pourzand and start finding ways to live with less pain. You can schedule at either our Glendale office or our Los Angeles office online, or you can call and we’ll be happy to make your appointment at the facility of your choice.