Using a hot water bottle can acutely help to reduce menstrual cramp pain. Placing a hot water over the painful area for as long as necessary may ease symptoms as it can increase blood flow and help to relax the uterine muscles.
Adding one or two more pieces of fruit and vegetables into your diet may help to mitigate the effects of increased inflammation in your body during phase 4 (the days leading up to your bleed) and phase 1 (during your bleed/period).
In addition, sources of Omega 3 fatty acids such as oily fish can also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Check the FitrWoman app for recipes and inspiration for how to increase these nutrients in your diet.
Light to moderate aerobic exercise, yoga and Pilates can also have an anti-inflammatory effect and help reduce severity of cramps or even get rid of them altogether.
Acupuncture, a therapy that involved stimulating the body using needles, has been widely used to treat primary dysmenorrhea - including the treatment of menstrual cramps. It is believed to stimulate your body to produce endorphins which may relieve the pain caused by menstrual cramps.
However, current reviews provide inconclusive evidence about its efficacy. It does appear to have a positive effect for some people, but this may purely be due to the placebo effect. It may be dependent on the individual whether it helps or not.
A ‘normal’ menstrual cycle should not cause crippling pain or stop you from carrying on with your daily activities. If your cramps get to this point, professional medical advice should be sought.
Lifestyle Management round up:
· Heat application/ hot water bottle
· Reduce inflammation
· Increase intake of fruit and vegetables
· Light to moderate aerobic exercise
· Omega 3 fatty acids
By tracking your symptoms and cycle with the FitrWoman App you maybe able to spot a trend when it comes to cramps occurring in certain phases of your cycle. You can then proactively attempt to manage these whether that be through your diet, lifestyle changes or the type of exercise you undertake.
Tracking may also mean that you notice certain patterns emerging that could indicate a menstrual irregularity. This can be very useful when consulting with a medical professional; bringing your doctor a record of your symptoms and cycle could help them make a correct diagnosis more quickly.
FitrWoman contains many different nutritional and behavioural strategies in the app which can be used to help reduce different symptoms.
These recommendations are all evidence based and a full list of references can also be found in the app and on the FitrWoman website.