Thursday, August 30, 2018

Frequently asked questions about menstruation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Menstruation.

*FAQ 1*

*Why do I feel so much Pain while  menstruating?*

This pain that is felt during menstruation is also known as *cramps* and it mostly occurs at the lower part of  the belly, the pain sometimes radiates to the back and part of  the thighs.

This pain can occur before or during menstruation and the intensity differs in people.

Pain felt during menstruation is medically known as *Dysmenorrhea*

👉 As I have explained in my previous post, approximately once every 28 days, if there is no sperm to fertilize the egg, the uterus contracts to expel its lining.

Hormone-like substances called prostaglandins trigger this process.

Prostaglandins are chemicals that form in the lining of the uterus during menstruation.

They cause muscle contractions and cramps that are similar to labor pains.

They can also contribute to other symptoms felt such as nausea, headache, irritability, diarrhea, some people even have fainting spells and their activities are grossly distorted.

Some other conditions aggravate this pain...
They include:

-Endometriosis (a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside it).

- Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (this is an infection of the reproductive tract).

- Fibroid (these are masses that grow within or outside the uterus).

- Others Cysts that could be present in the reproductive tract.

If the Menstrual pain is caused by an underlying medical condition it is referred to as a *Secondary Dysmenorrhea* if not it is called a *Primary Dysmenorrhea*

*The Treatment of Dysmenorrhea*_(I bet you now know that I mean painful menstruation 😊)_

For secondary dysmenorrhea, the  remedy is to get rid of the underlying cause.
 Although all dysmenorrheas can be reduced temporarily by taking pain killers.

Others things that could  be done to relieve the pain in primary dysmenorrhea include:

~ Exercise (usually before the period starts)
~ Apply a heat pad to the lower abdomen
~ Massage the lower abdomen and  probably the back too
~ A good diet also helps too (increase your fruit and vegetable intake).

To prevent primary dysmenorrhea these are important;

- Reduction of Stress (stress has been seen to contribute to dysmenorrhea, including emotional stress)

- Avoid smoking and alcohol intake (research also has it that it contributes to dysmenorrhea)

- Reduce excess weight

- Eat a nutritious diet to maintain the body all together.

*FAQ 2*

*Does intake of sugar or sugary products before or during menstruation increase Menstrual pain?*

Well... To an extent excess intake of sugar may have an effect on menstrual although I must tell you that they are not the cause, I've explained what causes the cramps above.
During menstruation the body sugar level is quite raised because these prostaglandins are sugar based and taking in processed sugar is like increasing the effect that they produce which is cramps.
Apart from this sugar
There are other foods that could have effects on cramps apart from sugar they include:

- Salty foods (they increase water retention and may increase the bloaty feeling)

- Coffee/caffeine (caffeine constricts blood vessels thus increasing cramps)

- Fatty foods/meats (these are usually high in saturated fats, which contains arachidonic acid that produces prostaglandins which can cause uterine contractions, cramping and bloating).

- Processed foods/junks (they also contain bad fats that contribute to cramps).

_So you see that it's not only about sugar, it's also about maintaining a good diet in total_

I will still address more questions in subsequent posts.

I hope you have learnt something different today.

Stay tuned for more.

Feel free to make your comments and share the post, I really do appreciate them.

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Take charge of your health and consciously stay healthy.

 Olawunmi (RN)

WellnessLoaded is a blog about Health, Wellness and Safety founded by Registered Nurse. Our mission is to make you stay healthy always!