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Cramps. Why!?

Menstrual cramps can be dibilitating

From the time girls have their first period, many of them experience some level of cramps associated with their cycle. Some are fortunate enough to have minimal discomfort while others may be doubled over in pain for days.

What causes these cramps in the first place? Cramps are caused when the endometrium, the inside lining of the uterus, releases chemicals called prostaglandins. That is a signal to the body that an event is happening and causes the uterus muscles to cramp.

While all cramps are created equally, not everyone will experience them the same way. Some women may produce more prostaglandins than others giving them more cramps. In addition, women's bodies are different and each will respond differently from one person to the next.

How women take care of their bodies can also effect how cramps will affect them. Proper nutrition and water are always helpful to help get adequate blood supply to the uterus. This can help diminish the extent to which the prostaglandins are circulating in the system. Exercise produces endorphins which will also help flush out the prostaglandins - thus allowing the women that move, more relief from cramps. 

Of course, there are some sure-fire ways to alleviate pain from cramps. Pain killers such as ibuprofen will help to ease discomfort. A hot pack or warm blanket on the abdomen can also help anyone feel better.

If your cramps are unbearable month after month, consult with your Nile doctor or midwife. They may prescribe birth control pills to control the cycle. A woman can use them to increase the time in between cycles and after prolonged use it may help to decrease the amount of released prostaglandins. 

If a woman's cramps don't improve with over-the-counter medication, this can be a sign of a larger issue. They should also seek assistance from a provider if she is having cramps but not having a cycle or experiencing fainting spells while cramping. The doctors and midwives of Nile Women’s Health Care are each uniquely experienced to handle cramping or menstruation abnormalities. Give us a call!

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