How to get relief from menstrual cramps?

Certain over-the-counter products and home remedies, like using a heating pad, may help relieve pain associated with period cramps. Avoiding certain foods may also help.

It’s common to feel discomfort around your abdomen, lower back, and thighs when you’re menstruating. During your period, the muscles of your womb contract and relax to help shed built-up lining. It may include nausea, vomiting, headache and diarrhea.

Some tips to reduce pain are:-

1. Taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

2. Applying heat

3. Massaging with essential oils

4. Having an orgasm

5. Avoiding certain foods such as alcohol, beverage, fatty foods, caffeine and salty foods.

6. Adding herbs to your diet

Maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up a regular exercise regimen can go a long way toward preventing menstrual pain. A 2016 study Trusted Source of 250 women found significant differences between period pain in women who maintained a nutritious diet, exercised regularly, and reduced stress. Generally, a diet geared toward decreasing menstrual pain should be high in minimally processed foods, fiber, and plants.

Boron is a mineral that helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. It also reduces menstrual cramps.

A 2015 study that looked at 113 university students found that boron reduced the intensity and length of menstrual pain. The foods include are avocado, peanut butter, bananas etc.

It sounds odd, but drinking water keeps your body from retaining water and helps to avoid painful bloating during menstruation. Warm or hot water is usually better for cramps, as hot liquids increase blood flow to your skin and may relax cramped muscles.

The idea of exercising immediately before or during your period may not appeal to you, but exercise releases endorphins.

Research suggests exercise is effective at reducing menstrual pain to the extent it may also eliminate or reduce the need for pain-relief medication. Moderate activity such as walking can be beneficial during your period in place of more strenuous activity. Yoga is a gentle exercise that releases endorphins and can help prevent or reduce menstrual symptoms. Some poses are :-

Cat-Cow pose
Child’s pose
Plank pose
Cobra pose

Remember taking care of your body as well as your mind during that time of the month is the utmost priority for all women out there as well as the responsibility of their men too to look after them and just ask what they need.

Comment down your views and tips that you want to share below.


Common Menstruation Myths in India

What is Menstruation?

Menstruation is a natural phenomenon particular to women. It is a part of the women’s reproductive cycle and this cycle occurs at the onset of puberty. During menstruation, blood and tissues of the uterus is discharged from the vagina that lasts for 3 to 6 days.

Despite being a natural process, menstruation is highly stigmatized. Merely pronouncing the word ‘Menstruation’ which is commonly known as periods is considered as a taboo. This natural, biological process is trapped in myths which directly or indirectly create obstacles in the socio – cultural life of women. A menstruating woman is treated like an impure and unwanted being. The taboos regarding menstruation has been circulated from one generation to another since a very long time and unfortunately even now, people still have misconceptions regarding this natural process.

Common myths regarding Menstruation

1. MYTH – A menstruating woman cannot enter a place of worship.

FACT – Menstruation is purely biological and has nothing to do with religion.

2. MYTH – Menstrual blood is impure.

FACT – Menstrual blood is not impure. It is the blood that sheds from the lining of the uterus when the egg is not fertilized during the menstrual cycle.

3. MYTH – A menstruating woman is not allowed to enter into the kitchen and are also not allowed to touch pickles.

FACT – In the earlier days, women during their periods used cloth which was extremely unhygienic that led to many dieseases and infections. In that case, it was not preferred for a bleeding woman to enter into the kitchen and touch pickles or any other things in the kitchen. But now when women are using sanitary pads during their periods which is safe, it doesn’t lead to dieseases and infections and this is why there is no need to impose such restrictions.

4. MYTH – A menstruating woman should not come into contact with any family members because she is considered to be in an impure state.

FACT – Because menstruation is a biological phenomenon, there is no way that a woman can be considered to be impure. There is no harm if she come into contact with her family members when she is on her periods.

5. MYTH – Women on their periods should not go near plants as it will kill the plants.

FACT – Plants survive on sunlight, water, manure and good care and their lifespan is not effected if someone goes near them.

6. MYTH – A menstruating woman should refrain from engaging in physical activities like exercise.

FACT – Engaging in physical activities does not harm a menstruating woman rather it helps them to get rid of menstrual cramps.

7. MYTH – There is nothing like PMS.(Pre Menstrual Syndrome)

FACT – PMS is a real thing. A woman on her periods often goes through mixed emotional feelings, anxiety, gets disturbed at little issues etc. Women should consult a doctor if they face these conditions severely during their periods.

8. MYTH – A woman on her periods should not take bath or wash her hair

FACT – It is completely safe for women to take bath during periods. In fact, it is essential for a woman to keep herself clean and maintain hygiene when she is in her periods.

9. MYTH – A woman on her periods should not indulge in sexual activities.

FACT – There is no health problem associated with indulging in sexual activities when a woman is on her periods.

10. MYTH – Do not talk about periods publicly.

FACT – Young girls should be educated about their bodily changes and menstruation right before the time they attain puberty. Also, there is nothing to be embarrassed to talk about periods openly rather it is important to create awareness among people regarding this natural process to swipe away taboos.

Myths relating to menstruation effect a woman’s mental, social and emotional state. Adolescent girls should be made aware of menstrual health and they should be educated enough to distinguish between myths and facts. Awareness should be created among people regarding menstruation so that people stop believing in myths that will help in improving the reproductive health of women.

Why Shame Periods?

At present times, people still do not prefer to talk about periods openly in public. It is still considered something that women should be shy of. But why? Why do people see menstruation as taboo? It is a natural and must-needed phenomenon of a woman’s life. A woman is also a part of growing the generation and bringing life into existence. And periods are extremely important for this process to take place. We all love our mother and sister. Everyone wishes to have a girlfriend. Everyone wants to get marry, have a wife, have children with her. Then why is it so in our society that a woman has to be ashamed of something which is natural and god gifted? Instead, why do women not accept the fact publicly and talk about it openly?

Why is it so important?

We are now in the 21st century. And if still, this is the scenario then there is no point in technological advancements if people are not broad-minded. Menstruation is a serious matter and it is important that everyone is aware of it. For this, one should know the significance of periods in a woman’s life. 

As a woman, monthly periods are the way of removing unwanted tissues from the body which are no longer needed. Body release eggs regularly that are responsible for the pregnancy. But if a woman does not get fertilized within some span, then the eggs get perished. If these are not removed from the body on time then, it will affect the health of a woman adversely.

Some orthodoxy ritual to be followed

As a woman, especially being an Indian woman, she has to follow a lot of rules and regulations while on menstruation. But why is it needed? Is it a necessity in present times? No, it is not. Women during menstruation are isolated and asked to stay different from everyone. They have to choose a corner in a room and spend few days in that corner itself. They are not allowed to touch things or go near things that are used by other members in the room. It is prohibited for a girl to enter a room where gods are worshipped. Women are not allowed to visit sacred places these days. All these things do not sound good right. But every single thing has a reason for its existence.

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In older times, there were no proper hygiene practices available for periods. There were no sanitary napkins or tampons or anything like that available to maintain hygiene. The women would make the surroundings dirty during these days. And as a result, she was kept in isolation. Because there were no proper hygiene practices, she was not allowed to enter sacred rooms or temples. She would lose a lot of blood and hence, she was asked to take a rest instead of working with other family members. But nowadays all these things are not needed to follow. There are proper hygiene practices available. Plus, why should a woman stay away from someone (God) while he himself is the creator of all this. 

Summing up

To sum up everything, I believe periods should not be treated as taboo. Instead, it is something that no one should be uncomfortable or ashamed of talking about. It is a natural process that is highly important for a girl’s health. And also, it is one of the important assets for bringing the next generation into this world.

From Period Poverty to Period Dignity

A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.

Sadly, in a country where 70% of reproductive diseases are caused by pitiable menstrual hygiene conditions, we’re still missing out on addressing the ‘period poverty’. Period poverty refers to the lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. Lack of access to clean water, lack of toilets with doors, and difficulties disposing of used products are just some of the challenges that women face when trying to manage their periods in a private, safe and dignified manner. The inadequate access to menstrual products and education around hygiene had been a serious barrier in working towards menstrual equity. Period stigma is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality, cultural shame, internalized taboo and dogmatic religious practices that have made initiating a discourse on menstruation a catch-22. The most direct cause-cum-consequence of it is menstruation blood being strictly distinguished from other bodily fluids and being culturally portrayed as dirty, unclean and impure.

Another example of consequence of period stigma can be seen in the famous Ambubachi Mela which celebrates the menstrual time of Goddess Kamakhya where rice holds a huge significance denoted by dhan. However, it’s accompanied by the absurd myth is that when a menstruating woman touches the rice container in her household, then she and her family faces the wrath of Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that the influx of dhan or wealth gets negatively affected in that particular household. Us, women, live a life of irony don’t we? While Ambubachi signifies fertility and celebrates the child bearing capabilities of women, the ground reality of menstruating women portray a different tale altogether.

It’s unfortunate that even though we’re living in today’s 21st century and everyone knows about it, no one is allowed to talk about it publicly. Films are being made on this, numerous campaigns are going on but the fact is that people still hesitate to utter this word in front of others looms large.

To add further to this paradoxical situation, sanitation facilities are unaffordable by most. Approximately 70 million people in India live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 dollars per day. Hence for low-income households, the cost of sanitary pads is often unattainable. An average of more than 40% of students in India resort to missing school while menstruating as a consequence of social stigma, isolation, embarrassment and inaccessibility of products. The instances of avoiding school are also ramification for the lack of proper sanitation facilities across the country.
Government has intervened to tackle this issue several times, but to no avail. In fact, in 2017, the Indian government had labelled menstrual products as luxury goods, but fortunately enough, in July of 2018, the Indian government removed the tax, to make the sanitary products more accessible to everyone. Other than this there’s the Janaushadhi Suvidha scheme which aims to provide women with oxo-biodegradable sanitary napkins at a meagre cost of Rs. 2.50/pad across 3,600 Janaushadhi Kendras in the country.

The pandemic has made the situation even more challenging than it already was. It’s well known that the coronavirus outbreak is having a devastating impact on family finances all over the world, but now we see that girls and women are also facing widespread shortages and price hikes on period products, with the result that many are being forced to make do with whatever they can find to manage their period. This can pose a real threat to their health and may increase the risk of infection. Thus, is about time we realise that menstruation is just a biological process and the secrecy surrounding it must go. It is important to normalise and de-stigmatise menstruation, and destroy taboos around this natural process.

Period. End of Sentence.