Go With The Flow

Period Pain: When Should You Worry?

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It’s not uncommon for women to face discomfort during their periods due to heavy flow, bloating, mood swings, tender breasts, and the dreaded period of pain. It’s never fun. Technically called dysmenorrhea (literally meaning ‘difficult monthly flow’ in Greek), these menstrual cramps are experienced by 80% of women at some stage in their lifetime – from their early teens right up to menopause. That dull ache in the gut is often the first sign that your periods are here.

In most cases, period pain causes only mild discomfort that can be easily managed on your own with a heating pad, home remedies, or over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen. But if none of these helps calm your cramps during heavy period flow and the pain gets so intense that it starts disrupting your daily life, it could be a symptom of something more serious. According to studies, 5% to 10% of women experience such severe, or even chronic period pain that they can’t even get out of bed.

Since menstrual cramps feel different to every woman and there’s no true ‘normal,’ it can be difficult for you to tell whether the pain you have gotten used to is chronic. So, here are a few common symptoms that can help you understand when you should start worrying about the cramps and talk to your OB-GYN to find the exact cause of your pain and the treatment options.

1. Your cramps get worse enough to interfere with your daily life

If you’re experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding with clots and pain that keep you from going about your normal activities, so much so that you have to skip work or school regularly, it’s concerning.

2. Your pain lasts longer than 2-3 days (even outside of your period)

Your period may last anywhere from 2-7 days, but it’s not normal for you to experience the cramps it brings the entire time. The pain may start a day before or the same day you get your periods and go on for a maximum of 2-3 days, not until the end of your period, and certainly not after it ends

3. Your cramps aren’t relieved by over-the-counter pain medication

Most commonly, over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen can be effective in helping you get rid of the monthly discomfort caused due to period pain. But if it doesn’t help you get on with your day even after taking the recommended dosage, it’s not normal.

4. Your cramps get worse and periods get heavier over 2-3 months

Prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding with clots and pain is never a good sign if it gets worse over time. It could point towards an underlying disease, so you will need to get diagnosed.

In this article, we also tell you how to reduce heavy bleeding during the period and which pad is good for heavy flow… read on to find out.

5. Your stomach pain spreads to your pelvis, back, or down your leg

It’s quite common to experience pelvic discomfort before and during the first few days of your cycle, but at any other time, it may signal a problem. Pressure on your back or down your leg is also a sign of abnormally bad period cramps. You might want to call your healthcare provider immediately.

Bottom line: If your cramps don’t feel normal at any time, it’s probably because something is wrong.

Possible Causes

While the leading cause behind the common menstrual cramps, also known as primary dysmenorrhea, is the contraction of the uterine when it sheds its lining. Worse than average period pain is an indication that you’re experiencing secondary dysmenorrhea, which is often caused by a medical condition.

Wondering what could be wrong? Here are a few possible underlying causes behind severe pain:

Uterine Fibroids: Growths in the uterus

Ovarian Cysts: Fluid-filled sacs within the ovary

Endometriosis: Lining of the womb found outside the uterus

Adenomyosis: The lining of the womb grows into the wall of the uterus

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Infection in reproductive organs

IUDs: Birth control devices inserted into the uterus

How to reduce bleeding during periods?

Have you been trying to find out “how to stop heavy bleeding during periods home remedies?” Well, here lies your answer.

If you bleed a heavy flow, you might want to consider doing a few of these tips to reduce heavy bleeding during periods:

  • You might be able to reduce your period flow by simply cutting out a few foods from your diet while you’re on your periods. You should note that the foods mentioned below are not scientifically proven to cause a heavier flow; you might have other reasons too.
    • Avoid beetroot- Yes, they are super healthy, but they might cause you trouble if consumed during your cycle.
    • Caffeine – Some people might find it relieves their menstrual cramps, but it can also trigger your oestrogen production, causing you to have heavier periods.
    • Honey – Putting honey in your smoothie bowls and drinks might not be the greatest idea during periods. Honey increases the internal heat of your body which could lead to a heavier flow.
    • Dairy products – The saturated fats present in dairy products can not only make your blood flow a lot heavier but also cause menstrual cramps. Steer clear of them!
  • Here are a few herbal remedies that have proven effective for some people but are not backed by science. Before you try these, you should take advice from a healthcare professional.
    • Ginger capsules
    • Myrtle fruit syrup
    • Pomegranate flower capsules

Which sanitary pad is best for heavy flow?

Women, who bleed heavily, always wonder, “which pad is best for heavy flow?” Some of you might even have stayed just for this bit, and we completely understand you because we know it’s difficult to find a pad that doesn’t completely fall apart in the face of a heavy flow.

A good heavy flow pad should absorb all the blood flow and still not itch or irritate your skin. An RIO Heavy Duty Pad, for example, is a pro at taking heavy flow, and it takes care of all your needs.

  • Our global quality absorbent filling converts liquid to gel form, holding in nearly 1000x its weight. This ensures you have no feelings of wetness, or backflow of blood.

  • Our pads are hour-glass shaped with not one but two wings – in the front and back of the pad to make sure it stays in place and all bunching, or annoying rolling-up-one’s-bum is avoided.

  • We also have a special feature; the side leak guards that are tiny raised boundaries along the sides of the pad, which stop any sort of trickle leakage down your thighs.

  • RIO combines this leak-proof architecture with equal concern for your skin. The top layer of our pad is woven from soft fibres that do not scratch your skin or give you rashes.

  • We do not use Sulphur, parabens or any chemical fragrance-free to avoid irritating your skin or harming your health.

Better your period with RIO!

Treatment Options

When the usual home remedies for heavy flow are no match for your periods that are accompanied by the most painful cramps, your OB-GYN might help you fight the discomfort with common treatments, like:

Hormonal birth control: They help control the oestrogen and progesterone levels in the body that affect the uterine lining thickness, thus reducing prostaglandin and bringing pain relief. It can also eliminate the cramps by causing women to skip their periods.

Prescription medication: When over-the-counter (OTC) medications fail to work, your doctor might prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are much stronger and help significantly reduce prostaglandin in your uterus while alleviating period pain.

Do not take your period pain lightly. If it persists and disrupts your daily activities, book an appointment with your doctor and find the possible underlying causes. A healthy period is a sign of a healthy body.

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