Most women know what it is to get a painful period at some time, and up to 50% have reported that such pain seriously disrupts their lives, Aromatherapy can be a natural way to help deal with period pains.
As part of a woman’s regular monthly cycle, the body prepares for a potential pregnancy by building up the lining of the uterus. If, at the end of this cycle, no pregnancy results, then this liner has to be shed (as a period), to be replaced with a new one. In order to take out the lining, the uterus goes into regeneration (cramps), like, but not as severe as those seen through labor. It is these contractions that cause the pain in a period. During a contraction, the blood vessels in the walls of the uterus are compressed, reducing temporarily the source of blood, and therefore oxygen, to the uterus. This activates the release of compounds, some of which create pain and others (called prostaglandins) which cause even stronger contractions. The level of pain experienced is based on the strength of the contractions.
Some women are fortunate and feel only mild pain or a dull ache; others encounter violent cramps that severely affect their wellbeing. Severe period pains are called dysmenorrhea. The pain of a time can be worse if we’re feeling particularly stressed or emotional, or whenever we’re also experiencing pain from other causes. Painful periods usually become less severe after a woman has given birth to her first child.
Reduce Period Pains Naturally
Many women who experience painful periods are reported to use painkillers. If, however, you would prefer to try a more natural way to relieve the pain of a period, here are a few suggestions:
- Stress can exacerbate period pains so try to minimize stress levels currently. Certain essential oils are proven to decrease stress: try taking a warm bath with four drops of one of the following essential oils (geranium, neroli, palma rosa and/or clary sage) (or you could try a mix ). You could add the oils into a heated pad (add the oil after heating) or a hot water bottle and put it in your lower abdomen or back (be careful not to burn your skin).
- Aromatherapy massage. Recent study has found that a gentle massage with 2 drops of lavender (Lavandula officinalis), 1 drop of clary sage (Salvia sclarea) and one drop of rose (Rosa centifolia) essential oils in 5 ml of almond oil significantly decreased the severity of menstrual cramps compared with women who received no treatment and those who received massage with almond oil only.
- Constipation may also increase the pain of a period of time, therefore it’s important to keep regular bowel movements right now. Eat plenty of fiber and drink a great deal of water, particularly as some women become dehydrated currently.
- Regular exercise, such as swimming, walking or biking, has also been reported to decrease period pains, and it may, of course, also help prevent constipation.
When are Period Pains not Normal?
Severe period pains should always be researched to check that whether there’s another cause which can be treatable. Usually, if you have had severe period pains since the time your periods first began, it is less probable that a specific cause is found. However, conditions like endometriosis can occasionally cause severe pain from a young age (even though the pain typically gets worse with every monthly cycle). Other causes of severe period pain include fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease and sometimes narrowing of the cervix.