Home Remedies For Dysmenorrhea, Menstrual Cramps Causes And Treatment

what is dysmenorrhea?.

Dysmenorrhea is a throbbing or cramping pain in the lower abdomen before or during the period.  Dysmenorrhea is a medical term used for painful periods, painful menses or menstrual cramps.

Dysmenorrhea is also called period cramps. These cramps are caused by the contraction of uterine walls.

There are two types of Dysmenorrhea and both are treatable. In most cases women use home remedies for dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps.

  • Primary dysmenorrhea
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea

Primary dysmenorrhea

Primary dysmenorrhea starts from your first menstrual cycle and continues throughout your life. it is just a common menstrual pain that comes again and again and it is not due to a disease.

In primary dysmenorrhea, the pain usually begins one or two days before you start menses or just before the bleeding starts. The severity of pain varies from female to female, ie from mild to severe pain. You may experience pain in the lower abdomen, back or thighs.

The duration of pain is from 12-72 hours. Along with pain, you might have other symptoms too such as nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Menstrual cramps become less with time and even stop if you have a baby.

Secondary dysmenorrhea

Menstrual cramps which are due to infection or disorder of female reproductive organs are called secondary dysmenorrhea.

Usually, secondary dysmenorrhea affects old age women and the menstrual cramps start earlier in the menstrual cycle. The duration of pain in secondary dysmenorrhea is longer than in primary dysmenorrhea.

Usually, you might not experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea in secondary dysmenorrhea.

What are the symptoms of dysmenorrhea or Menstrual Cramps?

The following are the most common symptoms of dysmenorrhea but each individual will experience different symptoms.

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Lower back pain
  • Cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Pain radiate to the lower back and thighs
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fainting

All these symptoms are normal in periods but consult a doctor when they become severe.

Causes of dysmenorrhea

in the menstrual cycle, there is a hormone imbalance, due to which contractions of the uterus occur. For instance, there is a secretion of prostaglandin which causes contraction of the uterus to expel the lining of walls. These contractions damage nearby blood vessels, which leads to a blockage of oxygen supply to tissues. You feel pain when there is no supply of oxygen to muscles. So primary dysmenorrhea is because by hormone imbalance.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by the following medical conditions. In secondary dysmenorrhea, infection is involved.

Endometriosis: it is a condition in which the lining of the uterus or tissue similar to the lining grows outside of the uterus. This outgrowth mostly occurs in ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the lining of the pelvis.

Uterine fibroids: it is a condition in which noncancerous outgrowth is formed on the wall of uterus interiorly.

Adenomyosis: it is a pathological condition in which the lining of uterus grows into the muscular walls of the uterus.

Pelvic inflammatory disease: It is an infection of female reproductive organs, which is mainly caused by sexually transmitted bacteria.

Cervical stenosis: when the opening of the cervix becomes narrow, then this condition is called cervical stenosis.

Abnormal pregnancy: such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage

What are the risk factors for dysmenorrhea?

the following are the most prevalent risk factors for dysmenorrhea. You will face menstrual cramps if:

  • Your age is below 30 years
  • You smoke in period
  • You drink alcohol during the period
  • You are overweight
  • You are never pregnant
  • You have started a period before the age of 11 years
  • Your menstrual bleeding is irregular (metrorrhagia)
  • You have excessive bleeding (menorrhagia)
  • You have a genetic history of menstrual cramps

Home remedies for dysmenorrhea

These are the tested home remedies for dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps.

Apply heat on abdomen

Health is the best therapy for menstrual cramps. To relieve your pain, put a hot water bottle, hot water bag, and heating pad on your abdomen and slightly move it on your abdomen with a little pressure for 3-8 minutes depending on your condition.

Another benefit of a hot water bag or heating pad is that it increases blood supply to the abdominal area, which in turn reduces muscle cramps.

Another method of heating is to take a warm water bath. You will feel easy when your body is warm with a bath.

Over-the-counter medications

There are lots of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs) that relieve menstrual pain. NSAIDs are the primary over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for menstrual cramps.

NSAIDs stop the production of prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is the main cause of pain in a menstrual cycle because it causes the contraction of the muscle.

Besides NSAIDs, oral contraceptives are also used to block the prostaglandin pathway.

Try acupuncture or acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional healing technique in which needles are inserted into specific parts of the body. it is a good home remedy for menstrual cramps.

Acupressure has the same technique as acupuncture but the only difference is pressure is applied on specific parts of the body instead of needles.

Studies have shown that acupuncture and acupressure reduce inflammation and relieve menstrual cramps.

Moreover, these techniques release endorphins which relax people. Endorphins are excitatory chemicals in the body.

Self-abdomen massage

Self-abdomen massage can relax the pelvic muscles and reduces cramps. Lay down on your back and rub your tummy with your palm. Continue this massage for 5-8 minutes.

During massage blood supply is increased to the abdomen and you will get rid of menstrual cramps.

Essential oil massage

You can do it by yourself or someone else can do it for you. During this massage, some essential oil is put on your tummy and the massage is started.

Essential oil massage potentially reduces period pain and offers you additional health benefits.

According to scientific reviews, the following essential oils are the best for menstrual cramps.

  • Peppermint
  • Clary sage
  • Rosemary
  • Roman chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Fennel

To get a better result, dilute an essential oil with a carrier oil such as nut oils, sweet almond oil, or grape seed oil. A safe concentration is to add one drop of essential oil into one teaspoon of carrier oil.

Change in your diet

To reduce menstrual cramps add a few food items to your diet chart.

Add omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, lean proteins, fruits, whole grains, and beans to your diet. These foods will not only reduce dysmenorrhea but will keep you healthy.

These foods are a rich source of many micronutrients and macronutrients. So it is considered a balanced diet.

Herbal tea

There are some herbal teas that contain active ingredients. These active ingredients are antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory which reduces contractions and swelling related to menstrual pain.

Common herbal teas include:

  • Dandelion tea
  • Ginger tea
  • Chamomile tea
  • Fennel tea
  • Red raspberry tea
  • Cinnamon tea

Avoid certain foods

There are some foods that cause water retention and bloating. So you should them during menstruation.

Some of the common foods include:

  • Salty foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated products
  • Fatty foods
  • Carbonated beverages

Cutting these food items can reduce your cramps.

Perform exercise

Usually, women are disturbed by menstrual pain, so they avoid exercise. But exercise plays important role in the alleviation of menstrual cramps.

Exercise improves the supply of blood to all parts of the body and relieves the contractions of the uterus.

Exercise also releases endorphin which is a natural excitatory chemical that relaxes the muscles and reduces the pain.

Strenuous exercise is prohibited during menstruation but you can do general stretching, yoga, slow running, and walking.

Try orgasm

If you have dysmenorrhea and want to get rid of menstrual cramps then try orgasm.

During orgasm muscles of the uterus contract and relax. This contraction and relaxation ease the menstrual contractions.

Endorphin is also secreted in an orgasm that alleviates pain and makes your mood happy.

Scientific studies have shown that vaginal stimulation doubles your tolerance to pain. Vaginal stimulation involves your spinal, brain, and other parts of the body. Vaginal stimulation triggers your brain to release neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and endorphins. Endorphins reduce pain perception.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy involves the use of low voltage current to treat pain.

The electric pulses generated from TENS device either block the pain receptors or change the perception of pain.

In TENS therapy, the electrical electrodes are placed on your skin near the pain region, and the current impulses are started.

TENNS therapy blocks the transmission of pain signals and increases the secretion of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers.

TENS therapy is the noninvasive and best option for dysmenorrhea.


Dysmenorrhea is a medical term used for menstrual cramps or painful periods. Menstrual cramps happen before and during a period.

In most cases menstrual cramps are normal but in some cases, especially in old age, some medical conditions are involved.

Both primary and secondary dysmenorrhea is treatable.

Lots of home remedies for dysmenorrhea are available such as over-the-counter drugs, herbal teas, orgasm, exercise, etc.


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2 thoughts on “Home Remedies For Dysmenorrhea, Menstrual Cramps Causes And Treatment”

    • You are welcome. we are trying our best to share the updated and authentic medical knowledge in simple way to people around the globe. Share article with your friends.
      Health Talki


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