Over half of us who menstruate experience cramps during the first few days of their period, this is known as Dysmenorrhea (aka period pain, period cramps, the monthlies and various less flattering names).
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The pain can be a dull ache, or sharp and intense, this is caused by a hormone called Prostaglandins, which is produced by the body just before the start of the period and during the first two days, this affects the tension of uterine muscles.
Ease your symptoms:
You can ease cramps and pain by doing some simple, easy techniques, such as placing a hot water bottle or a heated pad over the lower abdomen (it’s cozy and comforting too!), relaxation techniques such as massage on the lower abdomen, and deep breathing ease the pain.
No your gym teacher wasn't a sadist after all - getting out and doing physical exercise improves the oxygen supply and blood circulation throughout the body and the pelvis too.
Increase your diet with omega 3 fatty acids (from fresh fish or fish oil capsules) magnesium and calcium. (We love Bio-Fish Oil £7.09 for 80 1000mg capsules from Victoria Health).
Or, buy over-the-counter pain medications such as Feminax or ibuprofen, which can give relief within thirty to sixty minutes, however, these should not be taken for prolonged amounts of time, so please do consult your doctor if you find problem persists or worsens, or if you find other menstrual problems interfere with normal daily life.