The menstrual cramps are seen in many women during the menstrual period. Pains in the belly and pelvic areas that a woman experiences during the menstrual period are called menstrual cramps. Many women suffer from these menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps range from a mild to severe pain. Sometimes menstrual cramps can be so painful that they interfere with regular activities of women. About 90% of teenage girls are suffering from menstrual cramps.
Menstrual cramps are medically termed dysmenorrhoea. There are two types of dysmenorrhoea. They are primary and secondary.
- Primary dysmenorrhoea includes pain which is caused generally and it doesn’t involve any gynecological problems.
- Secondary dysmenorrhoea involves pain which is caused due to some abnormality in women’s reproductive system.
Cause of Menstrual Cramps
Every month, the uterus prepares an inner layer called endometrium for pregnancy. But after ovulation, if the egg isn’t fertilized by sperm, there is no need of endometrium. During this period estrogens and progesterone hormone levels decrease which results in swelling of the endometrium. Due to swelling endometrium sheds off eventually.
During the shedding down of endometrium, prostaglandins are released which causes contraction of uterine muscles. Due to contraction, the blood supply to endometrium stops and it breaks down and dies. After its breakdown, uterine contractions force the broken endometrial tissue through the cervix and out of the body.
The levels of leukotrienes also rise during this period, which is also considered as the reason for menstrual cramps.
Women experiencing menstrual cramps usually have a very narrow cervix and high levels of prostaglandins in endometrium than women who don’t experience them.
Yoga For Menstrual Cramps
There are many medicines available for reducing menstrual cramps, but with the frequent usage of medicines, the individual becomes immune to them. And this tends to the intake of more dosage of medicines which result in many side effects.
So health experts recommended yoga poses which provide immediate relief.
For several centuries yoga has been used for many health benefits. Yoga also provides many benefits for women suffering from menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps are usually caused due to contraction of the uterus and also due to hormonal changes. Yoga provides an effective way for pain management in most of women by reducing the contractions of uterus muscles. Yoga targets the affected area and provides fast relief from pain.
Yoga Poses for women health
Wide Squat Pose
- Hip pain is experienced by many people during cramps.
- This pain can be reduced by stretching hips.
- The wide squat pose involves stretching of hips.
- This pose also helps in opening of the hips and reduces pain.
- It feels better if we practice this pose for a few minutes on each side.
- Cramps can also be relieved by stretching the lower and upper back.
- Camel pose involves stretching of the back and also hips, belly, and chest.
This is one most effective pose recommended for relieving menstrual cramps.
Wind Releasing Pose
Any type of stomach pain can be cured by using this pose apart from menstrual cramps.
This pose mainly works on abdominal muscles and so this pose is very effective for the treatment of menstrual cramps.
Breathing exercises if practiced along with yoga poses provide fast relief for women suffering from menstrual cramps. The breathing exercise which involves shallow and deep breathing is important for menstrual cramps.
Breathing exercises help in relaxation of both body and mind. The relaxed mind reduces contractions of the uterus and therefore reduces menstrual cramps.
Precautions – Poses to be avoided
- Poses involving inversions should be avoided as they obstruct the normal flow of blood during menstruation.
- Practicing inverted or twisted poses may sometime result in fibroids and cancers