Period pain is primarily caused by the increased production of prostaglandins, a hormone produced by the uterus that makes it contract.
When you’re experiencing strong uterine contractions, you’ll likely experience severe menstrual cramps and pain as well. Most women experience abdominal cramps, or dysmenorrhea, before and during their period. Although it’s common and often expected, certain habits and foods can make period pain worse.
Here are the four things that could worsen it.
Being stressed all the time can worsen symptoms before and during your period. That includes dysmenorrhea.
It’s impossible to eliminate or avoid all the stressors in your life. However, habits such as meditation and relaxation can help manage your stress levels.
Sleep deprivation also leads to stress. So it’s important to always get a good night’s sleep, even if you’re not on your period.
Salty and fatty foods
The food you eat can have a significant impact on your period-related symptoms. Being more aware of what you consume can help you feel better.
Salty foods can cause increased water retention. The more your body retains water, the more you bloat and experience painful period cramps.
Fatty foods increase prostaglandins in your body, increasing cramping and making you more uncomfortable.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also increase your prostaglandins, resulting in more cramping.
Alcohol is also diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration. Being dehydrated can affect bodily functions and worsen period-related symptoms.
When you’re well-hydrated, the water thins the blood and mucus and makes it easier for the body to flush them out.
It’s advisable to cut back on alcohol before and during your period, and to drink enough water at all times. The recommended amount is about 9 glasses, which is a little over 2 liters of water every day.
Women who smoke cigarettes are at a higher risk of period pain because nicotine can constrict blood vessels. When this happens with the uterus, it can slow down blood flow and worsen pain.
While experiencing period pain is common, you shouldn’t ignore it when it’s already intense and frequent. Talk to your doctor if your dysmenorrhea bothers you and starts to affect your daily activities. It’s also possible that you have an underlying condition that makes your period-related symptoms worse.