Tips to reduce abdominal pain on ‘red light’ days

Warming the abdomen, pelvic massage, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, or eating vegetables and fruits rich in fiber and iron… help relieve menstrual pain.

Doctor Le Vo Minh Huong, Department of Social Work, Tu Du Hospital, said dysmenorrhea (dysmenorrhea) is a common condition in women of reproductive age. The pain occurs in the lower abdomen, lasts 2-3 days or longer. The degree of pain varies, from mild to severe. In some cases, it can last throughout the menstrual cycle, creating persistent chronic pain.

There are two types of dysmenorrhea, primary and secondary. Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common type. Scientists still don’t know what causes this condition.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is menstrual pain caused by medical conditions, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease… or side effects of IUD insertion. When having menstrual pain, women should visit an obstetrician-gynecologist to determine the cause and have effective treatment.

If no cause is found (primary dysmenorrhea), over-the-counter pain relievers can be used. These are drugs that can be purchased for temporary pain relief, belonging to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Dr. Huong said. However, the dosage of the drug needs to be followed exactly as directed, and some can have side effects if taken in excess. If you can predict the date of your period, you can use the pill a few days in advance.

Applying a bag of warm water about 40 degrees Celsius on the lower abdomen reduces menstrual pain. Image: Asisoymujer.wordpress

Taking a warm bath or applying a bag (or bottle) of warm water about 40 degrees Celsius on the lower abdomen also helps to relax and relieve pain during the “red light” day. In addition, pelvic massage by gently rubbing the lower abdomen, sides and waist also helps relieve pain. Massage should be done a few days before menstruation and can be combined with massage oil.

In addition, doctors recommend women should limit eating foods that tend to aggravate inflammation during menstruation, such as starches, sugars, salts, fast foods, saturated fats, and saturated fats. stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine.

Increase your intake of plant-based, fiber-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains); rich in iron (dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beans, whole grains and nuts); rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and with anti-inflammatory activity (salmon, sardines, herring, walnuts, chia and flaxseeds, turmeric); rich in antioxidants (oranges, berries, dark chocolate, spinach and beets) … will help reduce inflammation, reduce pain caused by dysmenorrhea.

In addition, gentle, regular exercise with yoga, pilates… helps release endorphins – a hormone that contributes to pain relief. When resting, you should lie on your side with your knees pulled into your chest to relieve abdominal pain and reduce pressure on your back.

Particularly herbs such as chrysanthemum tea, cinnamon, ginger, fennel seeds … can help reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea, but very few studies prove it. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no recommendations on the quality, dosage, or purity of these preparations. Therefore, Dr. Huong believes that users need to be consulted by a doctor before using herbs to relieve pain.

In case there is no pain relief after using over-the-counter pain relievers as well as some of the above methods, Dr. Huong advises women to go to the doctor to be prescribed other pain relievers.

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