Painful periods: 6 solutions to relieve menstrual pain

Do you suffer from pain or spasms during menstruation? Good news: researchers have found that eating dark chocolate within 3 days of your period helps reduce menstrual pain.

In very young girls or certain women, especially in premenopausal period, the period of menstruation can be accompanied by severe pain called “dysmenorrhea”. One in two women would be subject to it: cramps, pain radiating to the kidneys, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, or even dizziness and malaise. The cause ? Not the ovaries as is often mistakenly believed, but a hypersensitivity of the uterus and a high level of prostaglandins in the menstrual blood. These hormones, which are involved in the tone of the vessels and the inflammatory reactions, cause uterine contractions.

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If the pain comes back with each cycle, you must speak to a doctor who will prescribe an appropriate treatment and will ensure that there is no other cause, such as endometriosis, for example. Because even if they are benign, these pain is debilitating.

Dark chocolate and music to calm spasms

In addition to medication, more natural solutions exist to reduce menstrual pain. Researchers at the University of Manisa, Turkey, have just discovered that eating dark chocolate and (or) listening to music were effective methods of relieving pain in the event of primary dysmenorrhea. For their study, they recruited female nursing students aged 18 to 25, who had never had a child, with a regular menstrual cycle but suffering from menstrual pain rated as a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10.

The 90 young women were randomly assigned to three groups: consumption of dark chocolate, listening to music and a control group. The dark “chocolate” group ate dark chocolate for three days before menstruation and on the first day of menstruation. The “music” group listened to a song during those same four days. Pain scores and state anxiety were then measured in all groups. Conclusion of the researchers: lDark chocolate and music both significantly reduced menstrual pain and anxiety in young women with primary dysmenorrhea.

Plants and essential oils that relieve spasms

  • Groundsel root soothes pain: infuse 25 g of groundsel root in half a liter of boiling water for 15 minutes. Filter. Take 2-3 cups a day and start before your period date.
  • Noble chamomile is antispasmodic: infuse 1 tbsp. at s. of flowers per cup, and drink several times a day.
  • parsley regulates the menstrual flow: put 20 to 25 g of fresh leaves in 50 cl of boiling water. Infuse 10 minutes, filter and drink at the time of spasms.
  • Bigarade petit grain and basil are antispasmodic and relaxing. Put 1 drop of each of these essential oils (EO) on a neutral tablet (or a dumpling of bread). Swallow 4 times a day from the first pain until the onset of menstruation.

Source :The effect of dark chocolate and music on pain and anxiety in young women with primary dysmenorrhea: Randomized controlled trialScience Direct, October 2022

Our experts:

  • Françoise Couic-Marinier, doctor of pharmacy, graduate in phyto-aromatherapy
  • Dr. Christelle Charvet, homeopathic gynecologist

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Painful periods: 6 solutions to relieve menstrual pain

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