Menstruation or periods can start when a girl is as young as ten years old and continue till the fifties. Some women just take it in their stride and do not feel much discomfort. Others suffer from pre-menstrual blues, cramps and nausea. There are certain things you can do both before menstruation starts every month and also during the actual process to make yourself more comfortable.
It would help to make a record of the menstrual period. Note down the date it starts, for how long heavy flow occurs, the number of days it is lighter, pre and post menstrual side effects, how often and when cramps occur during menstruation. After couple of months you will know what to expect and be in a position to do something about it.
To reduce menstrual period problems, changes that you will have to bring about in your lifestyle are:
- Get enough sleep. A few days before menstruation, the level of progesterone is low in your body and you may find it difficult to sleep. To get sound sleep exercise on a regular basis, avoid caffeine and eat a light meal at least two hours before bed time. Avoid napping during day time. Fix a bedtime schedule and follow it so that your body automatically gets used to it.
- Stress can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle and cause discomfort. Try to take the focus to something else like music, visiting friends or a movie when stressed. If your thyroid level is not right, that can cause delayed periods so consult your gynecologist to rule out any physiological problems.
- Many hormones come into play in menstruation so avoid things like caffeine that can cause further mood changes, cramps and pain in breasts. Caffeine can also be found in beverages like tea and cola drinks. Drinking plain water or herbal teas is better.
Once menstruation starts and so does your feeling of discomfort, the following things will give you relief:
- Try to eat whole grains and calcium rich foods like sprouts and cheese. Eat several small meals instead of two or three large meals. Eat more often. This will help in digestion and prevent nausea.
- Use a heating pad or a hot water bottle on your abdomen when you suffer from cramps. Small thin heating pads are available which you can use under your clothes even if you have to go out.
- Water retention is a major problem during menstruation so cut down on salty snacks and salt rich products like pickles it will save you from a bloated feeling. Drink plenty of water.
- Prolonged sitting can make you feel worst. Walking and stretching are mild exercises which will increase blood flow and reduce cramps.