Any female who has severe menstrual cramp knows that it's the worst pain that can befall a person, right after child birth.

So excruciating is the pain that some females have to take time off work or school to deal with it. Indeed, it's a lot no one would wish on anyone, not even her enemies. 

Cramps occur when the muscles of the womb contract and relax to get rid of built-up lining, but some women experience this pain more than others, with some of them battling to meet up with their daily activities. 

Some ladies are tired of taking pills to ease the pain and now want a natural way of addressing this pain.

As the world marks Menstrual Hygiene Day, here are a few natural techniques a lady can adopt prior to the menstrual period to relieve pains and ensure she feels better. 

However, if your cramp is even more severe than normal, see a physician as it could be endometriosis. 

Some health conditions that could contribute to a painful menstrual flow are fibroid, sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or more serious menstrual disorders. 

1.   Drink Warm Or Hot Water

Water intake is always a good habit that can help handle many health issues. Taking warm or hot water consistently before the menstruation cycle begins will help prevent your body from retaining water and avoid painful bloating.

Also Read: UNICEF Warns Against Use Of Herbs For Menstrual Pain

Warm or hot water is better for cramps and this is because hot liquid increases blood flow and may help relax cramped muscles.

Taking food or fruits that are water based - lettuce, watermelon or cucumbers – can also help provide water for the body.

2.   Adjust Eating Habit

Intake of fatty food should be reduced while intake of vegetables should be increased.

A low-fat diet decreases the overall inflammation in the body and it promotes overall good health.

Increase in the intake of magnesium can also ease the pain of cramps, as it helps regulate nerve and muscle functioning, among other tasks. Look for foods like cashews and boiled spinach which contain high magnesium.

Sweetened drinks and food that typically cause bloating and water retention should be avoided. Alcohol, carbonated beverages, caffeine and salty foods should be avoided.

Instead take caffeine-free ginger or mint teas or hot water flavoured with lemon.

3.   Take Some Tea

Teas have been used to relieve menstrual pain.

Identify the tea that gives you relief a week or so before you anticipate your period.

You can get mint leaf, dry it and add it to warm water and take as tea. Lemon grass tea is another useful tea that can help reduce cramps. Tea with peppermint oil and chamomile can also help increases urinary levels of glycine, which helps relieve muscle spasms and acts as a nerve relaxant.

4.   Exercise Or Have Sex

Exercise is one thing that most Nigerians do not engage in, but any lady that wants to reduce menstrual pains will have to factor in exercise in her daily activity.  

Identify indoor exercises that are appealing to you that would also help relieve cramps in the bedroom or via exercise.

Exercising increases endorphins, which help boost your mood and decrease your perception of pain. Even though working out or having sex may be the last thing you want to do when you're suffering from cramps, such activities can help reduce pain and relieve the muscle tension that contribute to cramps.

5.   Apply Heat

The next time you see people selling a heat pad get it and use it.

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Fill the pad with warm or hot water and place it on the abdomen to relieve cramps.

It is one of the oldest medicinal remedies, and doctors say heat helps muscles relax and increases blood flow to tissues.

6.   Make Essential Oils Your Friend

Essential oils are great relieve for menstrual pains.

Some that you can use in Nigeria are Lavender oil and Castor oil.

Apply some of it on the abdomen and massage.

You can also drop the heat pad on the abdomen after massaging with the oil and that is a great combination.

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