Period pain is something that some women can suffer with more than others, and the area of discomfort can vary, nevertheless it either precedes or coincides with the onset of a monthly period.
The discomfort can be a low, dull ache felt in the lower abdomen, sometimes unilaterally, or it can be low back pain, heavy aching legs, pain or ache in the groin and or the vagina, a feeling of being bloated, headache, nausea, all or just some of these.
The reasons behind it are two fold. The uterus will spasm and contract slightly to prepare to expel the products of menstruation, at the same time the blood supply to the area is increased to cope with the activity of the uterus. As blood supplies to the organ increases the drainage away from the organ is also more in demand (not the blood loss as part of the period), and this blood has to drain back into the venous system.
If the circulation is not very good, then two things can happen.1) There is stasis of the blood in the lower abdomen, which will lead to a feeling of heaviness, discomfort and congestion. And, 2) the blood circulation from the legs is compromised by the back log in the pelvis and that in turn creates heaviness in the legs and sometimes swollen feet and ankles. The blood from the legs has to drain back up the body towards the heart and does so against gravity with the help of valves in the legs.
Women with varicose veins, often caused by a defect in the valve system, can be more prone to this type of period pain. The answer is to generally increase your fluid intake to help improve your circulation. Gentle regular exercise also assists in this area. A mild painkiller such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can be useful. See also Endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and Fibroids as other causes.
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