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Stopping a Monthly Burden: Help for Menstrual Cramping
It is estimated that three out of four women will experience some form of premenstrual symptoms (PMS). The symptoms can be both physical and mental, as well as range in the level of intensity. For many women, each month brings about and array of different symptoms. Some of these symptoms can be intolerable, such as menstrual cramping.

Lots of women will grab for those over-the-counter (OTC) medications in an attempt to ease the pain, which is sometimes a debatable practice. However, natural solutions to decrease or even stop cramping from occurring do exist and can be much more beneficial than OTC pain killers.
 
Understanding the Cause of Menstrual Cramping
Each month a woman’s body will prepare for pregnancy by releasing an egg for fertilization and also building up a lining in the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the old lining of the uterus is shed in order to be replaced by a new lining the following month.

When the old uterine lining is broken down, chemicals called prostaglandins are released. The releasing of this compound makes the uterine muscles contract, which causes them to constrict the blood flow to the endometrium, the mucous membrane lining the uterus.

When the contraction occurs, it blocks oxygen from being delivered to the endometrium, which causes the lining to break down and become dead tissue. When this occurs, the contractions will push the dead tissue out of the cervix and through the vagina.
 
Some cramps can be more painful than others. This generally tends to occur when clots or pieces of the bloody tissue are forced through the cervix and can be worse for women with narrow cervical canals.  It is also proven that women who experience menstrual cramping have higher levels of prostaglandins in the endometrium.
What Can Help Ease the Pain?
  • Chasteberry is an herb found in Mediterranean areas that helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and to balance the levels of progesterone and estrogen. 
  • Dong Quai, or Ginseng, is a popular Chinese herb that can help women with menstrual irregularity by regulating blood flow, reducing pain and relaxing the uterus. 
  • Cramp Bark is a popular herb used to aid specifically with menstrual cramping. By having sedative properties, this herb can relieve pain caused by menstruation in the same way as an OTC pain killer, but without the risk of harming your liver. 

There are several healthy and natural solutions to relieve the pain of menstrual cramping. Ingesting certain herbs, as well as changing parts of your daily routine can help you to avoid the discomfort of cramps each month.

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