@sHaRInG wiTh lURve @
About your periods
Having your periods is another sign that your body is changing as you go from being a girl to a young woman. In fact, it's a pretty major change as it means your ovaries have started producing eggs every month so you can now get pregnant and have a baby (though we're not suggesting you do that just yet).
Why do girls have periods?
Having a period - or menstruation - is your body's way of getting rid of the lining that builds up on the wall of your womb (uterus) every month. The reason the wall gets thicker is to cushion and nourish a fertilised egg as it develops into a baby. If the egg isn't fertilised, the extra lining isn't needed so it breaks down and passes out of your vagina.
Most girls start their periods in their early teens and have one a month right up until their late 40s or early 50s. But don't worry if you're different. These ages are just averages, and who wants to be average?! Some girls start their periods as young as 8 while others have to wait until they're 17, or even later.
What causes period pain?
As your body gets ready to break down the extra lining on the wall of your womb (uterus) it releases hormones called prostaglandins. These hormones trigger the muscles in your womb (uterus) to contract and push the lining out of your body through your vagina. (They're the same muscles that push a baby out of the womb during labour so they're pretty strong!) So why is it that you suffer from period pain when your friend hardly notices it? It could be because you have higher levels of prostaglandins which make the muscles in your womb (uterus) contract harder or faster. Or because the blood supply to your womb (uterus) decreases during the contractions so there's less oxygen reaching this part of your body, making the muscles cramp even more. Nobody really knows for sure - it's just one of those annoying facts of life that doesn't seem quite fair.
More about period pain
The medical term for period pain is dysmenorrhoea (pronounced DIS-MEN-OR-EAR) which comes from an ancient Greek expression meaning ‘difficult monthly flow'. There are two types of period pain:
Primary dysmenorrhoea – this usually affects teenagers and young women not long after they start their periods. The stomach cramps and other symptoms coincide with the start of each period and the pain is similar from month to month.
Secondary dysmenorrhoea – this is less common than primary dysmenorrhoea and doesn't tend to affect women until their mid-twenties or later. The pain can happen at any time of the month and could be a sign of another medical condition such as a problem with your womb (uterus). If you're at all worried, it's a good idea to go for a check-up with your GP.
How to cope with the pain?
There are some things in life you can't do much about, like making the lad on the bus fancy you. But you can do something about period pain. So if you dread coming on each month, it's time to take action.
Here's some tried and tested ways to crush those cramps before they get too bad to bear:
•Curl up on the sofa or in bed with a hot water bottle (or a microwave heat pack) to warm your abdomen or lower back.
•Take a long soak in a warm bath with aromatherapy oils to help you relax.
•Gently rub your abdomen or get someone to give you a back massage.
•Try not to wear tight clothes just before and during your period.
•Do some gentle exercise - it's probably the last thing you feel like when you're doubled up with stomach cramps but exercise can help to ease the pain by relaxing the muscles in your womb (uterus) and increasing the blood supply to your pelvis. It may also help to lower the levels of prostaglandins, the hormones thought to be a cause of period pain.
•Aerobics, running and swimming are all good forms of exercise to help relieve period pain. You could also go for a brisk walk or lie down and cycle with your legs in the air.
•Stretch out - stand up straight and imagine there's a piece of string running from your heels, up your legs and spine and out through the top of your head. Pull in your stomach and breathe deeply as you imagine someone pulling slowly on the string so you're stretched up tall.
•Lifestyle changes can also make a real difference to period pain and PMS. Here's a few things you could try:
◦Eat foods that are high in fibre, including plenty of salads and vegetables.
◦Eat less salt and drink more water. This can help prevent water retention that leaves you with that bloated feeling.
◦Cut down on sugary foods, chocolate, cakes and biscuits.
◦Cut down on sugary drinks - have mineral water or pure fruit juice instead.
◦Try a vitamin B6 supplement or one that contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA) such as starflower oil or evening primrose oil. Both are thought to help maintain hormonal balance.
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**I got the worst one....need to take pain killer everytime had my period.if not, i cant move around easily. hmmmmm pity me.