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Grand Oak TCM: What Causes Menstrual Cramps



Did you know that having menstrual cramps is not normal? Despite so, most women actually experience menstrual cramps at some point in their lives. A study done in Italy with 408 female university students reported that 84.1% of them had cramps, with 43.1% having cramps during every period, and 41% had cramps during some periods. What should we do to get rid of menstrual cramps? Let us take a closer look at the ins and outs of menstrual cramps.



Brief Look at Menstrual Cramps from the Western Medicine POV

Menstrual cramps is when pain occurs at the lower abdomen or pelvic area during menstruation. This happens when the uterine muscles contract too much and presses against the blood vessels, temporarily cutting off the oxygen supply resulting in cramps.



Traditional Chinese Medicine POV

Causes of Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps occur when

1) The meridians surrounding the uterus is not well nourished

2) When there is a stagnation in the blood vessels and the uterus. Both of them lead to a lack of blood supply to the uterine cells in which results in pain.


Main Symptoms of Menstrual Cramps

1) Pain in lower abdomen that occurs during and the days leading to and after the menstrual cycle

2) Pain in the hips that extends to the anus or thighs

3) Vomiting

4) Excessive sweat production

5) Cold limbs



Causes of Menstrual Cramps

Some factors that could exacerbate menstrual cramps include:

1) Excessive sexual intercourse

2) Multiple pregnancies

3) Chronic illness

4) Weak body constitution

5) Stress

6) Overconsumption of cold and cooling foods

7) Overconsumption of spicy, oily and fried foods


This article is written by Physician Lee QIan Qi (Grand Oak TCM Clinic), a registered TCM physician certified by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB).


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