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Dysmenorrhea: What It Is, Causes, Treatments



Dysmenorrhea: What It Is, Causes, Treatments
Dysmenorrhea: What It Is, Causes, Treatments

Monika Kozub via Unsplash

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful menstrual flow or periods.

There are two main kinds of dysmenorrhea: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea.

Primary dysmenorrhea has to do with recurrent pain. Secondary dysmenorrhea, however, is as a result of reproductive system disorders. Both conditions are treatable.

What is Menstrual Cramps

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for what is commonly known as menstrual cramps.

Under dysmenorrhea, there is primary and secondary.

Primary dysmenorrhea occurs repeatedly and they are not usually as a result of other underlying diseases or disorders.

With primary dysmenorrhea, pain usually starts one or two days before your period or when the bleeding starts.

The sort of pain you feel may range from  mild to severe in the lower abdomen, back or thighs.

Typically the pain can last 12 to 72 hours. Also, there are other symptoms you may experience such as nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and even diarrhea.

Common menstrual cramps may become less painful as you get older and may stop entirely if you have a baby.

Secondary dysmenorrhea means menstrual cramps that arise from other underlying conditions. Pain from secondary dysmenorrhea typically starts earlier in the menstrual cycle and lasts longer than common menstrual cramps. Usually, it does not come with nausea, vomiting, fatigue or diarrhea.

What Causes Painful Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual cramps occur when a chemical called prostaglandin makes the uterus contract (tighten up). The uterus, the muscular organ where a baby grows, contracts throughout your menstrual cycle. During menstruation, the uterus contracts more strongly.

If the uterus contracts too strongly, it can press against nearby blood vessels, cutting off the supply of oxygen to muscle tissue. You feel pain when part of the muscle briefly loses its supply of oxygen.

How does secondary dysmenorrhea cause menstrual cramps?

Menstrual pain from secondary dysmenorrhea is due to problems with the reproductive organs. Conditions that can cause cramping include:

Endometriosis: This is a condition in which the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) is found outside of the uterus. Because these pieces of tissue bleed during your period, they can cause swelling, scarring and intense pain.

Adenomyosis: This is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows into the muscle of the uterus. This condition can cause the uterus to get much bigger than it should be, along with abnormal bleeding and pain.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): This is an infection caused by bacteria that starts in the uterus and can spread to other reproductive organs. PID can cause pain in the stomach or pain during sex.

Cervical stenosis: Narrowing of the cervix, or the opening to the uterus.

Fibroids (benign tumors): Growths on the inside, outside or in the walls of the uterus.

Typical symptoms of dysmenorrhea 

These are the typical symptoms of dysmenorrhea:

  •  Pain (may be severe sometimes) in the abdomen
  • Feeling of pressure in the abdomen
  • Pain in the hips, lower back and inner thighs.

How to relieve mild menstrual cramps

To relieve the symptoms of mild menstrual cramps, you can do the following:

  • For the best relief, take ibuprofen as soon as bleeding or cramping starts. Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They reduce the output of prostaglandins. If you can’t take NSAIDs, you can take another pain reliever like acetaminophen.
  • Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower back or abdomen.
  • You should also try to rest when needed.
  • Avoid foods that contain caffeine.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Massage your lower back and abdomen.

Women who exercise regularly often have less menstrual pain. To help prevent cramps, make exercise a part of your weekly routine.






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Food and Health

10 Effective Ways To Firm Sagging Breasts



10 Effective Ways To Firm Sagging Breasts
10 Effective Ways To Firm Sagging Breasts

10 Effective Ways To Firm Sagging Breasts

Sagging breasts is a problem that many women are dealing with. Although it’s a top goal among women to look great and have admirable bodies, nothing ever seems to work when it comes to keeping the breasts well shaped.

As the firmness of the breasts reduces slowly, some women become worried. This is particularly if you consider the reaction from their partners regarding their breasts.

There are different factors to consider as regards sagging of breasts. They include aging, sudden decrease in weight, breastfeeding or menopause.

While there are products promising to tighten fallen breasts, it is still a major source of concern for women as these products fail to yield desired results.

Breasts are made of fat, connective tissues, and milk-producing glands. Hence, it is important to keep them in good shape and always care for them properly.

That said, here are 10 effective and natural ways to firm saggy breasts that every woman should try.

Aloe Vera

The natural skin-tightening properties present in Aloe Vera can help to solve the problem of sagging breasts. The antioxidants in aloe vera help firm breasts.

Apply aloe vera gel to your breasts and massage gently in a circular motion for 10 minutes. Allow it to sit for another 10 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. Repeat this remedy 4 or 5 times a week to get effective results.

You can also prepare a mixture of 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and 1 teaspoon each of mayonnaise and honey. Apply this onto your breasts and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse it off first with warm water and then use cold water. Repeat this once a week.

Olive oil

You can try massaging your breasts with olive oil. It is a good way to firm sagging breasts. Olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants and fatty acids that can reverse the damage caused by free radicals and prevent sagging breasts. It will also help improve the skin tone and texture.

Put some olive oil onto your palms and rub them together to generate heat. Rub your palms over your breasts in an upward motion. Massage gently for about 15 minutes to increase blood flow and stimulate cell repair. Follow this remedy at least 5 times per week. This is how to make breasts firm and lifted.

Shea butter

With Shea butter, your breasts can become firmer. A great source of vitamin E, Shea butter also helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.

Rub some shea butter on your breasts. You have to massage your breasts in an upward and circular direction for 10–15 minutes.

Leave it on for another 10 minutes and then wash it off with water. Follow this remedy 3 or 4 times a week to see noticeable results. This is how to make breasts firm and bigger.

Ice massage

Ice massage is very effective for firming sagging breasts. The cold temperature will cause the tissue to contract and make the breasts appear firmer.

Take 2 ice cubes and massage them in circular motions around each of your breasts for 1 minute only. Dry the breasts with a soft towel and immediately put on a proper fitting bra. Stay in a reclining position for 30 minutes. You have to do this at regular intervals throughout the day.

Egg white

Due to its astringent and skin-nourishing properties, egg white works for sagging breasts. The hydro lipids present in egg white helps lift loose skin around your breasts.

Beat 1 egg white until you get a foamy texture. Apply this on your breasts and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Wash it off with cucumber and then with cold water.

You can also prepare a breast mask by mixing 1 egg white with 1 tablespoon each of plain yogurt and honey. Apply it onto your breasts and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with cold water. Follow either of these remedies once a week as this is one of the best ways to tighten the loose and sagging breasts.

Cucumber and egg yolk

Another effective solution for lifting the breasts is a mask prepared from cucumber and egg yolk. Cucumber has natural skin-toning properties and egg yolk has high levels of protein and vitamins that can help treat sagging breasts.

Puree 1 small cucumber in a blender. Mix in 1 egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of butter or cream to get a paste. Apply the paste on your breasts and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Wash it off thoroughly with cold water. Use this mask once a week to firm and strengthen your breast tissues. This is how to lift sagging breast naturally.


Regular exercise can help lift sagging breasts. If your breasts have fallen, then you need to consider exercise on a daily basis. Exercises that target breast tissues and pectoral muscles around the chest can help a lot to add firmness. They are chest presses and pulls, arm raises, and round-about push-ups.


Fenugreek is often used to firm sagging breasts. It has vitamins and antioxidants that fight free radical damage and helps lift, tighten and smooth skin around the breasts.

Mix 1/4 cup of fenugreek powder with enough water to form a thick paste. Massage this paste onto your breasts and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water. Follow this remedy once or twice a week.

You can also prepare a breast mask with 1/2 cup of yogurt, 10 drops each of fenugreek oil and vitamin E oil and 1 egg white. Mix the ingredients until you get a smooth paste. Apply the paste on your breasts and rub it in gently. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water. Use this mask once a week to get desired results.

Rhassoul Clay

Rhassoul clay is a natural skin-firming ingredient. It contains minerals like silica, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and sodium that help to firm and tighten sagging breasts.

Mix 2 tablespoons of Rhassoul clay in powder form with enough water to make a smooth paste. Apply this paste to your breasts and allow it to dry. Rinse it off with lukewarm water. Follow this treatment once a week.


Pomegranate is considered a wonderful anti-aging ingredient and can help prevent sagging breasts. Pomegranate seed oil is rich in phyto-nutrients that can lead to firm breasts.

Make a paste of pomegranate peel and some warm mustard oil. Use it to massage your breasts in a circular motion for 5 to 10 minutes daily before going to bed. You can also use pomegranate seed oil to massage your breasts 2 or 3 times daily.






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Food and Health

Food And Drinks That Can Make Your Period Worse



Food And Drinks That Can Make Your Period Worse
Food And Drinks That Can Make Your Period Worse

Taking plenty of caffeine can worsen your period cramps. Sydney Sims via Unsplash

Periods usually come with symptoms that include bloating, cramps, and fatigue.

Eating certain foods and drinks can significantly worsen your period symptoms.

No matter what your cravings are – from salty snacks to chocolate and lots of caffeine – they may be responsible for more cramps and bloating.

This means that consuming some particular foods and drinks just right before or during your period could actually be worsening your symptoms such as cramps and bloating making them a lot more difficult to deal with.

While cutting down on your intake of these particular foods and drinks can help your period symptoms be more manageable, you may want to see your doctor if they are extremely painful and unbearable.

From salty snacks to caffeinated drinks, here are some food and drinks that could be affecting your period and making it significantly worse.

Caffeinated beverages can potentially make your period worse

You should significantly cut down on your caffeine intake during your period. “If you drink three cups of coffee a day, just have one,” says endocrinologist and founder of NY Endocrinology in New York City Dr. Rocio Salas-Whalen.

According to Dr. Salas-Whalen, consuming a lot of caffeine before and during your period can increase how many cramps you experience and lead to vasoconstriction (the narrowing of blood vessels) which can further worsen cramps during your period.

Refined carbohydrates and refined sugars can affect your mood and cause bloating

According to registered dietitian, Cathy Posey, “when insulin production and responses are not well regulated, it is harder for your body to produce and balance other hormones as well.”

“Refined sugars also cause your body to retain sodium and water, which increases bloating,” she added.

You should also be careful of how you take refined carbohydrates and sugar because it can cause you to experience mood swings.

Dr. Salas-Whalen explains it better. “It’s going to raise your sugar and then it’s going to drop immediately. So there’s going to be spikes and drops which can worsen your mood during period.

Dairy, sweetened yogurts, and pre-made smoothies may be doing you more harm than good

According to Healthfully, dairy can cause cramping. This is why Dr. Salas-Whalen advised that consuming plenty of dairy during your period is not a good idea at all.

Posey added that a lot of pre-made, dairy-based yogurts and smoothies can be artificially sweetened. This means that you may also go through the side effects of consuming sugar during your period which include mood swings and bloating.

Eating fatty foods during your period may cause you to experience more cramps 

According to Dr. Salas-Whalen, fatty foods increase the amount of prostaglandins in your body and prostaglandins is what makes your uterus contract. Therefore, the higher levels you have, the more likely you will experience constriction of your uterus.

Some types of chocolate can make your period symptoms worse 

While you may be one of those who often crave chocolate during period, it’s advisable to keep your cravings in check. According to Dr. Salas-Whalen, chocolate is also responsible for increasing the levels of prostaglandins and this means that you’ll be experiencing more period-induced cramping when you eat it.

She, however, noted that dark varieties of chocolate have “less of that effect”. This means that if at all you must have chocolate during your period, then going for the dark varieties is advisable to help with your symptoms.



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Food and Health

5 Exercises To Tighten And Tone Your Arms For Summer



5 Exercises To Tighten And Tone Your Arms For Summer
5 Exercises To Tighten And Tone Your Arms For Summer

5 Exercises To Tighten And Tone Your Arms For Summer

Summer is here and there are some exercises that can help you tighten your arms.

Toned arms are desirable mostly during summer. And it might be a hard time incorporating upper arm exercises into your regular workout routine.

It does not have to be tough. There are basic, simple exercises that will get you your desired arms in good time.

The following exercises are best performed with 3 – 5 pound dumbbells. Don’t forget that some exercises may be easier than others, so it’s fine to alternate between weights based on what feels right for your body.

They are also best performed one set of 10 repetitions of each and then repeat the whole circuit three times. In the end, you will complete 30 repetitions total of each exercise.

That said, here are five simple exercises to tone and strengthen your arms for summer.

Bicep curls

The bicep curls is an ideal arm exercise. It tones and strengthens the front of the arms. Many people associate this with the ability to “flex a muscle”.

For this exercise, simply grab your dumbbells and start with your arms by your sides. Hug your elbows in towards the side of your body and then curl the weights up towards your shoulders. Be careful not to let your arms swing. Repeat this 10 times and complete 3 sets total throughout your workout.

Chair Dips

This is an effective fat reduce exercise. It not only tones the arms, but also the back muscles. For this workout you need to choose a bed or chair, which is a little higher to the ground. Anything that will be stable on the ground is a good choice. A soft cushion sofa may not be the best idea; it will make the toning exercise harder to perform.

The furniture should be at least 2 feet higher than the ground. To be able to perform this exercise with ease, you should have 3 feet of free space in front of the item. to perform this exercise with ease. Face away from the furniture and place your hands on it. Your arms should be shoulder width apart.

Move three to four steps away from the furniture; keep your upper body straight. This is your starting position. Bend your knees to match the furniture. Bend your elbows and move your whole body to the ground, the aim is to touch the floor.


Stretch your arms to the side and bring them back to your front, the right hand should overlap the left. This resembles an open scissors. You need to stretch them to the side again and bring them back to the front. This time your left arm should overlap your right.

Arm Circles

Stand with your feet placed shoulder width apart and arms extend straight to your sides, raised at shoulder height. Now, do 50 small circles with your hands by rotating them in the forward direction. Then switch to 50 small backward circles. The backward and forward arm movement tones all the muscles of the arms including the triceps, biceps, shoulders and back muscles as well.

V exercises

To perform this exercise, hold your dumbbells down at your hips. Then reach the weights forward and up on an angle, drawing a V, and then release them back down towards your hips. Keep the arms straight throughout the exercise. Repeat this 10 times and complete 3 sets total throughout your workout.

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