Can Hydrotherapy Help With Menstrual Cramps?
What Causes Period Cramps?
Period cramps are caused by contractions in a women’s uterus. These contractions are triggered by changes in the body’s hormone levels, particularly prostaglandins, which encourages the womb wall to contract further, increasing the pain. When menstruation occurs, the uterus contracts and sheds its lining, which is released as blood through the vagina. Some people are more likely to experience period pain, particularly those who:
• are younger than 30 years of age
• bleed heavily during their periods
• have irregular bleeding
• have a family history of period pain smoke
• started puberty early (age 11or earlier)
How a Hot Tub Relieves Cramps
Heat. Women have been using heat as a way to relieve period cramps for generations. It is one of those timeless treatments which have been producing the same reliable result.
Soaking in a hot tub may ease menstrual cramps. “Heat brings blood flow to your pelvic area, and that helps relax the uterine muscles that cause period cramps in the first place,” explains Alyssa Dweck, M.D., obstetrician-gynaecologist, Clare Mount Medical PC, @ Westchester, New York.
Additionally, the heat from the water can help to relax the muscles in the abdomen and pelvic region, which can also help to reduce cramping. In fact, one study of 344 people found that heat therapy was more effective than over- the- counter pain relief medication at easing period discomfort.
You can also go a step further and sip on warm or hot water, which can actually help lessen period cramps from the inside—heated beverages have a relaxing effect on muscles, says Dweck.
A decent sweat session cranks up production of mood-boosting endorphins, which can actually act as a natural pain reliever, says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.