Dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, is the pain that some women experience during their menstrual cycle. This pain is typically located in the abdominal area, lower back, hips, and inner thighs. This pain is triggered by increased levels of the type of hormone called prostaglandins. Some women also have other symptoms with their dysmenorrhea, such as upset stomach, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. This pain and the symptoms alongside stem from the recurring contractions of the uterine muscle (uterus), allowing for the inner lining to be shed. These contractions may restrict blood flow to the uterus, causing slight oxygen deprivation, therefore creating inflammation and pain.
Cramps can be uncomfortable for many women, who may often resort to taking painkillers to relieve their pain, such as ibuprofen. A more natural way to help relieve menstrual pain is acupuncture. There are specific acupuncture points that are used to regulate blood flow in the abdomen and also to relax the nervous system. These points will work together to decrease the pain and inflammation caused by the contractions, increase and regulate the blood flow, improve the oxygen concentration and decreasing the pain.