Suffering from menstrual cramps? Apply some heat to your abdomen

Women often dread the 'time of the month' when they have to make extra trips to the toilet.

While some women feel mild discomfort in their lower abdomen and back when they menstruate, others experience a pain so severe that it interferes with their daily activities.

Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhoea, is caused by muscle contractions of the uterus when it expels its lining.

With over half of the 1,000 women who took part in a survey by pslove reporting that they suffer from menstrual cramps, pain relief is a priority for working women who take on many responsibilities and spend long hours at the office.

Although popping painkillers can help them get through the rest of the day, there are those who have reservations about taking medicine every month.

Other ways to ease the pain include hot showers or hot water bottles, which help to relax the muscles using heat. But they provide only momentary relief.

How about a heating pad that promises to stay warm for up to 12 hours a day?

My colleagues and I decided to give MenstruHeat, a product by homegrown company pslove, a try.

The heating pad is easy to use - just tear open the package, peel off the lining, and paste the palm-sized pad across your lower abdomen.

There are two ways to apply MenstruHeat - directly onto the skin or on top of your clothes.

Photo: AsiaOne

We found that the pad heated up within five minutes of application and a warmth (which may go up to over 60 degree Celsius) soon seeped into our skin.

About 10 minutes after application, we started to feel the pain ebbing away and soon forgot about our cramps.

While MenstuHeat is comfortable to use, don't forget to give your skin a breather after every hour to prevent getting minor burns.

Although the adhesive did not feel very sticky, the heating pad held up well when we reused it throughout the day.

We also like the fact that MenstruHeat is easily available - we can pop into a convenience store to pick some up or sign up for a bi-monthly subscription to get them delivered to our doorstep.

Verdict: The heating pad acts fast and is easy to use. We see ourselves stashing a few of these in our office desk drawers when Aunt Flo visits.

The pslove team has also launched two new products - NeckHeat and BackHeat - this year, but we think that MenstruHeat is the best among their three products to date.

MenstruHeat is available at over 400 stores islandwide including Guardian and 7-Eleven.

Photo: AsiaOne

Note: If you experience crippling period pains every month, it may signal a more serious medical problem such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Then it's time to book an appointment with your doctor and get some medical advice.

Read also: Best exercises to do during your period

minlee@sph.com.sg

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